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Israeli Air Force pilot dies after F-16 catches fire

Un F-16 de l'armée israélienne décolle de la base militaire de Ramon dans le désert du Negev en Israël, le 21 octobre 2013
Jack Guez (AFP)
Investigation launched into circumstances of blaze affecting plane returning from strikes on Gaza targets

An Israeli Air Force pilot died on Wednesday in an accident at a base in the country's south, the military said.

The pilot was killed after he ejected from an F-16 jet that went up in flames before landing.

The navigator also ejected but escaped with light injuries.

The pilot was named as Ohad Cohen Nov, 34, a deputy squadron commander.

The incident at Ramon air force base came as the aircraft returned from participating in airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a rocket that landed on a street in the city of Sderot. 

An Air Force commander said an investigatory committee would be formed to find the cause of the accident, Israeli news site Mako reported. Among the possible causes were said to be a landing gear failure, which has affected other Air Force craft, or another technical issue.

The investigation will also consider why the pilot did not succeed in safely ejecting from the airplane as the navigator did, according to Mako.

See also Israel strikes targets in Gaza after rocket lands in Sderot

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