One of the two pilots who ejected from the F-16 aircraft that was hit by a Syrian missile returned on Monday to active duty in the Israeli Air Force. The major shared his first operational flight since the incident with Air Force commander Amikam Norkin.

The navigator with commander Norkin

The navigator with commander Norkin Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

The navigator who ejected from the downed F-16 aircraft during Israel’s operation in Syria returned on Monday to active duty. The major was lightly injured after the incident and was released from the hospital earlier this month. The pilot of the aircraft, who was seriously injured in the operation, was released one week later.

In his first flight back with his squadron, the major shared the cockpit with IAF Commander Major General Amikam Norkin. As previously reported by JOL, the two pilots who ejected from their jet after it was damaged by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile described their experience several days after the incident, while they were both in the hospital.

“[We heard] an explosion and the understanding that we were hit is a very uncomfortable feeling, this loss of control,” they said at the time, speaking to the Israel News Company. “The ejection is immediate, there is no long process and no time. Mere seconds. The realization that we must hurry and abandon [the jet] was both due to our physical injuries as well as that the plane had been hit and stopped functioning.”