Authorities early Monday morning discovered the body of a pilot in training who disappeared the day before. Avner Zchori, 38, left a handwritten suicide note before taking off on Sunday, and then stopped responding to control tower calls during a training flight.
After an intensive search, Zchori’s body was found in the desert near Tzukim, a small community in the Negev near the Jordanian border.
His note was found by his girlfriend, who called the police for help, Ynet reported on Sunday. In it, the pilot reportedly requested that his doctor, who is also an adviser in the field of alternative burial, be contacted if something happened to him.
“He was a good and quiet man,” a colleague of the missing man told Ynet, adding the pilot had once been injured in a parachuting accident and as a result was paralyzed in both legs. “Today he went flying after me, and then I understood he had vanished.”
According to reports in the Hebrew media, the young man took off from the Ein Vered landing strip in the center of Israel around 7:30 a.m. Shortly afterward the control tower lost contact with him and his Drifter Ultralight aircraft, which is capable of flying for four hours without refueling.
Searches began in the Mitzpe Ramon area for remains of the plane. An unnamed officer said that police didn’t know “where he was flying to.”
Aaron Kalman contributed to this report.