An Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed in the West Bank on Sunday, killing its pilot, the son of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon who died in the 2003 space shuttle Columbia disaster, officials said.
The single-seat warplane crashed in a remote hilly region south of the West Bank city of Hebron, the military said, adding that it was not immediately clear what caused the accident.
Military officials named the pilot as Lieutenant Assaf Ramon, the eldest son of Colonel Ilan Ramon, an Israeli fighter pilot who became the country’s first and only astronaut.
Ilan Ramon was killed along with six others when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over the US state of Texas six years ago.
In interviews after the Columbia disaster, Assaf Ramon said that he, too, hoped to become an astronaut. He graduated from the Israeli air force pilot’s course earlier this year.
The military said the aircraft crashed during a routine flight as part of the advanced pilot training course.