Ido Segev, a 31-year-old Israeli citizen, and three other people were killed on Wednesday in Australia when two small planes collided mid-air north of Melbourne, Australia.
Segev had been living in Australia for many years. He was an experienced pilot, even winning the European Extreme Flight Championship in 2011.
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One of the planes, which belonged to a nearby flight school and held an instructor and student pilot, had taken off from Mangalore airfield and the other privately owned aircraft has taken off from a different airport.
“We’re not sure why both aircraft were on the same trajectory or why they were in that area, but unfortunately they’ve collided mid-air,” Victoria Police Inspector Peter Koger said, adding that there were heavy clouds at the time of the accident and it’s possible the pilots didn’t see each other.
Several people on the ground, as well as the occupants of a nearby helicopter, witnessed the planes crashing, with one landing on a nearby farm and the other falling on an army base, where it broke apart on impact.
“It’s a big tragedy,” Kroger said. “It’s very upsetting for everyone including emergency services that had to see this scene today.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that an Israeli citizen died in the accident and said that the ministry is working with the Israeli consulate in Canberra to bring back the deceased to Israel.
“We’re with the family during these difficult times and are assisting with everything related to transferring the deceased to Israel,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)