Private Helicopter Strays Over Hizbullah-Controlled Lebanon

YERUSHALAYIM -

A private helicopter strayed into Lebanese airspace earlier this week, an error that could have ended in tragedy by being shot down by Hizbullah, according to media reports.

B’chasdei Shamayim, the Israel Air Force was able to hail the pilot by radio and direct him back safely to Israeli territory.

The craft, en route from Kiryat Shemona to Nahariya on Sunday, deviated from the officially approved course and spent 4.5 minutes over southern Lebanon, according to an initial investigation. During that time, it passed over Hizbullah-controlled villages including Hula, Barasheet, Bint Jbeil and the ‘Aita a-Shaab area.

The Civilian Aviation Authority has suspended the pilot’s flying license, pending the results of its investigation, which among other things will seek to determine whether the incursion into Lebanese airspace was inadvertent or deliberate.