IAF fails to fish out remains of jet off Gaza coast
American ship to aid in extraction effort to determine cause of July 7 crash. The Israeli Air Force failed to retrieve from the sea parts of an F-16i fighter jet that crashed off the Gaza coast earlier this month. The IDF said it has sought help from the US in order to further advance the extraction of the aircraft’s remains.
Two airmen were lightly injured after ejecting safely in the July 7 crash, while flying a training mission 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the Strip.
On Sunday, the IDF is expected to accompany a US ship intended to assist in the extraction of the plane’s wreckage, which lies at a depth of 300 meters (1,000 feet) under sea level.
The operation is being conducted in order to determine what exactly caused the technical malfunction in the plane’s engine, which ultimately lead to its crash.
The pilot and navigator succeeded in safely ejecting from the aircraft before it hit the water. They were later rescued by the Air Force’s 669 search and rescue unit and were airlifted to Tel Hashomer Hospital outside Tel Aviv where they underwent medical inspections and treatment.
Stuart Winer contributed to this report
Source: By By Adiv Sterman, The Times of Israel News - 20 July 2013
Photo: The Israeli Air Force a fully armed F-16I Fighter Aircraft during take off ( (Photo by Ofer Zidon/ Flash 90)