Israeli military helicopter crashes, two pilots killed

JERUSALEM Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:54am EDT

An Israeli Cobra helicopter fires missiles at targets during the air force pilots' graduation ceremony at Hatzerim air base June 30, 2011. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

An Israeli Cobra helicopter fires missiles at targets during the air force pilots' graduation ceremony at Hatzerim air base June 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli air force helicopter crashed in southern Israel on Tuesday killing its two pilots, the Israeli military said.

The BELL AH-1 Cobra helicopter was on a routine training flight when contact with it was lost. "The remains of the helicopter were discovered and no survivors were found," the army said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. The air force has ordered an investigation into the incident and all Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopters have been grounded "until the circumstances of the accident are clarified," the army said.

Israeli media said the remains of the aircraft were found in a wheat field near an Israeli kibbutz. The army said that identification of the bodies was underway and that the families of the pilots had been notified of the incident.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Paul Simao)

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