pilot and his navigator were forced to eject from their F-16
fighter jet Wednesday, while attempting to land it at the Ramat David airbase, due to a technical malfunction that could have caused it to crash.
Both were unharmed, but were taken in for a medical evaluation nonetheless.
IAF Chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel
formed a team to investigate the incident.
The incident took place around 2pm, as the jet was attempting to land at the end of a routine training flight.
As the jet was approaching the landing strip, the pilot and the navigator detected a potentially life-threatening
malfunction in their gear, radioed it in to mission control and ejected – seconds after the wheels touched-down and at a speed of 300km/h.
The jet eventually veered off the runway and came to a stop on its own. Air Force technicians are inspecting it.
Since the nature of the malfunction is still unknown, the IAF has grounded all fighter-jets from the same model, pending the inquiry's results.
"The airmen did the right thing. They followed protocol. The jet could have flipped over and they could have been killed had they insisted to stick the landing," an IAF source told Ynet.
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