1983 Negev mid-air collision
|Date||1 May 1983|
Israeli Air Force F-15D Baz '957' involved in the accident.
|Type||McDonnell Douglas F-15D Eagle|
|Operator||106 Squadron Israeli Air Force|
|Flight origin||Tel Nof Airbase|
|Type||Douglas A-4 Skyhawk|
|Operator||116 Squadron Israeli Air Force|
|Flight origin||Nevatim Airbase|
The 1983 Negev mid-air collision was an accident in which the right wing of an Israeli Air Force F-15D was sheared off in a mid-air collision. Pilot Ziv Nedivi managed to land the F-15 safely due to the F-15 Eagle's aerodynamic characteristics.
On 1 May 1983, during an Israeli Air Force dissimilar air combat training session in the Negev, an F-15D collided with an A-4 Skyhawk. The pilot of the Skyhawk ejected and his aircraft disintegrated. The right wing of the Eagle was sheared off roughly two feet (60 cm) from the fuselage. This was unknown to the crew of the aircraft, pilot Ziv Nedivi and navigator Yehoar Gal, as leaking fuel and vapors along the wing had prevented both from seeing what had happened to the wing.
The F-15 entered what seemed to be an uncontrollable spin after the collision. Nedivi decided to attempt recovery and engaged afterburner to increase speed, allowing him to regain control of the aircraft. He was able to prevent stalling and maintain control because of the lift generated by the large horizontal surface area of the fuselage, stabilators, and remaining wing areas. Diverted to the air base at Ramon, the F-15 landed at twice the normal speed to maintain the necessary lift, and its tailhook was torn off completely during the landing. Nedivi managed to bring his F-15 to a complete stop approximately 20 ft (6 m) from the end of the runway. He was later quoted as saying "(I) probably would have ejected if I knew what had happened." However, he also stated that above a certain speed, the F-15 acted "like a rocket" and didn't need wings. Effectively becoming a partial lifting body craft.
The aircraft, 106 Squadron's 957 Markia Schakim (Hebrew: מרקיע שחקים, Sky Blazer), was transported by road to an IAF maintenance unit at Tel Nof, where it was repaired. Having already claimed four enemy aircraft during the 1982 Lebanon War, the repaired aircraft was to claim a shared kill of another Syrian MiG-23 on November 19, 1985.
- Antzikovsky, Eli. תאונת בז 957 "מרקיע שחקים" (in Hebrew). Sky-High.co.il. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- Aloni, Shlomo (2006). Israeli F-15 Eagle Units in Combat. Osprey Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-84603-047-5.
- "USS Bennington - crew stories - No Wing F15". Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "F-15 flying with one wing by an Israeli pilot". Retrieved September 30, 2010.