Dozens of new pilots are set to graduate from the Israeli Air Force's flight academy this week.
Four female pilots
and aircrew members are among the graduates, including the IAF's first religious female combat navigator. According to details released by the IDF on Saturday, 16% of the graduating pilots define themselves as traditionalist or religious.
The data further shows that first-borns make up 48% of the graduating class, while 35% are middle children and 17% are the youngest siblings in their families.
|The graduating class (Video: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)|
Thirty-four percent of the newly-minted pilots' moms are teachers, while 13% of their fathers are doctors. A similar percentage of the fathers are farmers, and a total of 21% of the parents are self-employed. Seven percent of the graduates have a family member in the IAF.
According to the data, 13% of the pilots are immigrants.
The demographic breakdown further shows that 37% of the new grads live in cities, while 26% come from moshavim, 24% hail from communal towns and only 13% are members of a Kibbutz. Moreover, 63% come from the center of the country, 26% come from the north and 10% are from the south. Most of the grads are 21 years old, with the oldest in the group being 25.
The new grads (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The majority of the new pilots – 74% - belonged to a youth movement, like the Israeli scouts movement. About a third – 34% - deferred their army service for year in order to volunteer.
During the academic phase of the prestigious course, 42% of the graduating class completed degrees in IT management, while 37% studied finance and management and 18% studied politics. Only 3% studied computer science.
The new pilots' hobbies are varied. One of them is an accomplished pianist; two are members of the same band. Two others are rock climbers and one was a member of Israel's ski team. Over 70% are athletes. Of them, 21% jog, 18% play basketball, 13% prefer soccer and 10% ride bikes.