Israel Air Force investigating airborne refueling mishap
F-16 makes emergency landing, no injuries reported.
The Israel Defense Forces is investigating a mishap that took place during an airborne training exercise on Friday morning.
While conducting an airborne refueling exercise, a refueling pipe made contact with the body of an F-16A fighter jet, called “Sufa” by the Israel Air Force, causing light damage. The F-16’s pilot decided to perform an emergency landing, and landed minutes later at Ovda air force base, near Eilat.
It seems, and initial investigations concur, that the fighter jet, which belongs to the 1st squadron of the Ramon air force base, came too close to the refueling jet, called a “Ram” by the IAF, during the exercise, and the fighter jet was slightly damaged by the refueling pipe.
The refueling system, comprised of a telescopic tube, was broken during the incident.
There were no injuries as a result of the mishap, and the IAF has opened an investigation.
The IDF Spokesperson’s unit released a statement concerning the incident. “During an air force training exercise, in which a ‘Sufa’ was being refueled by a ‘Ram,’ a refueling pipe broke, causing damage to both planes. Both planes landed safely, no harm was caused to the flight crews. The IAF commander has ordered an investigation of the incident.”