Plane crash-lands on Masada

Strays from formation, flies too low; all crew members injured; artifacts safe.

masada 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
masada 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Disaster was narrowly averted Friday morning as a light Cesna model aircraft carrying four crew members, all from Herzliya, was forced to make an emergency landing at the peak of Masada on Friday due to technical problems. The crew members were all lightly injured and taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. The initial investigation revealed that the plane was part of a formation of other planes flying in the area. One of the pilots flew too low, disregarding safety regulations, and as a result, crash landed on the mountaintop. The technical malfunction occurred only moments after the plane took off, forcing the plane down approximately 15 minutes before the famous tourist site was to officially open at 8 a.m. The plane landed near the synagogue at Masada, but fortunately, no artifacts were damaged. All pilots who participated in the formation were to be summoned to the investigation. The plane had lifted off from the Bar Yehuda runway near Masada, usually used for aerial tours of the Dead Sea area.