Late astronaut's pilot son killed in crash

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sabashimon, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    RIP Warrior......Give your Father a hug from all of us in the Jewish Nation (עם ישראל) when you see him. You both will be in my prayers in these upcoming High Holy Days.

    Late astronaut's pilot son killed in crash

    Eldest son of first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who died in fatal mission of Columbia, killed in training accident when his F16 jet crashes over South Mount Hebron. Lieutenant Asaf Ramon recently finished IAF pilots' course with honors, just as his father did 35 years ago

    Tragedy strikes the Ramon family again from the air. Lieutenant Asaf Ramon, son of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, was killed Sunday when the F-16 fighter jet he was flying crashed over South Mount Hebron during a routine training exercise. Rescue forces found the remains of the fighter jet and Ramon's body in the surrounding area.

    Following his death, the Israel Defense Forces decided to promote Asaf to the rank of captain. Asaf Ramon will be laid to rest at 4 pm Monday at the Nahalal cemetery, next to his father.

    At 4:30 pm, Rona Ramon received the news she feared most. Her eldest son, Asaf, who recently completed the IAF's pilots' course, was killed in a training accident Sunday afternoon. Her son's dream to be a pilot like his late father, Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, was cut short in circumstances horrifically similar to his father's death. Six years after his father's death when his space shuttle crashed as it returned to earth, Asaf Ramon met a similar fate.

    Israeli Air Force Commander Ido Nehushtan and IDF Personnel Directorate Chief Brigadier-General Avi Zamir delivered the sad news to Rona Ramon. Accompanying them was former IAF Commander Eliezer Shkedy. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz arrived at the house as well.

    In the past hours, friends and family have flooded the family's home to offer comfort to the mourners. Classmates of Yiftach, Asaf's younger brother, gathered in a square next to the family's home. Their teacher reported that they are sitting and crying together in the square as they share memories of Asaf.
    Asaf Ramon (R) with President Shimon Peres (Photo: Haim Horenstein)

    Asaf Ramon left for a training flight with the fighter jet from Navatim Air Force Base in the afternoon hours. Around 14:00 reports of an aircraft "diving" to the ground near the town Pnei Hever south of Mount Hebron were received. Civilians reported that they heard an explosion and saw a mushroom cloud of smoke.

    The IAF looked into the reports. It quickly became clear that the F-16 that left for a training flight from Navatim Air Force Base went missing and that all communications with the aircraft were lost. Within a short time, the magnitude of the disaster became clear – the "Hawk" fighter jet crashed and the pilot was killed.

    'Reports of something falling from the air'
    Rescue and security forces had difficulty reaching the site of the crash because it occurred in a wadi with limited access ways. Ariel, a resident of Kirya Arba who arrived at the scene of the crash, told Ynet, "Many ambulances and military vehicles arrived. Nearly nothing was left of the plane."

    One of the rescue workers on the scene said, "We received reports from civilians on something falling from the sky. It was unclear whether it was a helicopter or a plane, something identified. We went to the site in cooperation with the military and the air force. We combed the scene of the crash together with the military medical team." of the crash. 'The ground shook' (Photo: Dudi Vaaknin)

    Girls doing national service in the Maale Hever Seminary saw the mushroom cloud of smoke that resulted from the crash. "We were in the synagogue rehearsing for a play when we suddenly heard a large explosion. The ground shook. We looked out the window and saw a mushroom cloud of smoke. The entire caravan shook and after a few minutes there were many helicopters in the sky."

    Rescue and security forces searched the area for about an hour, covering a radius of about a kilometer (0.6 miles). "We found remains. There were many pieces of metal on the scene. Unfortunately, there already wasn't anything to do on the scene," said the rescue worker. The IDF declared the scene of the crash a closed military zone. IAF helicopters flew above and military jeeps searched the area in an attempt to locate remains and additional plane parts.

    Survived a crash in pilots' course
    The plane Asaf Ramon was flying was the most veteran model of the F-16, used by the IAF since 1978, and is considered to be of reliable and high quality. The plane left the "Golden Eagle" Squadron for a basic, routine training flight typical for pilots at the beginning of their operational training once they have finished pilots' course.

    The IAF is investigating the circumstances of the accident. It still remains unclear whether it was caused by a technical malfunction or by human error. The IAF is also investigating why the pilot was unable to use the ejection seat to escape from the plane before it crashed.

    IAF Commander Ido Nehushtan appointed a commission of inquiry headed by a colonel to investigate the circumstances leading to the crash. In addition, according to formal protocol, all planes of this model will be grounded for the next 24 hours until technical malfunction is ruled out as a contributing factor.

    Some six months ago, Asaf Ramon survived a crash in pilots' course caused by a rare and unusual malfunction of the plane he was flying. During one of the practice flights on a single-engine Skyhawk plane, the engine died. The instructor explained to Ramon how to manage the malfunction. Asaf acted according to the instructions he received and successfully landed the plane at Hatzerim Air Force Base.

    Asaf's father, Ilan Ramon, also completed the pilots' course with honors some 35 years ago. He achieved the rank of colonel and was chosen by NASA to become the first Israeli to fly into space. Ilan Ramon managed to make history, but the Colombia space shuttle he was in crashed as it returned to earth in 2003.

    Asaf was 15 when he lost his father. Even then, he announced his desire to follow in his path and become a pilot.

    Hanan Greenberg, Tal Rabinovsky, Efrat Weiss and Daniel Edelson contributed to this report,7340,L-3776217,00.html
  2. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    NE Ar. W. of Black River
    Men like that are rare. He will me missed by Israel and the IDF. Fortunately Israel will have other brave men to step up in his place. RIP Ilan Ramon.

  3. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    New Iberia, Louisiana
    My prayers go out to his mother and the rest of his family.

  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Prayers sent from here for the family.
  5. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    The Israelis occupy a very precarious position, even in "peace" time. One of the prices of freedom is death in training accidents.
  6. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    My prayers go to his family
  7. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    North Idaho
    Another warrior in a better place. May his family find peace in the joy of his life. I agree with the previous post that Israel will have another warrior there to take his position. Its just a shame that it has to be that way.The few individuals that I have had the honor of knowing that were of the Jewish faith have been one and all great people. People of peace I might add. God be with him and his family. Bob
  8. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Peoples Republic of the Pacific Northwest
    May his soul rest with God and his spirit feast in Valhalla.
  9. 4EvrLearning

    4EvrLearning New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Left Coast
    May God comfort all his loved ones at this tragic time of loss.
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