The Israeli civil aviation authority (CAA) has declared more than once that its efforts are mainly focused at rearranging the issues that concern commercial aviation: namely the airlines. This in an effort to gain back the category 1 safety status taken from Israel almost three years ago.
Last week, another general aviation accident claimed lives. Investigation is underway to try and establish the cause for the crash of the Piper Cherokee 6 aircraft at Haifa airport in northern Israel. But one thing is already clear: the CAA has to bring this sector into its everyday focus and fast.
The single-engine Cherokee 6 took off from runway 16 to fly to southern Israel. In the aircraft were four people: three pilots (one of them a flight instructor) and a cadet.
Immediately after takeoff, the pilot reported to the tower that he had a problem and received permission to land. While trying to land, the aircraft hit trees near the runway, crashed and caught fire. The four died immediately.
People that were in the area reported hearing strange noises from the engine immediately after takeoff.
This was the latest in a series of accidents involving light general aviation aircraft in Israel in recent months. While many of the investigations are still underway, it is clear that a full revision of that section is required. The process that is aimed at bringing Israel back to a category 1 status is still very long. The efforts put into this process should not result in any "discounts" to the people involved in general aviation. The strict rules being applied to commercial aviation should apply here and even with increased force.
The problems are known, the CAA has been recently restructured and currently has the means for effective control of general aviation. Small aircraft are important as big ones. Some accidents have no relevance to any control regime, but some have.