Lt. Col. Ron, Maj. Flexer, families
Lt. Col. Ron, Maj. Flexer, familiesIDF Website

The IDF has released the names of the two pilots who were killed in a helicopter crash tonight.

The men are Lt. Col. Noam Ron, 49, of Oranit, and Maj. Erez Flexer, 31 of Haifa.

In their final radio communication, the pilots of the IAF Cobra helicopter that crashed Tuesday morning reported that they were "six minutes to landing," according to IDF Radio. The helicopter was on its way back from a training exercise at Palmachim Air Force Base.

Investigators have found that the pilots did not report any malfunction. They had been flying at about 400 meters' altitude. There is no evidence of a malfunction in either the main rotor or the tail rotor.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that he was informed of the accident shortly after midnight, and that "the heart and thoughts immediately went to the families who were about to receive the terrible news."

"Besides the inquiry regarding the circumstances and the process of initial investigation, I am feeling a great sadness over the premature death of our two veteran and experienced airman," he said.