The Grob G-120 “Snunit” accident last November in which a flight instructor and an IAF cadet were killed probably occurred because of a lack of control of the aircraft that was caused by a stall, the IDF said on Wednesday.
A final investigation report, which was submitted to IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin, found that the stall happened during a maneuver that caused the instructor, Itay Zaiden, and the cadet, Lihu Benbassa, to lose control of the aircraft.
An IDF Spokesperson Unit statement said that the specialists’ team that investigated the accident found that a lack of knowledge regarding this phenomenon – a stall during a maneuver – led the two to lose control.
This phenomenon was not known to the air force when the aircraft was received by the IAF nor during its years of service; thus, air force personnel were not trained or qualified to respond to it, the IDF said.
The team also noted that after reviewing the performance of this aircraft around the world, the phenomenon was not previously reported.
According to the report, there is a high probability that there was no technical error in the plane, and it was serviceable during the entire flight.
The Snunit (Swallow) airplane has been used as an instruction aircraft in the IDF for almost 20 years, and is considered a reliable and safe plane, the IDF said.
“The investigation crew conducted the thorough and complex probe in order to reach and understand the reason the accident probably happened,” Norkin said. “To do so, we conducted several test flights in Israel and abroad on a Snunit to find out the aerodynamic phenomenon that was revealed.
“All accidents can be prevented, and we in the air force will learn it thoroughly. I stand with the Zaiden and the Benbassa families, and we will keep escorting them in the future.”