El Al’s troubles continue after the ‘Shabbos flight‘ and the anger of the chareidi tzibur, then to the drug smuggling case involving a senior EL Al official, and now, a report appearing in Ynet quoting the chief investigator of the Ministry of Transportation. The report reveals a safety incident that occurred about eight months ago involving a new El Al Dreamliner traveling from Ben-Gurion International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.

According to the report, the pilots erred when reporting the weight of the plane towards determining the fuel needs of the flight, citing the information fed to the computer was actually 40 tons less than actual weight. The report states this could have endangered the passengers, especially during takeoff.

As a result of the data fed to the computer by the pilot, the amount of fuel supplied to the flight was for a flight weighing 40 tons less than the actual flight weight. The reason given is they were rushed, as the plane was late in returning from the previous flight and the crew was told to expedite reading the plane for the flight to Newark in order to permit it to take off on time. The computer recorded the flight’s weight at 128.6 tons when in fact, the weight was 168.6 tons.

According to the report, he immediately noticed the mistake and even said it out loud, and claimed that he had corrected it, but in practice it appears he did not do so properly. The other pilot who was on the flight heard him declare that he had corrected the mistake but did not actually see the updated data. In fact, the final amount of fuel on which it was decided was 69 tons, which matched the wrong weight. Even after refueling and receiving the refueling page to be checked by the crew of the aircraft, the error was not discovered or corrected.

The flight took off at 1:49AM and it was headed to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. One the flight reached cruising speed, the pilots realized the error, that they had entered in incorrect data and received less fuel than they should have as a result. They immediately realized the severity of the error and the risks resulting from this reality.

In the opinion of the chief investigator, attorney Yitzchak Raz, the incident is a serious one, which could have caused a real risk of dragging the tail of the aircraft during takeoff or loss of control after the aircraft was in the air. According to him, the advanced aircraft systems were able to prevent an accident, which could have ended in disaster.

Raz claims that the delay in the arrival of the previous flight and the density of the flight schedule were significant factors in the pressure exerted on the team and caused the skipping of a stage of inspection during the pre-takeoff process. He recommends examining the flight schedules as to avoid placing such pressure on the crew in the future.

El Al said in response: “El Al is meticulous about flight safety issues, and as the test report shows, the pilot immediately understood the error and reached the necessary conclusions. The event was immediately reported by El Al to the Civil Aviation Authority and to the Chief Investigator at the Ministry of Transport.

“EL AL has conducted a comprehensive investigation into the event and has updated procedures and guidance for all of the company’s pilots. EL AL will continue to study the Chief Investigator’s report received today. We see flight safety as a supreme value and we do not compromise on it.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

5 Responses

  1. Now this article borders on an Evil Tongue. So you get angry at El Al because they do not provide the Frum Jews an arrival time to suit their Sabbath, which by the way was due to a snow and Ice Storm delay which everyone of those Frum Jews knew about and took the chance by continuing on that flight when they boarded… I don’t care how long they sat on that plane, they all knew of the snow storm and icy condition and the delay. So now you are bringing up anything you can to discredit El Al. You people are insane and it is people like you who give all us Jews a bad name which causes all the Hate and Antisemitism you see rising against us. Your Hate will come down upon your own heads.

  2. Again.

    The mishandling of the El Al flight that ended up in Athens had nothing to do with “My frum is better than your frum”. Quite frankly, this finger wagging at grown adults making grown adult decisions about their grown adult selves is getting beyond tiresome. Smug censure isn’t anyone’s best look… so quit it already.

    El Al wouldn’t be feeling the wrath of anyone’s fire if their flight captain hadn’t outright lied to those passengers wishing to disembark by saying they would be returning them to the gate and then taking off anyway – presumably to get them to sit down, buckled up and helpless to leave the airplane. They then compounded this egregious outright lie by placing the blame for the plane’s takeoff delay on unruly Charedim. Not the first time they’ve pulled this stunt either. It’s unconscionable.

    From those Charedim, by the way, I haven’t heard anything but gratitude toward their Athens hosts and feelings of having been uplifted by the unity of shared Shabbos joy. It was craven and cowardly of El Al to lay their own shortcomings down on the Charedim instead of just owning it and admitting they lied to the passengers. Why they thought they could get away with it is another topic for another day.

  3. Kelila: you sure sound like one jew hater. First when the JEWS wanted to disembark the plane they were told they are going back to the gate so who ever wants to stay behing can do so. This was a lie because the pilot headed to the runway and off he went. So those JEWS you are talking about were left with NO choice just to keep on their journey.
    Why do you be bothered if ELAL is discredited when they were wrong? you probably a left liberal jew who sees only wrong with chareidim the same as the democrats who see wrong in republicans.
    why is elal paying restitution to 400 passengers if they did nothing wrong? because they know what they did and they want to extinguish the public outcry against ELAL

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