An Israeli Air Force navigator prevented his F-16I Sufa jet from an uncontrolled dive when the pilot suffered from vertigo during a Monday training exercise over the Mediterranean Sea.
The routine flight left the Hatzerim Airbase near Beersheba and safely returned to the base due to the quick reactions of the navigator. The incident led to the launching of a safety investigation in the air force.
Vertigo, also known as spatial disorientation, is a state in which the pilot is unable to correctly interpret the aircraft's altitude or speed in relation to the Earth, often accompanied by dizziness and a loss of balance.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that Air Force chief Major-General Amir Eshel decided to set aside one day this week during which squadrons and units would undergo safety lessons instead of the usual exercises, as the latest event was just another in a string of safety incidents.