Helicopter crash: it's still unclear why the pilots didn't escape

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Interim report on the investigation into the crash of the Atalef helicopter showed that the crash was likely caused by the ignition of the left engine. However, the underlying problem that caused this malfunction remains unclear, according to The Times of Israel.

The left engine malfunction occurred when the aircraft was at an altitude of 700 to 800 meters above the Mediterranean Sea. As a result of a fire the cockpit filled with smoke.

Within about two minutes, from the start of the fire to the helicopter falling into the water, the pilots activated the aircraft's fire extinguishing systems, turned off some electrical systems to prevent further spread of the flames, and activated the buoyancy system – floats .

The fast action of the pilots and the “relatively balanced” landing the helicopter on the water saved the life of the officer on board.

However, the investigation has not yet figured out why the pilots themselves could not leave the helicopter and escape. At the same time, the report indicated that the rescue teams that arrived on the scene shortly after the crash would not have been able to get the pilots out in time to rescue them. AS565 Panther “remained on the ground.”

“Every accident is preventable. We will turn every stone to conduct an accurate and professional investigation, using all necessary resources to understand the cause of this accident,” stated Norkin.

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