Did age play a part in fatal Cobra crash?

Investigators will consider the age of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) Cobra helicopter that crashed earlier this week.

The investigation started minutes after the debris of the Cobra and the bodies of its two pilots were found early on Tuesday.

The probe will probably find the exact reason for the sudden malfunction that left no time for the two very experienced reserve pilots to send a distress signal.

The age of the Cobra, which has been flying in the IAF since the mid-1970s, has to be a consideration.

The IAF has top maintenance crews and the safety procedures are a “bible”. But investigators will surely bear in mind the age of the helicopter and the intensive manner in which it has been operated by the force during the many years of service, either for combat or for training.

There have been four other Cobra helicopter crashes in the past, resulting in the deaths of four pilots.

Every accident has been investigated and the causes are in the final reports. But after so many years in service, the age of the Cobra forms a backdrop to every investigation. This in spite of all the upgrades, modifications and improvements.


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