Daily Israel Report

El Al Plane Damage Traced to Singapore, Cause Still Unknown

Damage that caused an El Al passenger plane in Israel to make an emergency landing last month has been traced to Singapore.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 6/20/2011, 8:33 PM / Last Update: 6/20/2011, 8:47 PM

Flash 90

Damage that forced an El Al passenger plane to make an emergency landing at Ben Gurion International Airport last month has been traced to Singapore.

According to the findings of an initial investigation into the incident, the Boeing 777 may have been damaged while undergoing refurbishing in Singapore.

Yitzchak Raz, chief aerial incident investigator for the Transportation Ministry, wrote in his report, however, that although the source of the malfunction had been tracked down, the cause has not.

More than 200 passengers were told to prepare for an emergency landing last month as El Al flight 027 turned around and headed back to Israel after the malfunction was discovered in the landing gear.

The flight was about a half hour out, en route to Newark Airport in New Jersey, USA, when the pilot noticed the glitch. Turning the plane around, the pilot flew the plane back towards Israel, dumping gasoline over the Mediterranean along the way in order to reduce the chances of igniting a fireball upon impact during landing.

The flight landed safely and no one was hurt.

Also last month, airline fuel was found to be contaminated, grounding numerous planes that were scheduled both for departure and for arrival.

The incident, which dragged on for about two weeks, did not pose a threat to passengers' safety but cost both domestic and international airlines in terms of disrupted scheduling and loss of clientele until the matter was resolved.