Cobra helicopters which have been grounded by the orders of the Commander of the IAF after the tragic crash that occurred in March will begin operating after the regulations and protocols have been adjusted. The investigation shows that a technical fault is what caused the crash and the death of two IAF pilots
They have been grounded since March, but soon the Cobra Formation will begin operating as usual. The formation stopped its daily routine due to orders of Major General Amir Eshel after the tragic accident that occurred in March, where the lives of two pilots Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Noam Ron and Major (res.) Erez Flexer were lost.
The official investigating team, led by Colonel N’, presented Major General Amir Eshel the current conclusions and evidence that were found and led them to believe that the helicopter accident occurred because of a broken “tail” blade rotor. The findings led the team to believe that the accident wasn’t caused by human errors or the helicopter’s age. The military investigation will continue until all facts are cleared including a full interrogation of the IAF and “Bell Industries” that is responsible for manufacturing the helicopter.
Due to the Cobra Formation’s operational significance, the IAF formed a plan that could allow the aircraft to continue its missions. The plan includes thorough technical exams to all helicopters and changes in the maintenance protocols. Commander of the IAF approved the investigation team’s conclusions which states that based on their current findings and the orders given to prevent and minimize risks, it is possible to let the cobras operate as usual.
Allowing the Cobras to get back to work is very important to the “First Combat Helicopter” Squadron and the formation feels safe to fly once more. “Noam and Erez are an inseparable part of us,” said the squadron’s representatives, “The formation is here in order to be a part of the operational effort and powerful strength that the IAF has. We will keep fulfilling our missions”. Families of pilots Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Noam Ron and Major (res.) Erez Flexer were notified of the current findings. The IAF continues to accompany and support the families who lost their dear ones in this tragic accident.