ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-76J (WL) D-ABLB Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV)
ASN logo
Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 28 March 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic B737 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-76J (WL)
Registration: D-ABLB
MSN: 36115/2692
First flight: 2008-07-29 (9 years 8 months)
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-7B22
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 127
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) (   Israel)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV/LLBG), Israel
Destination airport:Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL/EDDT), Germany
A Germania Boeing 737-700 (D-ABLB) was involved in a ground collision accident with an El Al Boeing 767-300ER (4X-EAK) at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel.
Both aircraft were parked at Terminal 3, with the B737 at gate C8 and the B767 at gate C9. At 06:17 the B767 was cleared for pushback by the ground controller: "ElAl 385 Heavy C9 pushback and startup approved, release point 37 facing east".
Two minutes later the B737 was also cleared for pushback: "Germania 4915 pushback and startup approved, release point 48 facing east." This clearance was later amended to point 47 facing west.
What the ground controller did not realise was the fact that the B767 on point 37 was blocking the pushback lane of the B737.
Germania flight 4915 was being pushed back from the gate until the tail fin impacted the right hand horizontal stabilizer of El Al flight 385.
At the time of the accident it was dark and visibility was decreased by rain and reflecting lights. The two ground crew members that were supposed to walk along the wing tip and tail during the pushback of the B737 were in the tow truck, contrary to procedures.

Probable Cause:

The main causes for the accident
The severe safety event began with a wrong instruction in the pushback clearance, issued by the ground controller for the 737 a/c aircraft, a pushback which evolved to an accident, under the prevailing local visibility and environmental conditions, as a result of the pushback supervisors of the two pushed back aircraft failing to perform a safe pushback and detect hazards and obstacles on the pushback routes.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: AIAI (Israel)
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Accident number: 31-18
Download report: Final report

Ground collision
Damaged on the ground


photo of Boeing-737-76J-D-ABLB
photo of Boeing-737-76J-D-ABLB
accident date: 28-03-2018
type: Boeing 737-76J (WL)
registration: D-ABLB
photo of Boeing-737-76J-D-ABLB
accident date: 28-03-2018
type: Boeing 737-76J (WL)
registration: D-ABLB

Video, social media

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion International Airport to Berlin-Tegel Airport as the crow flies is 2852 km (1783 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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