34 Years Since Helicopter Crash

Fifty-four paratroopers and airmen were killed in the crash, twenty years before a similar crash killed 73.

Gil Ronen, | updated: 20:01

Yasur Helicopter
Yasur Helicopter
IDF Spokesman

 

The IDF and IAF will mark the 34th anniversary of the 1977 helicopter disaster in the northern Jordan Valley (Bik’a) Monday. The tragedy will be commemorated in a ceremony at the “Hill of the 54” near the community of Yitav.
 
The terrible event took place on 22 Iyar 5737, May 10 1977. A Yas’ur CH-53 helicopter took off carrying 44 paratroopers and 10 airmen. It crashed shortly afterward, killing all who were aboard. 
 
Committees of inquiry found that many faults, including mechanical failures and faulty instructions issued to the pilot, had combined to cause the crash. However, they attributed most of the blame to the pilot, who was killed. 
 
The manufacturer’s specifications for the CH-53 Sea Stallion limit the number of people that may be on board to 37. The IDF limited the number to 33 after the tragedy.
 
In 1997, two Yas'ur helicopters crashed over northern Israel. Seventy-three soldiers were killed.



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