An investigation into the deadly helicopter crash off the coast of Haifa last night revealed that a fire in the left engine led the crew to make an emergency landing at sea with a buoyancy mechanism.
The helicopter also had a communication problem which prevented the reporting of the engine fire during the flight.
After the helicopter crashed, the naval officer on board was able to escape the craft, and then returned in an attempt to rescue the two pilots, who remained trapped inside. The officer was able to use his mobile phone to call the squadron commander and inform him of the crash.
The two pilots were killed in the crash. They have been identified as 38-year-old Lt.-Col. Erez Sahiyani of Ramat David, and 27-year-old Major Chen Fogel from Haifa.
The surviving officer was hospitalized in moderate condition.