Assaf joins long list of famous fallen sons

Assaf Ramon, killed Sunday in a F-16 plane crash in the southern Hebron Hills, joins an unfortunately long list of sons of famous Israelis who were killed in training accidents. The most recent was the son of Likud Minister Benny Begin, Yonatan, who was killed in March 2000 when his F-16 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. Begin, 30, was killed together with his navigator Lior Hariri. The two took off from the Ramat David Air Force Base at night and disappeared from the radar screen 20 kilometers off the coast of Atlit. In 1987, Gil Ivri, the son of former IAF commander and ambassador to the United States Maj.-Gen. (res.) David Ivri, was killed when his F-16 crashed into a mountain in southern Israel. The flight was part of a training exercise and the IAF concluded that he likely lost control of the plane due to the intensity of the drill. He was 23 at the time. Yoram Eitan, son of late chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Rafael Eitan, was also killed in a training flight in 1981 during a training accident in his Skyhawk fighter jet. The plane encountered a mechanical malfunction and Eitan tried ejecting but his parachute did not work. He was 27 at the time of his death. There have also been many other tragedies involving sons of well-known Israelis killed in the military, including Uri Grossman, son of author David Grossman, who was killed in the Second Lebanon War.