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Traveling on route 395, 1km from Ramat Razi'el, you will see the sign for "Har Ha-Tayassim", or "Pilots' Mountain". This is a peak in the Jerusalem mountains, 796 m above sea level, and it is home to the Israeli Air Force memorial and monument.
Why here? The story goes back to the War of Independence in 1948: A Norsemen light plane fell down on nearby Mt. Eytanim during the battle on Beit Mahsir. The friends and families of the fallen airmen started coming to this peak spontaneously in the 1950s, and it was later officially chosen for the Air Force monument. The monument itself is very modest: the Norsemen engine with a twisted blade, on a pedestal made of Jerusalem stone.
In the wooded area near the momument there are columns with memorial plaques commeorating all the fallen air force officers and soldiers over the years, air crews and others. An audio narrative is found on site.
Every Independence Day a formation of four Israeli Air Force planes flies over Pilots' Mountain, and as they pass the monument one of the four leaves the formation and flies back to base, as a token of remembrance of the fallen air crews.
On "Pilots' Mountain" you will also find picnic sites and a trail descending to "Pilots' Spring" ("Ein Tayassim").
Updated Jan 24, 2011