TEL AVIV (Oct. 23)
Israel today hailed as one of its heroes an Air Force pilot who was severely, injured in a plane crash after refusing to abandon the craft until he had first jettisoned bombs, machine gun ammunition and gasoline in the Mediterranean Sea off Haifa.
The pilot was participating in a military exercise when his engine failed. He was ordered to abandon the plane and parachute to safety. However, when he realized that that he had a full load of gasoline and explosives and that the plane might land in a heavily populated area, the pilot stuck to his controls and managed to guide the engineers craft over the sea.
On his return, he glided into a dead stick landing in a field adjacent to a huge factory in the Haifa vicinity. The plane caught fire and the pilot was thrown clear, but was severely injured. The incident occurred last week, but was only revealed today.