Israeli F-16 Jet Crashes, Pilot Ejects
An F-16 fighter plane from the Israeli air force crashed Tuesday, and the pilot ejected safely with a parachute, a military statement said.
A technical problem forced the pilot to abandon the US-designed F-16 during a training mission over the Khatzerim area of southern Israel, the statement said.
The pilot was taken to hospital for tests and the air force command ordered an inquiry into the cause of the technical fault.
This latest incident involving an F-16 comes after a string of accidents, including the crash earlier this year that killed the grandson of the former Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin.
Yonathan Begin's fighter-bomber crashed into the sea off the northern coast of Israel during a night training flight on March 28th.
The bodies of Begin, 30, and navigator Lior Harari, 23, were later recovered. Apparently, they did not have time to eject from the plane.
The crash followed an unusually high number of technical problems with F-16s in recent months.
On February 2nd, a single-seat F-16 crashed in the Negev desert when the engine failed during a training flight but the pilot managed to eject safely.
In March last year the Israeli air force grounded a number of its F-16s after one suffered engine failure and crashed into the Mediterranean.
Israel has an estimated 250 F-16 jets as part of its air capability – OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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