Young pilots meet with 93-year-old veteran

Graduates of latest pilot course meet one of the air force's founders and one of its first pilots, 93-year-old Danny Shapira.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Course graduates in group photo
Course graduates in group photo
IDF Spokesperson

In anticipation of the upcoming pilot course completion ceremony, the graduating pilots met with Danny Shapira, one of the founders of the Israeli Air Force and one of the first pilots of the IAF.

Shapira served in the air service, was a partner in the formation of the 113th squadron as an Ouragan squadron, fought in the Six Day War as a Mirage pilot and participated in Operation Focus in the bombing of Arab airports.

Shapira, 93, told the soldiers about his service in the Israel Defense Forces and talked about the glorious legacy of the Israel Air Force. In addition, Shapira addressed the changes in the field of force buildup and relations with other armies.

The ceremony will be held at the Hatzerim Air Force Base, where flight wings will be awarded to the graduates of Flight Course 176. The ceremony will mark 70 years for the Air Force and the State of Israel, and will take place in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the chief of staff, Major General Aviv Kochavi, and the Commander of the IAF, Major General Amikam Nurkin.

From the IDF, data were provided on the graduates of the course, 33 boys and 3 girls, from which it emerges that:

Percentage of graduates in various fields: 25% combat pilots, 25% helicopter pilots, 16% transport pilots, 25% combat navigators and 9% transport navigators.

Residential: 47% live in the city, 22% live in a local council, 14% live in a moshav, 6% live in a community settlement, and 11% live in a kibbutz.

Youth Movement: 39% took part in activities in youth movements and 61% did not take part in youth movement activities.

Year of community service before the IDF: 19% were graduates of a year of service and 81% were not in a year of service.