Video: Passengers Say Truck Hit El Al Plane Before Landing Gear Emergency
The widebody jet, carrying 279 passengers to Newark, was forced to return to Tel Aviv shortly after takeoff when the left main landing gear failed to retract. Hundreds of ambulances and first responders descended upon Ben Gurion International Airport fearing the worst, but the plane landed safely after hours of circling and dumping fuel in the Mediterranean.
Several passengers on board El Al Flight 27 told Yeshiva World News that they heard a loud bang after boarding the plane in Tel Aviv, which they believed was caused by a ground vehicle hitting the landing gear.
On May 26th, Flightglobal published a photo of the damaged gear, which appeared to have a large structural crack at the gear’s pivot point. They reported that investigators were planning to remove the entire assembly, with assistance from a maintenance facility in Singapore which had recently repaired the gear and Boeing, who said this type of failure had never occurred before. It is not clear if this type of crack could have been caused by an impact on the ground, or if there was any other noticeable damage to the gear.
El Al says there was no truck involved. Israel Civil Aviation Authority officials did not respond to requests for comment.