Ran Lapid during a flight
November 25, 2009 / 8 Kislev 5770
The shock of the devastating helicopter crash that recently claimed the lives of four pilots over Israeli shores is being felt by Jewish donors and delegation members who have visited Israel and were privileged to fly with one of the deceased, Ran Lapid, to numerous sites throughout the State of Israel.
Ran was well known among Jewish delegations from North America.
Originally a member of Kibbutz Tzora and then a resident of Nes Ziona, Ran loved Israel with every fiber of his being. Visitors who flew with him fondly remember his extraordinary knowledge of Israeli geography, and the love and enthusiasm with which he graciously shared his knowledge with the delegation members who flew with him to various destinations across the country.
“It was just last month that I flew with Ran in the Fisher Flight group, together with Jane and Robert, to the IDF Officers School in the Negev,” recalled Steven Karbank of Kansas, “After we took off from Tel Aviv, we asked Ran if he needed a map to get to our destination. He smiled and said that he doesn’t need a map because he’s flown this route so many times.”
Steven further recalled with great admiration the seriousness with which Ran and the other pilots treated his flight and how they always put security first. But most important, to Ran, was always the land of Israel.
“Ran answered our questions about the geography and topography of Israel," said Steven, who recalled that Ran remained in military service beyond the required term because he wanted to fly with his son who had recently joined the Israel Air Force. "He asked me if I had children, and I told him I had a son studying in college. Ran told me that the moment he finishes college he has to come to Israel and join the IDF, even if he has no plans of moving to Israel. Ran explained that my son would learn more about himself, about the Jewish people, and about life in the three years of IDF service than he could ever learn anywhere else. Afterward, he made a point of giving me his card, saying, ‘When your son gets to Israel, tell him to call me.’
“When I returned from my trip, I told many people – including my son – about my conversation with Ran, about his professionalism, his Sabra-styled frankness, his warmth and his strength of character. I feel very fortunate to have met and spoken with Ran, if even for just a short while.”