Apache helicopter
Apache helicopterOfer Tzidon, Flash 90

Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva announced on Saturday that the pilot who was severely injured when his Apache helicopter crash last Monday has regained consciousness and is breathing independently.

The crash occurred near Mitzpeh Ramon in the Negev, during a training flight. The helicopter's pilot and copilot two reported a technical malfunction and moments later crashed inside the base.

Reserve pilot 43-year-old Dudi (David) Zohar from Haifa was killed during the crash.

Soroka Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Director Dr. Moti Klein said the pilot arrived at the hospital's trauma unit in severe condition, suffering from multiple injuries to his limbs.

"After his condition stabilized, he underwent a lengthy operation after which he was transferred to the ICU. His condition has since improved, and he has regained consciousness and is breathing independently."

On Wednesday, the injured pilot responded to stimuli and moved his limbs slightly for the first time since the crash, after hospital staff took him off coma-inducing drugs.

"We are all praying and crossing our fingers, waiting for good news from the hospital. Our prayers are for one of our best sons," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told the injured pilot's father on Wednesday over the phone.