IAF Suspends Exercises After Two ‘Near Misses’

The IDF on Thursday suspended air exercises, after several “close calls” in recent weeks demanded a review of procedures and safety practices, Israel Air Force officials said.

The exercises would be resumed in the coming days after a thorough review of the practices to ensure that pilots and crew were not injured in the course of exercises.

With that, the IDF said, the army and air force remained on alert and ready for action if the situation warranted it.

Earlier this week, two IAF planes flying on practice missions missed each other by only a few hundred meters, with a collision avoided only due to quick thinking by pilots.

An investigation indicated that one of the pilots had not been paying attention to indicators that showed he was on a collision course with the other plane. That pilot was suspended for five days, and all planes on exercises were grounded for several hours.

A very similar incident occurred on Wednesday. While that incident is still under investigation, it was the trigger for Thursday's suspension of exercises. Last week, two vehicles were found driving on a runway as an IAF plane was taking off.

The confluence of the incidents required a refresher of the rules in order to ensure that the safety of all personnel remained a priority, the IAF said.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191869

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