IAF Instructor, Student Killed in Plane Crash

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JERUSALEM, Israel - An Israel Air Force flight instructor and his student were killed Wednesday when their plane crashed during a training flight in the Negev desert.

Captain Matan Asa, 24, and Cadet Carmi Ilan, 19 were returning to the Hatzerim base after a half-hour exercise flying the aircraft close to the ground when the accident occurred.

"The planes were flying in a single file, one after the other, and when the lead plane turned in the direction of the base in preparation for landing, the pilot saw the crashed plane," IAF Chief of Staff Colonel Yochanan Locker said.

"They did not hear any distress call over the communications network. Apparently, the whole incident occurred within a few seconds," he said.

Ilan, who began the pilot's course a year and a half ago, had accrued many hours of flight time, and his instructor, Asa, was a combat pilot who flew F-16s fighter jets.

Officials said the fact that their plane was largely intact following the accident would facilitate the investigation.

Source: Haaretz

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