El Al Flight 1008 Has Just Taken Off From Goose Bay To Tel Aviv; Listen To The Audio Of The El Al Mayday Call!

El Al 747s in Goose Bay, January 2018
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Original post: El Al Is Sending A New Plane To Take Diverted Passengers From Goose Bay Air Force Base To Tel Aviv

El Al flight 1008 has just departed from Goose Bay and is taking the passengers of yesterday’s flight 8 from Goose Bay to Tel Aviv as El Al flight 1008. Those passengers have been in Goose Bay since 3:53am EST/4:53am AST this morning. They will arrive into Tel Aviv at 2:45am EST/9:45am IST, or 27 hours after their flight’s original departure time.

Mechanics were brought together with the replacement plane and will work on repairing the original plane. When it’s fixed it will return to JFK as El Al flight 1003. It will then operate as El Al flight 8 from JFK to Tel Aviv. That flight is currently delayed from 11:50pm to 1:30am.

El Al flight 1 from Tel Aviv to JFK, which was supposed to utilize last night’s diverted airplane, is canceled. El Al will operate special flight 1001 tomorrow from Tel Aviv to JFK at 7:25am on a 777 and El Al 7 tomorrow on a 747 at 12:10pm.

Below is the Air Traffic Control audio of the Mayday message sent from El Al Flight 8 to Gander Center Air Traffic Control, with a special thanks to LiveATC.net and ChaikelTravel for finding and splicing this together:


I’m no expert in this stuff, but here’s some of the background that I’ve been deciphering.

El Al flight 8, a 747 flying from JFK to Tel Aviv, was supposed to depart at 11:50pm, but was delayed until 12:41am.

British Airways flight 2272, a 777 flying from JFK to London Gatwick was supposed to depart at 10pm, but was delayed until 12:52am.

As a plane flies over Newfoundland, Canada, they request a route from Gander Center Air Traffic Control. Once a certain distance offshore, a flight is no longer under radar coverage. The flight follows a set “highway in the sky” on autopilot and Gander Center lets the plane know that radar services have ended.

It appears that El Al may have been out of range of Gander Center Air Traffic Control when the pilots noticed an indicator light that there was a fire in the wheel well:


British Airways flight 2272 should have left hours before El Al, but happened to have departed 11 minutes after the El Al flight. That was good news for El Al as the pilot of the BA flight was still within range of both the El Al plane and Gander Center.

The pilot of British Airways flight 2272 (ATC name Speedbird 10C as can be heard at 0:16 into the audio) was able to relay El Al’s Mayday call over to Gander Center ATC.

At 1 minute into the audio, Gander Center tells the BA pilot to tell El Al to advise how many souls are on board and how much fuel is remaining.

At 1:37 you can hear the El Al pilot declare Mayday. Gander Center then repeatedly tries to reach El Al until 2:20 when Mayday is declared again.

Gander Center instructs El Al to descend and gives instructions to land at Goose Bay Air Force Base.

At 4:15 El Al tells Gander Center that the temperate sensors in the wheel well appear normal, so they think that it’s just a faulty indicator light, but they prefer to play it safe and make sure.

At 7:10 Gander Center has a tough time making out the thick Israeli accent of the pilot and asks to repeat the request. El Al responds that they would like fire crew technicians to confirm that there is no fire on the plane, at which point the Mayday will be cancelled.

Thank G-d, the flight landed without incident. Passengers were stuck on a plane all day, but passed the time with prayer and songs. It is a good reminder though to always travel with some extra food and water.

A few months ago Air France flight 66 from Paris to Los Angeles was diverted to Goose Bay. They landed at 11:47am on Saturday and were stuck on the plane overnight until their replacement flight at 7am on Sunday. The replacement flight only took them to Atlanta, so they had to take yet another flight to get to Los Angeles. This despite the fact that Delta is an Air France Trans-Atlantic joint venture partner and should have been able to ferry passengers back in less time than that.

Compared to that, El Al appears to have done a very good job in getting passengers on their way after some 15.5 hours on the ground in Goose Bay.

On a related note of Canadian diversion airports, I recently read “The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland” I cried, I laughed, and I enjoyed the parts about the Lubavitcher shliach figuring out why he was stuck in Gander for Shabbos. It’s a great read, but luckily today’s passengers won’t be spending a week in Goose Bay!

Were you or your relative on the flight? Share your experience in the comments!

HT: Chaikel Travel

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55 Comments On "El Al Flight 1008 Has Just Taken Off From Goose Bay To Tel Aviv; Listen To The Audio Of The El Al Mayday Call!"

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High end hobo

This video explains how the highway in the sky system works


Pretty cool!


It’s unbelievable that air traffic control can’t talk direct and stay in touch with each and every plane and every pilot, all the way across the ocean …

I had always thought pilots stay in communication with their controllers and the airline’s own control … and they can give accurate landing times on all airborne aircraft via satellite & GPS systems …

And interesting one can track each and every plane whilst over the ocean, on land based GPS apps like Flightaware …

So, I don’t understand whats going on here ….


And if we can talk on the phone (via wifi) even over the ocean, why cant the pilots talk to ATC?

Nat Zitomer

Fascinating! As much as I’ve flown, I never knew!

Benjamin fish

Why are they putting that plane back into service so fast? I’m scheduled to go on flight 8 tomorrow night. Ridiculous.


If you’re flying tomorrow night, you won’t be on this aircraft. It’s only leaving for TLV at 1:30am tonight. Do the math…

benjamin fish

Did the math – it’s only 10 hours there and 12 back. That leaves an hour in each airport. Also confirmed with el al it will be same plane. Worst case they delay the flight out of jfk until that flight lands. Flyaware shows same plane as well.


Your math doesn’t work, because the flight didn’t yet land in TLV and there is no flight departing for NY between now and 12:45am (lands in JFK at 5:55am)
But it also happens to be that the flight tonight from JFK is delayed to 5:20am and renamed as 1008, though I’m not sure why as it’s already on the way to JFK from this morning and should be arriving before 5pm…


I agree, terrible. Next time you drop your car off at the mechanic don’t drive it home after it’s fixed. Leave it there


Whats an altimator


It measures altitude based on pressure, and needs to be set at every airport based on elevation of that area, because the pressure changes according to the elevation

Sam H

Flight is flying again at 770 Mph with a full flight just showing what these 747’s are capable of.


Incredible it’s clocking now 794 mph


Well then, if it’s flying at 770 then you know you’ll be safe! 🙂


Flughtaware is displaying GPS groundspeed, i.e. airspeed plus tailwind. The 747 is most certainly not capable of flying at 770 airspeed, which is above the speed of sound.


Great job by all involved. Professional, calm and straight to the point.


I do think he was getting a little bit ahead of himself at the end where he talks about the “fire crew”


If there was nothing wrong with the plane then why were the engines not kept on so the heat could be on and the passengers would not be very cold ?


Plane has a generator in the tail that can power all that w/o engines running

Tony c

Seems sad that without the BA flight “by luck” was there to relay the call that without them they can’t contact the base. What year is it? Hundreds of millions worth of equipment and the the radio and radar are helpless in a real emergency. Just doesn’t make any sense.


Just a friendly reminder that G-d runs the show 😉


I was on an Austrian airlines flight that had an indicator saying we had no brakes and because of that we had to do a full emergency landing including going into brace positions. This was similar but not as bad as they sort of knew that based on no heat sensors coming on they probably didn’t have a fire

What I cannot understand is why the pilots did not properly communicate with the passengers. There was no reason for them to have panicked and thought the worse. The Austrian air pilot gave us a full five minute rundown on all scenarios and it really helped. This was a bad move by the El al crew.


You are not a trained pilot and cannot judge the situation from your armchair. Panicking 400+ people that there is a fire onboard may not of been the best thing.


What you are seeing is the airplanes ground speed not the planes airspeed. Ground speed is airspeed plus the wind either head wind or tailwind.

There are estibalished procedures for when an aircraft has to deviate off of the North Atlantic tracks. The procedure is very specific and must be adhered to completely. Airplanes are spaced in time increments. The airplanes needs to climb or decend 500 ft to provide separation with other traffic. All lights must be turned on for visibility and the airplane can make a 90 degrees turn and when offset from the track then can decend.

I am an air traffic controller and while I don’t work oceanic I am generally familiar with the separation requirements.


500 feet between planes maybe on the mainland but over the Atlantic where there’s no radar the space between planes is far more than 500 feet.


Not for an emergency deviation off the tracks. Standard rvsm separation is 1000 feet vertical separation. Non radar separation is provided via altitude time and degrees. Most pilots choose to offset themselves from the track. Which then can do Because they feel it’s safer


Btw, the picture of these two 747’s lined up in the snow is GORGEOUS!


My wife is on the plane and I have been speaking with her all day. There was heat on the plane and the pilot was very communicative. Unfortunate it was out of his control that the other plane kept getting delayed and therefore they had to wait. They were also very good with preserving food. They didn’t serve breakfast until they had confirmation that the new plane was in the air and then they served.
All in all the crew was great. It was a terrible situation and Elal should certainly consider some reimbursement to the passengers as it was an equipment issue. However, everyone was safe Bh and crew was doing the best they could.


Credit? Where are the recordings from? liveatc.net? You should credit them, both here and on youtube. Here is the full path: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/ELY8/history/20180114/0450Z/KJFK/LLBG


Regarding mayday, It is only declared once, and until it lands or the emergency is over ‘mayday’ is added to the callsign: ‘Elal 008 mayday’


Did you ever think you’d see 2 LY 747’s at CFB Goose Bay? Weird.


Recording unclear. Anywhere a write up with meforshim?

Yiddishe Mamma

Dan, you say to bring extra food and water on the plane. Since when can we bring more than 2 oz. of water?

shmuel e zions

Does anyone remember the song ” i’d rather pray and sing” ? Make sure to listen to it before you travel the skies next time and be grateful for everything!!


Does he call the British Guy — “Wayne Rooney” at one point?


Student pilot here with an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate

The rule is Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate.

Aviate — Maintain control of the aircraft
Navigate — Know where you are and where you intend to go
Communicate — Let someone know your plans and needs

Ideally, one pilot concentrates on flying the plane ONLY while the other deals with the emergency condition ONLY.

As a passenger, I would like to know what is going on. However, given a choice, I would rather the pilots put 100% of their efforts into safely landing the plane.

Moshe Fuld


Here is an alternate narrative (for those that think El-Al did a bang-up job here and we, Just Not Fare, LTD. are taking them to task, in Court:

The issues that will be brought up in the suit:

1. Was the emergency landing the fault of El-Al in the first instance? In other words, did El-Al fail to properly maintain the plane and as a result, a faulty warning light went off which set this whole debacle into motion?
2. Assuming for a second that they get a pass on the emergency landing b/c they did all the proper maintenance, does it seem reasonable that passengers were stuck in the plane for over 15.5 hours ) waiting for replacement aircraft as temperatures outside hit -22F” (wind chill)?!?! They could have flown a plane in from practically anywhere in the World in less time.
3. We have a theory that El-Al wanted at all cost to avoid pulling the plane from JFK (that ultimately came to save the day) because they would have needed to compensate each and every passenger on the JFK flight for the delay had they diverted the plane to Goose Bay whereas here they figured that they had the chance of hiding behind the defense of an incident beyond their control and avoid paying anybody anything.

If that is true, no matter the merit of the emergency landing, if they put their interests in front of those of the passengers, they should be made to compensate the passengers.

The reason we started this effort is because we were contacted by a passenger whose elderly wheel-chair bound parents suffered frostbite while being transferred to the plane that finally came to rescue them because they were left them on the tarmac too long in -22 degree weather condition. When they got to Israel they needed to seek emergent medical treatment. Then we started hearing all kinds of other stories from other people that contacted us and putting it all together, we came to realize that something is seriously amiss here and maybe rather than top grades El-Al gets a failing grade on this debacle. The whole truth will ultimately come out and we think, based upon the totality of what we heard from people on that plane, El-Al will owe compensation to the passengers.

So if your gut reaction is that a lawsuit would be frivolous, I hope I have given you enough information to reconsider.

If you know one of the unfortunate souls who were on the Goose Bay debacle who would like more info they can email us at moshefuld@gmail.com and mention Goose Bay and provide us with your contact info, and we will be in touch with them.

Most importantly, I want to emphasize that if there is no recovery, this effort will not cost the litigants one cent (we would eat the expenses – that’s how sure we are) so there is zero risk to the litigants. Our fee is a percentage of the recovery (our percentage lessens as the class gets bigger) plus recovery of expenses.

Cheers and here’s to the airlines treating their passenger right!