On October 16, 1986, Navigator Lt. Colonel Ron Arad and pilot Yishai Aviram ejected from their F-4 Phantom II fighter jet over Lebanon due to damage done to their plane by a premature explosion from a bomb they dropped.
The pilot, Yishai Aviram was rescued a few hours later, hanging onto a Bell AH-1 Cobra landing skid.
But Arad was captured by the Amal Shiite’s in Lebanon who then handed him over to Hezbollah.
In 1987, Israel received 3 letters in Arad’s handwriting, including 2 photos.
In 2006, Hezbollah said that Ron Arad was dead, and they dodn’t know where his remains are located.
In 2006, new footage of Arad was shown, which was filmed in 1988. In 2007, a two decade old letter was received by Israel.
It is suspected Ron Arad was taken to Iran in 1990, and then returned to Lebanon in 1994 or 1995.
Unofficially it is believed that Arad died between 1995 and 1997. But Israel continues to work under the assumption that he is alive until there is conclusive evidence to the contrary.
The son of pilot Yishai Aviram was the helicopter pilot who flew Gilad Shalit home after he was released from Hamas captivity.