Haifa plane crash likely caused by pilot error

3 killed as dual-engine plane misses landing strip, slamming into adjacent building.

plane crash 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
plane crash 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Thursday evening's light aircraft crash in Haifa that killed three people was likely the result of pilot error rather than technical problems, a source close to the inquiry told Israel Radio on Friday. The civilian aircraft carrying four businessmen crashed into an empty military structure while attempting to land at Haifa's airport. The fourth man was seriously injured with multiple burns and evacuated to the city's Rambam Hospital. The fatalities were identified as Uri Levi, 58, from Kfar Shmayahu; Reuven Ziegler, 61, from Givatayim; and pilot Doron Amir, 60, from Rosh Hanikra, who was a senior Navy officer. The dual-engine Israeli plane had arrived from Cyprus, and missed the landing strip on its approach, slamming into a building adjacent to the IDF's technical school in Haifa Bay. An air traffic controller said she saw the plane attempt to land, before backing off for another try. She radioed the pilot asking if he was encountering difficulties. The pilot said everything was fine, the traffic controller said. The plane then shook and crashed into the structure, setting the building on fire. Firefighters had the blaze under control soon afterward. An initial inquiry launched by police and the airport found that the plane had approached the runway at a high speed. Paramedics initially declared a mass casualty incident, as they were unaware of the size of the aircraft.