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El Al Collision Disaster Avoided at Last Minute

An El Al plane miraculously was able to avoid hitting another plane in Zurich this week. On the plane was Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.
By David Lev
First Publish: 12/4/2011, 2:36 AM

EL Al plane
EL Al plane
Flash 90

An El Al plane nearly hit another plane on the ground in Zurich earlier this week – but miraculously was able to avoid the other plane. On the plane was Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.

According to reports, the pilots of both planes – one of them an El Al plane and the other a Swiss plane – did not see each other as both planes began approaching each other on the runway, preparing to gather speed and get ready to take off. At the last moment the El Al pilot realized what was happening and turned his plane out of the path of the oncoming plane.

Airplane mishaps are becoming more common, experts say, and Israeli airport officials have been working on ways to lessen the possibility of accidents and problems. Several near-misses and serious safety situations ensued at Ben Gurion Airport over the past year. In two cases, planes that had taken off were forced to return to Ben Gurion after safety emergencies developed after takeoff. The planes involved were both Boeing jets, models 767 and 777.

A plan to develop Uvda Airport in southern Israel is expected to take some of the pressure off Ben Gurion Airport, which despite a recent modernization and expansion, is already becoming “too crowded,” according to Airport Authority officials.