An Israel Air Force (IAF) pilot was killed during a crash landing of an F-16I fighter jet in southern Israel on Wednesday evening. The aircraft’s navigator ejected from the plane and escaped with light wounds.
The jet, which was landing at Ramon air force base in the Negev, caught fire when returning from operational activity. The IAF conducted multiple air strikes today on the Gaza Strip, after a rocket was fired on the Israeli town of Sderot.
The aircraft’s pilot and navigator ejected from the plane when it began to catch fire, leaving the navigator lightly wounded. Israel Air Force Commander Amir Eshel, ordered an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire.
The incident was cleared for publication on Wednesday evening after the victims’ families had been notified.
In July 2013, an F-16i on a training flight crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, some 50 km. off the coast of the Gaza Strip.
The two-seater fighter jet was taking part in a training exercise in which it attempted an interception drill.
In that incident, the plane’s pilot, an IAF flight instructor and navigator, who was being trained, safely ejected from the aircraft and parachuted to the sea before being rescued.