Israeli pilot killed in military helicopter crash: army

Jerusalem: An Israeli officer was killed and his co-pilot seriously injured when their Apache attack helicopter crashed on landing at an air force base, a military spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“A military helicopter crashed at an Israeli Air Force (IAF) base in southern Israel,” she said that the accident happened late Monday. She said that reserve Major David Zohar died “and a second officer is critically injured.”

The IAF has launched a technical investigation into the incident and ordered all combat helicopters be grounded pending the outcome of the probe, the spokeswoman said.

According to Israeli media reports, the Apaches were previously grounded after a large crack was discovered in the rotor blade of one. They began flying again last month.

The media reports said that Monday’s crash occurred at the end of a training flight which was part of a programme to gradually return the Apaches to service. The pilot reported a malfunction before losing control.