Sad news from Israel: Israel Air Force F-16A crashed today (september 13th) in Judea (south part of the west bank) Israel. The crash gets all the headlines in Israel due to the pilot's identification, Lt. Assaf Ramon.
Ramon, 22, is the son of Ilan Ramon, IAF senior pilot ranked colonel, who served in the IAF many years. He took part also in the IAF attack over the Iraqi nuclear facility in Osirak, operation Oprah, in 1981.
In 2000, Ramon was chosen to be the first Israeli astronaut. He was trained in the US for 3 years, and sent to space on board the Columbia in January 2003. On February 1st, 2003, Ramon was killed when the Columbia crashed over western USA, together with other 6 astronaut on this mission.
Ilan's oldest son, Assaf, followed his father foot steps and recruited to the IAF. In July 2009 he graduated 3 years in the IAF flight academy in Hazerim as best pilot in his year. In Israel, the IAF academy is considered to be the most difficult course in the army, and most soldiers who start it do not finish it.
Father and son, both IAF pilots, killed, one of them - the first Israeli astronaut, the other - promised young pilot with great future ahead. My hart goes out to the family. What can I say - god works in mysteries ways.
Assaf Ramon, 1987-2009, RIP.