We hear that French investigators have started an inquiry after an El Al Boeing 747- 400 suffered severe engine damage at Paris after it taxied over its push-back tractor. The Israeli-operated aircraft was preparing to depart Paris Charles de Gaulle for Tel Aviv on 13 April when the incident occurred. It crushed the tow tractor under the number three engine, heavily damaging both.
A spokesman for Aéroports de Paris said the push-back tractor had been disconnected from the aircraft but was still under the 747 when it started to taxi. “It was still under the aircraft and the pilot decided to go without authorisation from the ground staff. Normally the pilot has to wait for ground staff authorisation before moving.”
The push tractor was moving away from the aircraft with its tow bar when the number 3 engine hit its cab. When the aircraft finally stopped, the engine was mounted on the push tractor totally destroyed. Nobody was hurt in the accident. It was the captain’s last flight before his retirement. Colleagues were waiting for his arrival in Tel-Aviv to celebrate… We can only wish him Happy Retirement. He must have been in quite a hurry to get to the party!