Haim and Esti Garon, both about 70, were killed on Monday when their Cessna 182 light aircraft, with an Israeli registration, crashed near the Greek island of Samos. The official reason for the crash that was provided by Greek authorities was technical difficulties ahead of the landing. Garon received his pilot’s license only 10 years ago and according to his relatives who spoke to Yedioth Aharonoth, Garon and his wife had taken off from Haifa on their way to North Macedonia. They were scheduled to make a fueling stop in Samos.
Garon, who used to serve as Deputy-Director of Engineering and Licensing at the Communications Ministry, was registered by the State Attorney’s Office as witness number 170 in the trial against Benjamin Netanyahu in Case 4000, in which the former prime minister is accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. His testimony would have covered the defendant’s involvement in regulatory favors to his co-defendant Shaul Elovitch, an Israeli businessman and the owner of Eurocom Group, one of the largest private holding groups in Israel.
An alarm was sounded Monday night on the island of Samos, located in the eastern Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey after the plane disappeared from the radar around 8 PM. Greek authorities discovered shortly thereafter that the plane had crashed into the sea before landing, about a mile south of the airport. According to local media reports, three boats rushed to the scene of the crash, including a Coast Guard boat and a fishing boat. A Greek Air Force Super Puma helicopter was also sent to the scene of the crash.
The Cessna 182 Skylane, first introduced in 1956, is a very reliable aircraft with an impressive safety record over many years.