1983 Negev mid-air collision

  (Redirected from 1983 Israeli Air Force F-15 crash)

In May 1983, two Israeli Air Force aircraft, an F-15 Eagle and an A-4 Skyhawk, collided in mid-air during a training exercise over the Negev region, in Israel. Notably, the F-15, (with a crew of two), managed to land safely at a nearby airbase, despite having its right wing almost completely sheared off in the collision. The lifting body properties of the F-15, together with its overabundant engine thrust, allowed the pilot to achieve this unique feat.[1]

1983 Negev mid-air collision
Date1 May 1983
SummaryMid-air collision
SiteNegev, Israel
30°50′48″N 34°50′52″E / 30.8467°N 34.8478°E / 30.8467; 34.8478Coordinates: 30°50′48″N 34°50′52″E / 30.8467°N 34.8478°E / 30.8467; 34.8478
Total fatalities0
Total survivors3
First aircraft
The Israeli Air Force F-15D Baz '957' involved in the incident, seen here in 2011
TypeMcDonnell Douglas F-15D Eagle
NameMarkia Schakim
Operator106 Squadron Israeli Air Force
Flight originTel Nof Airbase
Second aircraft
An Israeli Air Force A-4 Skyhawk similar to the one involved
TypeDouglas A-4 Skyhawk
Operator116 Squadron Israeli Air Force
Flight originNevatim Airbase


On 1 May 1983, during an Israeli Air Force dissimilar air combat training session over the Negev, an F-15D Eagle (or Baz) collided with an A-4 Skyhawk. The pilot of the Skyhawk was automatically ejected and his aircraft disintegrated. The right wing of the Eagle was sheared off roughly 2 ft (60 cm) from the root. The crew of the two-seat training version F-15, pilot Zivi Nedivi and navigator Yehoar Gal, did not initially realize the extent of the damage, as fuel leaking profusely and vaporizing at the wing attachment was obscuring their view of the area where the wing once was.[2][3][4]

The F-15 started rolling uncontrollably after the collision and the instructor ordered an ejection. Nedivi, who outranked the instructor, decided not to eject and attempted recovery by engaging the afterburner, and eventually regained control of the aircraft. He was able to maintain control because of the lift generated by the large areas of the fuselage, stabilators, and remaining wing. Diverting to Ramon Airbase,[2] 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 later told The History Channel, "it's highly likely that if I had seen it clearly I would have ejected, because it was obvious you couldn't really fly an airplane like that."[4] He added, "Only when [McDonnell Douglas] later went to analyze it, they said, OK, the F-15 has a very wide [lifting] body; you fly fast enough and you're like a rocket. You don't need wings." [3][4][5]


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.[2]


  1. ^ Leone, Dario (September 15, 2014). "How an Israeli F-15 Eagle managed to land with one wing". theaviationist.com. Retrieved June 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Aloni, Shlomo (2006). Israeli F-15 Eagle Units in Combat. Osprey Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-84603-047-5.
  3. ^ a b Easley, Jon (August 9, 2001). "USS Bennington - crew stories - No Wing F15". www.uss-bennington.org. Retrieved September 30, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c "Heavy Metal: F-15". History Channel. Retrieved September 30, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Antzikovsky, Eli. תאונת בז 957 "מרקיע שחקים" (in Hebrew). Sky-High.co.il. Retrieved January 18, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)