Investigation: Deadly IAF crash caused by previously unknown phenomenon

Final report into crash in which 2 pilots were killed finds plane stalled due to circumstances previously unknown to be dangerous.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Maj. (res.) Itay Zayden and Cpl. Lihu Ben-Bassa
Maj. (res.) Itay Zayden and Cpl. Lihu Ben-Bassa
picture used with permission of families

The investigation into the fatal plane crash in which two Israel Air Force Pilots were killed in November released its final report Tuesday. The report found that the plane stalled during a low altitude maneuver, leading to the crash.

According to the findings, the stall was not caused by any technical problems with the plane, but by a set of circumstances for which the pilot had not been trained. The exact details of the circumstances which caused the stall were not disclosed, though it was stated that the plane's manufacturers and operators around the world were also unaware of the danger of a stall occurring under those specific circumstances.

Cpl. Lihu Ben-Bassa, 19, and his trainer, Maj. (res.) Itay Zayden, 42, were killed when a 'Tzukit' Grob G 120 plane used to train trainees of a pilot course in the initial screening and training stages crashed near Mishmar Hanegev in southern Israel.

IAF commander Amikam Norkin accepted the findings of the final report and determined that the direct cause of the accident most likely lies in an unusual phenomenon that was not recognized beforehand and unforeseen. The findings will be adopted in the IAF flight school, including updating the corps and squadron literature and training the air crews for learning and understanding the phenomenon that was discovered. Also, the IAF will update the various operators in the world regarding the results of the investigation.

"For the purpose of this investigation, we performed a number of test flights in Israel and abroad, aboard a Tzukit, the purpose of which is to prove the aerodynamic phenomenon that was discovered. Every accident is preventable and the lessons from this accident will be produced by the corps. I feel the pain of the dear Zayden family and the Ben-Basa family and we will continue to support them," Norkin said.



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