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IDF F-16 grazes a tree during landing

July 15, 2011 (by Asif Shamim) - Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan ordered the temporary suspension of all training flights after an F-16 nearly crashed during a landing approach at Ramat David Air Base.

The jet believed to be single-seat F-16 "Barak" grazed the top of a tree top during landing. The pilot felt the hit, climbed, circled the base and safely landed the plane on the second attempt. Technical crews said the jet sustained only minor damage and will return to service.

Nechushtan immediately called a halt to all training flights in the wake of the incident, and ordered a investigation into its circumstances. The IAF will hold discussions and seminars to discuss safety issues with pilots.

The F-16, which comprises the backbone of the IAF's fighter squadrons, has been involved in two fatal accidents in the past two years.