With 9,152 flight hours, Israeli Air Force salutes record holder pilot

Beyond just conflict, retired IDF pilot Lt. Col. Yehuda Haim has flown Israeli leaders like Rabin and Begin to pivotal meetings, including historic Egypt peace accord; He's now celebrated for his lifetime of service

At a ceremony commemorating the jubilee of the Israel Air Force's 66th and 67th flight courses, Lt. Col. Yehuda Haim, 71, received a golden aviator badge for his 42 years of dedicated flight service.
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Haim, the Israeli Air Force's record holder for flight hours, has logged an impressive 9,152 hours. Notably, some of those hours were spent flying former Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Egypt before the signing of the historic peace accord 44 years ago.
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Lt. Col. Yehuda Haim with Yitzhak Rabin
(Photo: Family album)
"There are some flights I cannot talk about," he said. "When you talk about pilots, it's usually in the context of airstrikes and shooting down airplanes, but I'm proud of the fact I can speak extensively about my flights for peace.
More than once, I've flown Israeli leaders to meetings in countries we had no official relations with, and they were often disguised, like [former Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin and [former Defense Minister Moshe] Dayan."
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Haim awarded golden aviator badge by Air Force Commander Tomer Bar
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Upon being discharged from duty, he worked as a flight captain for Israeli flag carrier El Al and today still volunteers as a teacher in several high schools. Today, he volunteers as a flight simulator instructor for children battling cancer.
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