Israeli Air Force orders halt in training after aircraft near-crash

IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin ordered the halt in training after a pilot failed to notice he had lost altitude and was approaching the ground.

IAF aircraft is seen participating in the Vered Hagalil drill. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IAF aircraft is seen participating in the Vered Hagalil drill.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

A halt in training exercises was issued for Israeli Air Force (IAF) squadrons on Wednesday, following a security incident in an IAF base in southern Israel.

IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin ordered the halt in training after a pilot, during an exercise in avoiding aerial and ground threats, failed to notice he had lost altitude and was approaching the ground.

The navigator onboard the aircraft noticed the descent and alerted the pilot to increase the aircraft's altitude.

The exercise in avoiding aerial and ground threats was immediately stopped following the incident, which is being investigated.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen with IAF chief Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin. (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen with IAF chief Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin. (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

In October, a similar halt in training exercises was called following a series of safetey incidents involving classified vessels during a naval commando training.

Two serious incidents took place in the technical squadron in Shayetet 13. In one, a soldier was seriously injured in a fire in one of the vessels during routine care and in another incident, a female soldier's finger was cut off.

Training was stopped for a week in order to draw lessons in the areas of safety in the elite unit.

Following an investigation of the incidents, a combat officer with the rank of major who commanded one of the vessels and was responsible for the professional field in the unit, was removed from his position in the unit and placed in another position outside the naval commando in the naval arm.