JERUSALEM, (BM) – Soldiers opened fire at a crop-dusting plane flying over the Golan Heights on Wednesday, mistaking it for an infiltrating aircraft from Syria, in what the Israel Defense Forces called a “serious incident”, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting The Times of Israel.
The pilot was not injured.
The accident occurred in the central Golan Heights, near the Syrian border. Crop-dusting flights are a relatively common occurrence in the largely agricultural area, which has also seen several cases of unmanned aerial vehicles from Syria entering the airspace above.
“IDF troops operating on the Golan Heights spotted a plane that they suspected of being an enemy aircraft that infiltrated from Syrian territory and represented a real threat, and therefore they opened fire at it. Once they realized it was a civilian Israeli aircraft, they stopped shooting,” the military said in a statement.
The pilot told friends after the incident that he’d felt something strike the wing of his aircraft, but initially believed it was a bird, until he noticed that fuel was leaking out of the plane, the Ynet news site reported.
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He quickly landed back in the Mahanaim airfield near Rosh Pina, thinking the shot had been fired from Syria, according to the outlet.
A quick investigation determined that they had in fact been fired by soldiers from the IDF’s Paratroopers Brigade.
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Source: The Times of Israel