Flooded F16 fiasco: Israeli Air Force puts damage at 30 million shekels

The interim report of the IAF found that the damage to the flooded planes amounts to 30 million shekels.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israel Air Force issued its interim report on Tuesday regarding the damage done to eight F-16s left in underground bunkers which flooded during a heavy storm in December. The IAF estimates the damage at 30 million shekels.

The IAF commander in charge, identified only by the first letter of his last name, Ayin, asked to be relieved of his command of the air base for failing to remove the planes in time. Head of the Israel Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, accepted his resignation. The commander was in any case only months away from completing his command.

The Mako news site reports that Ayin suffered a similar event when his planes were flooded in 2013 while serving as a squadron commander. Air Force officials criticized Ayin, promoted to commander of the Hatzor Air base, for not having learned his lesson.

“This is an event that is inconsistent with the expectations of the corps., so it is important to investigate, learn and apply lessons it in order to prevent a similar event from recurring in the future,” said Norkin.

Norkin said the planes should have been removed from their underground bunkers before the weather turned stormy. He also noted that the timing of the publication of the news of the damage was later than it should have been.

Five of the damaged planes have already been returned to service. Three are still being refitted, Maariv reports.