Probe into dangerous error by El Al pilot who entered wrong aircraft weight
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Probe into dangerous error by El Al pilot who entered wrong aircraft weight

Company insists there was ‘no danger to passengers’ after jet’s computer was told the plane was 40 tons lighter than it actually was

An El Al Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv on August 23, 2017.(Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
An El Al Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv on August 23, 2017.(Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

An El Al 787 pilot recently may have endangered the safety of his plane and its passengers when he accidentally input the wrong data into the jet’s computers, Channel 10 news reported Monday.

Ahead of a flight from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport to New York, the pilot entered weight figures which were 40 tons lighter than the aircraft’s actual load for that flight.

The pilots noticed the error only after take-off and corrected it. Authorities have launched an investigation.

The plane’s computers use weight data in various calculations relating to take-off.

Gal Peleg, CEO of plane seller Jetsetter, told Channel 10 that a discrepancy of tens of tons could have been disastrous. For example, the aircraft may have incorrectly determined the speed required for take-off.

“When a plane reaches the end of a runway and doesn’t have enough speed to lift off, it’s beyond braking speed, loaded with fuel, heavy and unable to fly — that’s a very dire, dangerous situation.”

El Al in a statement insisted that “at no stage was there any danger to the passengers or the plane.” It said it had “investigated and handled in incident immediately” and was awaiting a report by the Transportation Ministry before it takes further action.

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