The Lawn Dart - the F-16, does not have the best safety record in modern aviation. Nor does it have the worst. The problem of training - REALISTIC training - is always a trade-off. Either one takes casualties in training OR one takes FAR MORE casualties in real operations. The money spent on training a modern air force has nothing to do with the money spent on taking occupied territory. Nor is there ANY evidence that Israel is not spending what is necessary on training. The biggest liability of Harry Hillaker's last design, the F-16 is that it is a single engined design. It is a complex aircraft where a major system failure can terminate a pilot's information and altitude within a few seconds. At this point I have little data, just what is in the article. The LEAD aircraft suddenly impacted the ground while the other three aircraft did not. What is not stated is that there is no evidence of the crew having ejected and thus it is very unlikely they did. Perhaps a mistake was made, more likely they just had a very bad day. If the former, I will pounce as every pilot does up on that 'proof' that it could not have happened to me. If the former, I will know that the crew had a bad day, that lots of good flyers have had bad days. Connection between Israel's 'Settlement Program' and this tragedy? None.
Ofir Akunis officially replaces Danny Danon as minister of science, technology, and space (Haaretz)
from the article: IAF pilot and navigator feared dead after F-16I crashes in Negev