Sunday, September 13, 2009
An Israel air force pilot, the son of an astronaut who died aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, was killed Sunday in an F-16 fighter jet crash, Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
A military helicopter hovers over the Hebron Hills, site of the jet crash Sunday of Israel air force pilot Assaf Ramon.
Lt. Assaf Ramon died in the crash near the Israeli community of P'nei Chever in the southern Hebron Hills, the IDF said. The F-16 crashed "during a routine flight as part of the advanced pilot training course," the statement said.
The wreckage of the plane was found by search and rescue forces, the IDF said.
Ramon was posthumously promoted to captain, officials said.
He was the son of Col. Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut.
The elder Ramon died February 1, 2003, with six others aboard the space shuttle Columbia when it broke apart over Texas, minutes before it would have landed in Florida.
Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, Israel air force commander, launched an investigation into the crash, the IDF said. All F-16 training flights were canceled until further notice.
Nehushtan and Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, head of the Personnel Branch, "visited the home of Rona Ramon and informed her of the tragic event," the IDF said. Rona Ramon is Assaf Ramon's mother and the widow of Ilan Ramon.
The younger Ramon excelled in an IAF pilot training course last month, received a presidential honor, and was given his pilot's wings by President Shimon Peres, Israeli military officials said.
C-5M to go for world flight records at Dover: "It could be a record-breaking day Sunday in the skies over Dover Air Force Base, Del.A C-5M Super Galaxy will attempt to set or break 33 world records in a single flight taking off from the base, a Dover release said.The attempt will include altitude, payload and time-to-climb records. For example, with a payload of 80,000 kilograms — about 177,000 pounds — the C-5M will climb higher than 10,000 meters. If successful, the records will ‘trickle down’ to lighter payloads and lower altitudes.A National Aeronautic Association official will be on board to document the world record attempt.The C-5M is an upgraded version of the venerable C-5. The M-model flies with more powerful engines, enabling the transport, the service’s largest jet, to climb faster and fly higher with heavier payloads.Dozens of other improvements and a digital cockpit are predicted to raise the jet’s reliability levels."
(Via Air Force Times - News.)
Predator crashes at Holloman AFB: "HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — The 49th Fighter Wing says an unmanned MQ-1 Predator has crashed at Holloman Air Force Base.Holloman public affairs officer Maj. Kathy Bienfang says the Predator was taking off Friday morning when it hit a fence and crashed on base property. It was one of four Predators at Holloman.Bienfang says no one was injured and no private property was damaged in the crash.The Predator was assigned to the 432nd Wing from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada and was part of the MQ-1 training mission at Holloman.Bienfang says the base is investigating why the aircraft crashed. It costs about $5 million to $7 million.The aircraft is piloted remotely and is intended to help troops on the ground."
(Via Air Force Times - News.)