Tragedy in the South (illustration photo).
Tragedy in the South (illustration photo).Israel news photo: Flash 90

Two IAF pilots were killed in a tragic helicopter crash at around 1:00 a.m. tonight. Their next of kin have been informed.

The names of the pilots have not yet been released. They were in a Cobra ('Tzefa') helicopter that crashed near Revadim in the Negev.

A civilian who was driving on a road in the area saw a flaming object fall to the ground and notified police. The remains of the helicopter were found when security forces combed the area, as were the pilots' bodies.

The two pilots were senior reservists.

IAF Commander Major General Amir Eshel has ordered the appointment of a committee of inquiry to find out what caused the crash. Initial estimates are that it was caused by a technical malfunction but additional possibilities will be looked into.

The farewell event for outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak, which was scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Palmachim Air Force Base, has been postponed because of the fatal crash.

The event has been rescheduled for Wednesday evening at the Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv.