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Jerusalem - El Al Pilot Accidentally Takes Sleeping Pill During Flight

Published on: March 3, 2010 07:47 AM
By: Haaretz
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Jerusalem - An El Al pilot took a sleeping pill by mistake about two weeks ago on a flight from Kiev, Ukraine. The pill eventually made him ill, forcing him to leave the cockpit during the flight.

The plane, a Boeing 737 with about 100 passengers on board, flew on under the sole command of the co-pilot. The details of the incident, which surfaced through an internal El Al investigation, were obtained by Haaretz.

The findings of the investigation reveal that the pilot mistakenly took a sleeping pill instead of the blood pressure medication he meant to take. During the course of the flight, the pilot’s senses were dulled and he became disoriented and began to fall asleep. A flight attendant came to his assistance and removed him from the cockpit until he recovered.

El Al Airlines said in response: “The [co-pilot] acted according to procedure in such cases and allowed the captain to leave the cockpit and recover. After a short time, the pilot recovered, returned to his place and continued with the flight. At no point during the flight were the passengers or the plane endangered.”

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An aviation physician who asked not to be identified, said in principle there is no problem with pilots taking blood pressure medication and flying an aircraf



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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:13 AM Ed Greenberg Says:

My understanding is that I can't even get a 3d class (private pilot) medical certificate while taking BP meds, so how is this guy in the air?

2

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:13 AM Anonymous Says:

They let guys with high b/p on meds fly planes? I used to think El Al was safe. No more. I'm keeping my feet on the ground.

3

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Ein lanu lismoch ela avinu shebashamayim

4

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:22 AM Zach Kessin Says:

Just remember everyone thats why they have a copilot. There are 2 people there just in case something happens to one of them. And yes it is possible for one person to fly a 737 alone.

5

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:40 AM 747 Says:

Look what time this article was published

6

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:38 AM No Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

They let guys with high b/p on meds fly planes? I used to think El Al was safe. No more. I'm keeping my feet on the ground.

Oy Vey he was on BP Meds! If you would do some research you will find that there is no immediate side affects that would limit his operating the plane. I bet you have high BP and you just don't take any meds. Are you better off?

7

 Mar 03, 2010 at 07:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Why did he have his sleeping pills

8

 Mar 03, 2010 at 10:06 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Why did he have his sleeping pills

because of being in different time zones every few hours most airline crews take sleeping medications

9

 Mar 03, 2010 at 10:26 AM bobov chossid Says:

We have to thank hashem on every breath we give
We just don't realize how many miracles and sayata dishmaya we have every minute

How about small planes that only have one pilot?

10

 Mar 03, 2010 at 10:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Just shows you that people are "pill happy". Understand the blood pressure pills, but maybe people should start taking warm milk before going to sleep instead of sleeping pills. The pharmaceuticals are making the fortune. With all the medication out there and innovations in technology, never before has there been such a sick society, all over the world. To find healthy people, you have to go somewhere in the Amazon where they have not yet been discovered. Those people have not yet been polluted with all the garbage. Anyway, most importantly, B'H, everything worked out - May HaShem always watch over His creations, and bless every Yid. Hinei lo Yanum v'lo Yishan Shomer Yisrael!

11

 Mar 03, 2010 at 11:16 AM Shmuel Says:

Not to long ago a continental pilot died of a heart attack shortly after takeoff. spending that much time in the air does mess with your system.

12

 Mar 03, 2010 at 11:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Just shows you that people are "pill happy". Understand the blood pressure pills, but maybe people should start taking warm milk before going to sleep instead of sleeping pills. The pharmaceuticals are making the fortune. With all the medication out there and innovations in technology, never before has there been such a sick society, all over the world. To find healthy people, you have to go somewhere in the Amazon where they have not yet been discovered. Those people have not yet been polluted with all the garbage. Anyway, most importantly, B'H, everything worked out - May HaShem always watch over His creations, and bless every Yid. Hinei lo Yanum v'lo Yishan Shomer Yisrael!

youre in lala land. Go tell ppl who have not slept for weeks from worry or sadness that they should drink warm milk. BH that sleeeping pills exists. (no I have never tried one, but I heard they work very well).
AND what is wrong with bp pills?

13

 Mar 03, 2010 at 04:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

because of being in different time zones every few hours most airline crews take sleeping medications

Ukraine and Israel are on the same time zone.

14

 Mar 03, 2010 at 08:27 PM Anonymous Says:

I take a low dose BP med and have had NO side effects whatsoever. But, fortunately, my dr is now happy with my numbers (and so am I.) I can even "operate heavy machinery" safely.

15

 Mar 04, 2010 at 02:39 AM Anonymous Says:

I personally think that even though he was a big talmid chochum and a great tzaddik, R' Avigdor Miller's zt"l tapes should have a label that says: Do not listen to when driving an automobile or operating heavy machinery. They should make five minute summary tapes for drivers. Something like "Miller light shiur".

16

 Mar 04, 2010 at 04:36 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Ukraine and Israel are on the same time zone.

Genius. And where did he fly from the day before and the day before that? Airline pilots and long distance bus drivers don't run on 9 to 5 schedules. Just because they have 8 to 10 hours between runs when the on duty time is up doesn't mean you can fall a sleep the minute you get to your hotel. Your internal clock sometimes keeps you up for hours and you fall asleep 2 hrs before departure. Thank g-d there are sleeping pills btw doctors use the too!

17

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