Female Pilot Smadar Shechter Participates in the EL AL Flyover
EL AL dedicated the airline’s Independence Day Flyover to abducted soldier Gilad Shalit and navigator Ron Arad, to the victims of Israel’s wars and acts of terror and to the families of those missing in action.
Photos: Sivan Farag
The flyover took place midday on Yom Ha’atzmaut, May 10, in a formation of four Boeing aircraft: 737, 767, 777 and 747. The flight began over Nahariya and headed southward, along the coastline, until Ashdod, flying at a height of 1000 feet.
The names of the planes taking part in the flyover were changed for the week of Yom Ha’atzmaut to the following:
The 747 Aircraft, “Jerusalem” – “We All Support the Families of Casualties of Israel’s Wars and Acts of Terror”
The 777 Aircraft, “Sderot” – “We All Support Gilad Shalit”
The 767 Aircraft, “Daliat el Carmel” – We All Support Ron Arad”
The 737 Aircraft, “Degania” – “We All Support the Families of Captives and Missing Soldiers”
The 767 aircraft, Daliat EL AL Carmel, was flown by Fleet Manager Aviezer Lavi, Assaf Metiv and EL AL's first female pilot, Smadar Schechter.Photos: Sivan Farag
The lead plane, a 747-400, was piloted by Fleet Manager Captain Tal Becker, accompanied by First Officers Roi Bashan and Yuval Shmueli. EL AL's Chief Pilot, Captain Amos Mohar, was also on board.
Next in the formation was the 777 plane, Sderot, with Fleet Manager Ofer Aloni, Captains Shmuel Cohen and Zvi Rosenberg, on his last flight before retiring from EL AL.
And the 737 plane, Degania, was flown by Captain Igal Katz and First Officers Ron Margalit and David Mandiel.
EL AL CEO Elyezer Shkedy spoke to the pilots before the flight: “It is no trivial matter that EL AL organized this flyover on the occasion of Israel’s 63rd Independence Day. Three years after the greatest catastrophe suffered by our nation, our own state was established: Jewish, free, democratic, proud and amazing in any perspective and in every area. This year we decided to dedicate the Yom Ha’atzmaut Flyover to Gilad Shalit, the families of casualties of Israel’s wars and victims of terrorist acts and to the families of captive soldiers and others who are missing in action. EL AL salutes them on behalf of the EL AL family on the ground, in the air, in Israel and worldwide.”
EL AL’ first female Captain, Smadar Schechter, arrived on the morning of the holiday accompanied by her husband, two daughters and other family members. She said: “I am very excited to be part of the EL AL flyover and salute the State on its special holiday.”
Shechter added that she would salute her father, Mordechai Shechter, who did not live to see her become an EL AL captain, although he was the first to predict that she would one day serve in this capacity.” Photos: Sivan Farag