March 12, 2013
Israeli military helicopter crashes, killing 2
An Israeli military helicopter crashed during a routine training flight, killing two crew members.
The helicopter, a Bell AH-1 Cobra, crashed early Tuesday morning in southern Israel as it travelled from the training flight to the Palmachim Airbase. A search for the helicopter began after radio contact was lost at 1 a.m. The remains of the helicopter were discovered at about 5 a.m., the IDF Spokespersons Office said in a statement.
Commander of the Israeli Air and Space Force, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, ordered an investigation of the incident. Eshel also grounded all Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopters until the circumstances of the accident are clarified.
The families of the two pilots were notified, and the process of identifying the bodies is taking place, according to the IDF.
Cobras, which are manufactured in the United States, have been part of the Israel Air Force since the mid-1970s, according to Haaretz. Some of them were used first by the U.S. Air Force and are almost 40 years old, though they have been upgraded over the years.