All Ultra-light Planes Grounded Due to Safety Concerns

Israel's association of light sport aircraft has grounded all ultra-light airplanes due to general safety problems, Haaretz has learned.

The decision came after Transportation Ministry chief air accident inspector Yitzhak Raz released a harsh report revealing shortcomings on the part of both plane owners and Civil Aviation Authority supervision.

There have been several accidents involving ultra-light airplanes recently.

The association will be holding refresher courses and safety conferences over the next week.

The report focuses on a recent ultra-light aircraft crash in Rishon Letzion, in which the passengers were slightly injured but the plane was heavily damaged. Last week, the pilot of an ultra-light succumbed to injuries sustained when his plane crashed at Reshafim in the Beit She'an Valley on January 26.

The findings show that pilot error caused the Rishon Letzion crash. The pilot, although experienced and a flight instructor himself, forgot to close the aircraft's fuel valve before take-off.