Did something hit El Al Boeing 777, flight LY 027, prior to take off?
That’s what passengers told YWN Monday afternoon after their arrival at Newark Airport.
Passengers said that after boarding the plane in Tel Aviv, something struck the plane while on the ground, causing a loud bang. One person says the pilot even left the cockpit, and exited the aircraft to talk to personnel on the ground. Other passengers who refused to talk on camera told YWN that it may have been a truck – possibly used to load the luggage onto the plane.
Some passengers said they were very nervous during the flight, while others said the mood was calm.
Another passenger said that they were going around the cabin with a hat collecting money for Tzedaka Reb Meir Baal Haa’nes, and others were saying Tehillim.
Meanwhile, El Al says the passengers were never in danger.
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The following is from a Globes report.
The captain told the passengers that there was a problem in the left wheel well, which required landing. While the plane circled over the sea, Air Force jets were scrambled to try to see the fault. One jet flew beneath the El Al plane to try to assess the risk of landing.
Ben Gurion Airport was alerted to the fault at 2:30 am, at which point the airport went on stage 2 emergency alert – a problem in a plane with concern about its safety and that of its passengers.
Israel Airports Authority director general Koby Mor and Ben Gurion Airport manager Shmuel Kandel arrived immediately at the scene, to be joined by other airport officials.
Fire and Rescue Services arrived at the airport very quickly, including dozens of ambulances, 40 fire engines with ladders, and police cars.
Mor told “Globes”, “After all the preparations, the plane asked to land and received permission from the control tower, after which there silence on the radio. The tension was great. It was amazing. The plane entered and landed safely. The pilot did very good work.”
Mor added, “There appears to have been a fault, but not something that disrupted the landing. The plan landed and taxied with the passengers, who disembarked safely.
El Al said that in accordance with its safety procedures, Captain David Kenet and Captain Eyal Peled returned to land the plane at Ben Gurion Airport, while the airport prepared for an emergency landing. “The plane circled in the air and emptied its fuel tanks to land in daylight and reach the proper landing weight. At 5:50 am, the plane landed safely by a regular landing, and the passengers were transferred to an alternative plane prepared for them by El Al. The flight departed for New York at 9 am. Passengers who asked to switch to alternative flights were transferred to El Al flights for later in the day. The plane is being handled by El Al’s maintenance staff at the airline’s hangar at Ben Gurion Airport,” said El Al.
El Al added, “At no time was there any danger to the passengers or plane. El Al places paramount importance to flight safety, and does not compromise on this matter in any way.”
(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN / Globes)