Two Israeli air force pilots were killed on Monday 11 March, when their Bell AH-1 Cobra "Zefa" attack helicopter crashed during a routine training mission over southern Israel.
An eyewitness reported seeing "flashes of fire" immediately before the aircraft hit the ground near Kibbutz Revadim, although the debris does not indicate signs of a fire.
The AH-1 had taken off 1h earlier from Palmachim air base in central Israel.
The crew were in radio contact with their base, and had just reported "six minutes to landing" before the accident. They did not transmit a distress signal, with this potentially suggesting a sudden failure.
Israeli air force
The air force grounded all its remaining Cobra helicopters until an investigation can point to the cause of the accident. Its AH-1s entered service from 1975 and have been upgraded over the years.