Report: El-Al flight dived over London

While on auto-pilot, the plane fell 835 meters to a height of 1,200 feet.

September 27, 2006 21:47
1 minute read.
el al jet plane taking off 298 aj

el al plane 298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

An El Al flight carrying 450 passengers briefly went into a dive over London earlier this year, falling 2,800 feet (400 meters) after a glitch in its electronic landing system, authorities said Wednesday. The airline's Boeing 747 was 10 miles (15 kilometers) east of London's Heathrow airport on Jan. 10 and flying on autopilot towards the airport when the aircraft began to descend from 4,000 feet (1,200 meters), according to a British aviation authority report. An onboard system ordered the aircraft to continue descending and the plane fell on autopilot to a height of 1,200 feet (365 meters), the report said. "The computer system recovered," a spokesman for the Department of Transport said while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with departmental policy. Crew members noted the incident in a log but did not submit an incident report after arriving at Heathrow. Investigators did not find out until weeks later and posted their report on the Internet earlier this month. Investigators concluded that the incident was caused by a failure of the plane's glidescope, part of a system which tracks flight path and angle of descent during landing, the spokesman said. Authorities declined to specify the city from which the plane originated. El Al was not immediately available for comment.

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