Last night, a small group of selected technicians completed the Crew Chief course. At the end of the ceremony they received crew chief wings and joined the significant force in the transport helicopter division

Hadas Levav & Eitam Almadon

They served as ground mechanics for two years, took part in a long eight-month course and are now starting a new and special chapter in their IAF service. Crew Chief Course 38 came to an end last night and its graduates officially joined the transport helicopter division in the IAF.

The crew chief is a helping hand for the pilot, is part of the helicopter crew alongside the captain and the co-pilot. The crew chief has two significant roles: first, he is a helping aircrew member, who is experienced in operating the mission systems, operating inside the helicopter and the cockpit systems, as well as identifying and categorizing problems throughout the flight. He is responsible for loading, seating and excusing combatants, passengers or injured persons to and from the helicopter, and aids the crew in preparing the landing surface. Second, the crew chief is part of the experienced technical personnel and is in taking care of problems on the helicopter, in conducting maintenance checks and conditional checks to continue the mission, when the helicopter is out of base.

New Crew Chiefs in the IAF

Photography: Mor Tzidon

“Our expectations”
“Our expectations, from you graduates, joining the IDF combatants today, will be higher from now on”, Brig.-Gen. Nimrod, Palmachim AFB Commander said in his speech to the graduates. “As commanders and combatants, we expect you to be determined and aim to complete every mission. To be devoted air crew members that can be trusted at any time, but we especially expect you to maintain the values you grew up with and were educated, on ground and in the air”.

New Crew Chiefs in the IAF

Photography: Mor Tzidon

The graduates
Of the graduated you can find First Sgt. Adar, the only female graduate. First Sgt. Adar will become the first female crew chief in the “Leaders of the Night” Squadron since late Master Sgt. Keren Tendler, the first female crew chief in the “Ya’sur” (CH-53) division who was killed when her helicopter was hit by a Hezbollah missile during the
“Second Lebanon” War.

New Crew Chiefs in the IAF

Photography: Mor Tzidon

From technicians to aerial combatants
First Sgt. Lior also completed the course, previously a technician in the “Night Riders” squadron and is now a crew chief in the squadron. First Sgt. Lior is the first crew chief of Ethiopian descent in the IAF. First Sgt. Lior received his Bachelor’s degree as an Engineer in Tel Aviv University before drafting into the IAF and was then recruited to the Techni AFB and chose, as stated, to serve as a technician on the “Ya’sur” (CH-53) helicopter with the goal of becoming a crew chief. Since then he completed tasks and exams, advanced to be the head of his team and was chosen to receive a certificate of excellence by the President on Israel’s Independence Day.  

“I learned a lot in the course and I am completing it as a different person from when I first started it”, he shared. The course gave me the opportunity to see things differently. The fact that I am the first Ethiopian to finish the course is an achievement, but I don’t feel different. I am an Israeli and I do not represent all the Ethiopians rather I am a soldier like everyone else. I hope I can be an example for others because the best place to integrate into the society in Israel is the army”.  

New Crew Chiefs in the IAF

Photography: Mor Tzidon

 

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