IDF troops search for wreckage of the helicopter that crashed off the coast of Haifa on Monday

IDF confirms 2 pilots killed in helicopter crash off Haifa coast

The Eurocopter AS565 Panther helicopter crash comes during a training flight; third officer on board survives and taken to hospital; IAF suspends flights of choppers pending investigation

Yoav Zitun, Agencies |
Updated: 01.04.22, 07:35
The military confirmed early on Tuesday, that two pilots were killed when a navy helicopter crashed off the coast of Haifa.
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  • Searches continued for wreckage along the cost.
    3 View gallery
    סריקות אחרי שברי המסוק
    סריקות אחרי שברי המסוק
    IDF troops search for wreckage of the helicopter that crashed off the coast of Haifa on Monday
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan)
    The helicopter was conducting a training flight when it crashed. A third crew member, an aerial observer, was moderately injured and evacuated to a hospital.
    3 View gallery
    פצצות תאורה בזירת החיפושים
    פצצות תאורה בזירת החיפושים
    Navy ships at the site of the helicopter crash off the coast of Haifa on Monday
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan)
    "After extensive resuscitation efforts, the two pilots were declared dead," the IDF spokesperson said in a statement.
    The cause of the crash was under investigation and the families of the pilots had been informed.
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the dead pilots were the best of Israel's sons.
    "This is a very sad time. In the name of all citizens I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the families of the crash victims and a speedy recovery to the wounded officer," Bennett said. "The people of Israel will not forget the sacrifice they made, day and night, to the security of the country," he said.
    The helicopter — a Eurocopter AS565 Panther, or "Atalef" (Hebrew for bat) as it is known by the Israeli Air Force — was taking part in a training exercise when it went down, according to the military.
    3 View gallery
    מסוק "עטלף"
    מסוק "עטלף"
    Eurocopter AS565 Panther
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan)
    Air Force chief Amiram Sorkin, ordered the immediate suspension of all training flights and the use of helicopters from the same array of the doomed aircraft.
    "The IDF expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and will continue to support them," the statement said.
    The helicopter — a Eurocopter AS565 Panther, or "Atalef" (Hebrew for bat) as it is known by the Israeli Air Force — was taking part in a training exercise when it went down, according to the military.
    Such aircraft had been in use by the navy for some 25 years.
    Air Force chief Gen. Amikam Norkin, ordered the immediate suspension of all training flights and the use of helicopters from the same array of the doomed aircraft.
    "The IDF expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and will continue to support them," the statement said.

    First published: 07:06, 01.04.22
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