IDF helicopter crashes, killing pilot and wounding another

Maj. David Zohar was killed in the deadly crash of an IDF Apache helicopter on Monday night. A second pilot is in critical condition at Soroka Medical Center. The causes of the crash are currently being investigated. All Apache aircraft are currently grounded until further notice.

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A combat helicopter crashed while landing at an Israeli Air Force base Monday night, killing pilot Major (res.) David (Dudi) Zohar. The second pilot was critically wounded and rushed to Soroka Medical Center.

Zohar, 43, was a reserve Apache pilot from Haifa. In his passing, he left behind four children, a wife and parents. The wounded pilot is a first lieutenant in the Israeli Air Force. Both families were notified.

The IDF is still investigating the causes of the deadly accident. However, the preliminary enquiries indicated that the two pilots reported a malfunction but believed they would be able to land at the base despite it and therefore did not perform an emergency landing. While the aircraft was near the control tower, the pilots lost control of the aircraft and crashed.

Maj. David Zohar Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson Unit/Channel 2 News

Israel Air Force Commander Major-General Amir Eshel appointed a team of experts to investigate the incident, in addition to the investigation team that came to the area immediately after the accident.

Only a week ago, a similar incident took place when a combat helicopter reported a malfunction over the West Bank and performed an emergency landing. The IDF is evaluating both incidents to determine whether there is a possible connection between them.

The preliminary investigation also revealed that the Apache helicopter, which was recently grounded due to a malfunction, had turned over after a training flight that was being conducted part of tests on the helicopter before being put back to use. Due to the deadly incident, all Apache helicopters have been grounded until further notice.

Evacuation of the pilots Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Soroka Medical Center received the wounded pilot after the crash, where he was treated in the ER. He is still in critical condition after undergoing surgery.

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