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Israel Air Traffic Controllers Avert Crash on Highway

Israeli air traffic controllers guided a Russian commercial airliner out of a possible horrific crash on one of Israel's major highways on Tuesday.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 12/15/2009, 8:46 PM / Last Update: 12/15/2009, 8:53 PM

Israel news file (photo)

Israeli air traffic controllers guided a Russian commercial airliner out of a potentially horrific crash on one of Israel's major highways on Tuesday.

Reports indicate that the plane descended for landing on one of Ben Gurion International Airports landing strips, despite the fact that air traffic control tower orders directed the pilot to land at a different one.

Minutes before touchdown, an air traffic controller noticed the mistake and alerted the pilot to pull up and circle the airport to attempt landing again. 

On the second attempt, the pilot brought the plane in from the wrong trajectory, narrowly averting a crash onto Route 1 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with the help of air traffic controllers.

The pilot successfully landed the plane on the third attempt. Israel Aiport Authority officials are investigating the incident.