(photo credit: AP)
collision of two commercial aircraft was avoided at Ben Gurion
Airport Thursday afternoon due to vigilance of an air traffic
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The collision was averted when the flight controller saw
that an Air Berlin plane that had just taken off, apparently veered
from its course and came close to hitting an El Al jet approaching
landing. The alert flight controller hailed both planes on the radio and
instructed them to change course.
The collision was avoided and the
German plane returned to its intended route on its way to Germany and
the El Al plane landed safely after circling the airport once more.
The Israel Aviation Authority stated that the passengers were not at
risk at any point and that the details of the incident were passed on to
the Ministry of Transportation for investigation.
The near collision was one of several averted disasters recently at the
airport. In June, an error by the pilot of a Turkish Airlines passenger
jet preparing for takeoff resulted in a collision.
After receiving an order to line up for takeoff and to halt the aircraft
at a certain point, the Corendon Airlines pilot confirmed receiving the
order but continued on toward the takeoff runway, failing to stop at
the designated position, the authority said in a report sent to the
chief investigator. The same runway had been allocated for a landing by
the Romanian Tarom jet.
A control tower operator identified the error and instructed the Tarom
plane to circle the runway. Had the error not been rectified, the planes
could have collided.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.