September 10, 2008

Israeli Army Denies Helicopter Collision Before Crash – TV

Text of report by Israeli Channel 2 TV on 10 September

[Telephone remarks by IDF Spokesman Avi Bnayahu - live]

[Anchor Yonit Levi] We have an update on the Air Force helicopter crash. Brigadier General Avi Bnayahu, the IDF spokesman, is on the line. Good evening. What can you tell us about it?

[Bnayahu] Good evening, Yonit. I can sum up the details we have as of now. It was a Israel Air Force's [IAF] Cobra combat helicopter that had taken off in a training formation flight from an IAF base in Ramat David in northern Israel. About 10 minutes after takeoff, the leading aircraft, the first helicopter, noticed that helicopter No. 2 was not behind it. He saw a short time later that the said helicopter was on the ground.

Complying with routine directions, the leading helicopter landed near the crashed one, and rescue teams - both civilian and military from the nearby base - were summoned to the scene.

That is all we can say as of now. It was an accident, and one like it had happened in the IAF before. I am sure the IAF commander and his officers, whose experience in investigating this kind of accidents is one of the best in the world... [changes thought] That is all we have to say as of now.

[Anchor] Thank you very much, IDF Spokesman Avi Bnayahu.

[While making similar remarks on Jerusalem Channel 10 Television, Bnayahu was asked about the possibility of a collision of two helicopters. Bnayahu replied: "No, there was definitely no collision."]

Originally published by Channel 2 TV, Jerusalem, in Hebrew 1700 10 Sep 08.

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