IAF pilot Major Ohad Cohen Nov, who died on Wednesday after while landing an F-16 jet upon returning to Ramon Airbase in the Negev from a retaliatory airstrike in Gaza, was laid to rest in Moshav Mazor Friday in a funeral attended by 2,000 people.
Over the last few years, Ohad had been living on the Ramon Airbase in the Negev and was considered by his colleagues to be one of the most respected pilots, passing courses to operate both the F-15 and F-16 jets.
The 34-year-old pilot is survived by his pregnant wife, Shahar, and a young daughter.
One of Cohen Nov’s neighbors described him as “a good boy, people loved him. I can’t believe that just a few years ago we danced and were happy at his wedding. He was such a happy person. This is a huge blow to us all and we still haven’t processed the news.”
“He was a charming and gentle man with a wonderful family” another neighbor said.
The precise cause of Cohen Nov’s death has not yet been fully established. However, under the instructions of Israel Air Force Commander Amir Eshel, an immediate investigation was launched—the initial findings of which point to technical malfunctions.
Eshel visited the bereaved family on Thursday night and promised them that “the air force would do everything in order to understand what happened and how it happened.”
On the Israel Air Force official Facebook page, a post was written praising both the pilot and his father, Dorion. “The father of Major Ohad Cohen Nov, served for many years as a pilot in the Hercules aircraft and knew the corps extremely well. This morning we will accompany the Cohen Nov family as Ohad, blessed be his memory, is laid to rest.”