Two Israeli airmen were killed when their F-15 plane crashed during a training exercise in the Negev on Thursday.
An initial inquiry found that the crash was caused by a fire that erupted in one of the engines after birds were sucked into it. The plane then went out of control and crashed into the ground.
Neither the pilot nor the navigator ejected.
Air Force Cmdr. Herzl Bodinger said the cause of the crash would be conclusively known once the cockpit recording was retrieved.
Bodinger said the plane was flying at an altitude of 11,000 feet when the fire erupted.
He added that the air force sets altitude limits for training exercises based on the migration seasons of birds.
During migrations, pilots are not allowed to fly below 13,00 feet. However, Thursday’s accident did not take place during any migration in that area.