The two people who were killed in a plane crash near Mishmar Hanegev Tuesday morning were identified as an officer and a cadet in the Israel Air Force (IAF), it was cleared for publication Tuesday afternoon.
The officer, Major (Res.) Itay Zayden , 42, from Kibbutz Shoval, who was the instructor for the flight, had served as the commander of an F-16 squadron until recently, while the cadet, Corporal Lihu Ben-Bassa, 19, had been taking a pilot's course over the past four months which included 15 hours of in-flight training.
IDF spokesman Tal Hedi Zilberman said contact with the plane was lost and that the pilot did not have time to report the plane's condition before the crash.
The aircraft which crashed was a 'Tzukit' Grob G 120 plane used to train trainees of a pilot course in the initial screening and training stages. The plane entered the IAF workforce in 2002.
IAF commander Amikam Norkin ordered the establishment of a team to investigate the incident. The team will be led by an officer with the rank of colonel or above.
In 2008, two people were killed when an IAF 'Tzukit' plane crashed in the Negev. The IDF blamed the crash on pilot error.