Helicopter crash: why did the officers fail to escape?
The Chief of Staff of the Israeli Air Force, Brigadier General Amir Lazar, said that the Atalef helicopter, which crashed last night, had a left engine malfunction, forcing the pilots make an emergency landing. This is reported by The Times of Israel.
According to Amir Lazar, the engine malfunction, most likely, caused a power outage on the helicopter, so the pilots were unable to report the accident to the dispatchers. It is noted that this information about the possible causes of the tragedy was obtained on the basis of a preliminary investigation of the crash.
One of the most important questions to be clarified by investigators is why the pilots Hen Vogel and Eraz Sakhyani failed to escape.
The Eurocopter AS565 Panther helicopter is specially designed for maritime operations and can make emergency landings directly on the water using the built-in buoyancy system – floats.
According to Lazar, the pilots managed to activate this system, and it worked correctly, allowing one of the officers to escape. “We do not know why the pilots didn’t,” he noted.
As a result, the helicopter sank, the pilots were found in the cockpit with their seat belts fastened. The escaped officer tried to help the pilots, but could not. According to preliminary information, he took out his personal mobile phone and called the commander to report the incident.
“The squadron commander told him to stay calm and take care of himself,” says Lazar.