Lubavitcher Woman Saves Entire Airplane

22-year-old Mussie Weinfeld most likely saved the lives of a plane full of people when she suspected a malfunction with the aircraft just moments before takeoff. Despite being mocked and ridiculed, her insistence led to the plane being grounded after a serious malfunction was discovered.

Mussie Weinfeld, 22, a member of the Crown Heights community, was scheduled to return from a trip to Israel, where she spent the holiday of Passover.

Her father, Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, related the story to CrownHeights.info:

“My daughter was scheduled to return to New York on Motzai Shabbos from Israel with a stopover in Moscow on Russian airline TransAero. She boarded her flight at Ben Gurion Airport and was seated at the window.

Moments before takeoff, she realized that something was not right with the wing and heard noises that she believed were not regular noises. She first brought this to the attention of the passengers seated beside her, who in turn laughed it off and said it was just noise from the engines.”

Not deterred, she persisted, unbuckling her seatbelt and standing up. The flight attendants, who themselves were already seated and buckled in, instructed her to return to her seat. When she told them her concerns about the plane they too laughed at her. She insisted that she will not fly on the plane if they didn’t check it out.”

After shouting and threatening her, airline officials finally relented and went to investigate her concern.

After returning to the gate, a ground crew began checking over the airplane. At first they said it would be 45 minutes, but nearly two hours later they removed all the passengers from the aircraft, telling them that it did indeed require repairs.

An additional three hours later, the passengers were notified that a replacement plane would be necessary, since the problem was far more severe than originally discovered. Passengers were sent home and told to return the following day.

The issue was so severe that the plane, a Boeing 767, had to be grounded due to the fact that it could have had a mid-air emergency that would have threatened the lives of all those on board, airline officials explained.

The relieved passengers – many of whom had originally expressed irritation at the woman who caused the prolonged delay – came over to her and profusely thanked her for saving their lives.

Update: The Israeli Airports Authority responded to our request for comment after publication with the following statement: “Shortly before takeoff the pilot requested to return to the gate due to a technical issue, after checking it was decided to keep the plane in Israel for service.”

TransAreo has yet to respond to our requests for comments.

101 Comments

  • 1. Phoebe Buffay wrote:

    Wow amazing !!!
    I wonder if the issue was with the
    left phalangee.

  • 15. Thank G-d wrote:

    BH she stood up to all those intimidating people. Took a lot of courage.

    • 18. topshot wrote:

      halevai – – tell that to all those mourning the deaths of rabbeim, rebbetzins, and children killed in auto accidents in Israel who undoubtedly said Tefilas HaDerech. Not saying that it can’t hurt – – but it’s not a guarantee – – to label it as such is called “superstition”

    • 28. anon wrote:

      It says TransAero in the article. Russian airlines are notorious for poor safety.

  • 30. chassid wrote:

    lesson i learned the hard way dont take transaero its a horrible airline

    • 32. Webby wrote:

      By her request we did not publish her name. Her father allowed that his name be used instead.

  • 36. A woman's binah wrote:

    Good for her, again the intuitive sense of an astute woman. who often knows best; Its her binah in action, after all didn’ t G-d say to Avraham, “listen to your wife Sarah…”

  • 42. RACHEL wrote:

    She is not just a young lady or a woman,
    She is no doubt a SUPER WOMEN!

  • 43. LA wrote:

    I was on this plane and I saw this woman complain to the flight attendants, who spoke very little Russian. I remember scoffing and assuming she was an idiot for thinking she knew better than the crew. We all heard the weird noise but we were just busy waiting to take off. There was very little information coming from the captain or his crew, especially not in English. They only let us off because Israel has a no-fly rule between the hours of 2 and 5am. Once we were told that there was a problem with the wing, we were already in the airport terminal.

    • 44. Sar wrote:

      I would have to assume that the appropriate response from her fellow passengers would be to send her flowers on a weekly basis for life.

  • 46. Anonymous wrote:

    great job, but the poor woman does not have a name ? – only her father does? and she couldn t be interviewed herself?

  • 48. mathew sparks wrote:

    what does this have to do with lubavitch; unless she is claiming that the rebbe appeared to her and warned her of the danger. now that would be reason to use “lubavitch” in the headline.

    • 49. chevramaidel wrote:

      Well, this is Crown Heights Info. When one of them does something not so good, the whole world points to them and says “A Lubavitcher did such-and-such.” So a little bragging about someone who did something this good is understandable.

  • 50. Ari wrote:

    i was on the flight and the timing and what we were told (basically nothing) goes along with the entire story. I was in a different part of the plane so I heard the ruckus but didn’t see. Hakol beyday shamayim.

  • 51. MBinNYC wrote:

    No Comments from Ben Gurion Airport? Nothing from TransAero? How about Boeing? Maybe the FAA or NTSB would have something to say on what the airplane’s issue was and if it’s being investigated on all 767s?

    This story has more holes than swiss cheese. Without corroboration I don’t believe it.

    • 52. Tap dance teacher wrote:

      A spokesman for the airline, Monanna Geller, announced that it really happened.

      There definitely was a left phalangee on the plane but it didn’t balance the right one.

  • 53. Al wrote:

    According to Flightaware.com, Transaero flight 306, the airline’s only flight from TLV to DME, a 737 not 767, departed TLV this past Saturday night with only a 20 minute display, and arrived safely in Russia the next day at 12:51 AM.

  • 56. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    As Dear Abby would say, always listen to your gut feelings. I live by that rule–if I have a feeling something’s not right I’ll refuse to budge an inch until I figure out what’s wrong. Congratulations to the young lady who saved a plane packed with people.

  • 58. Yehuda wrote:

    Russian airlines may have problems but this snafu has to be blamed on the contracted maintenance crew in Israel who either work for el-al or some other Israeli maintenance company. Foreign airlines do not have maintenance crews in foreign airfields. they contract out the maintenance to local airlines or companies.

    • 59. Mike Hannigan wrote:

      All reports indicate that there was a problem with the aircraft’s left phalangee.

      Since these are sealed when the plane is manufactured, the maintenance crew do not have direct access to them.

    • 60. David wrote:

      Mike, that’s not true.
      See what phoebe said, the left phalangee was missing!!
      Wish you’d actually listen to her!!

    • 61. David wrote:

      It’s david again, and I know what I’m talking about because I saw how they produced these on my long trip
      In Minsk. When you aren’t a successful scientist, you see places!

  • 62. Fantastic wrote:

    Wow what a Kiddush Hashem! I’m very impressed with her courage and persistence even after they were quite rude to her. She should be zocheh to help many more people!

    • 63. Gunther Perk wrote:

      It would be a Kiddush Hashem if people knew about this.

      However, every other Jewish newspaper in the world has remained silent and not one single person on the entire flight has mentioned this to the press.

      Even leading rabbis have refused to talk about this.

      What’s going on?

  • 64. Izzy wrote:

    Great work.

    To point out we don’t know that there would otherwise be a deadly accident or crash. Just possibly.

    At any rate, great work and amazing story.

  • 67. Conspiracy theory wrote:

    Are there perhaps Arabs or people of Ukranian descent who work for maintenance who purposely did not take care of the problem or could have possibly caused the problem? Could the unions who work for the airlines have not checked out the plane thoroughly so they could ask for more pay?
    Boruch Hashem this girl saved so many people and has a great zechus. May Hashem bless her and her family.

  • 68. Morah Susie wrote:

    I just returned on the Tues flight.
    BH all went well, well as well as could be on a Transaero flight that is!

  • 70. Levi wrote:

    Good for her. You be the one to stand up and shout when its your turn

  • 71. moishele wrote:

    Forgot to says in the news that thanks to the rebei “mashiaj” illumination she heard the noise and act. JAJAJA

  • 72. Alec Smart wrote:

    Yeah, pretty good odds that there’s a serious malfunction that could lead to a mid-air emergency on one of Aeroflot’s finest

  • 73. Big Chief wrote:

    Great song. I knew the one by Ernie Kay Do. This ones older, more country style. Thanks for teaching it?

    • 75. Seriously wrote:

      Would you want to fly with an airline that wanted to fly with a malfunctioning plane, even if they gave you a free ticket?

  • 76. High Credibility wrote:

    I love how this article is published solely based on someones relating of the story, very credible. B’H I hope this happened and wasn’t a dream he woke up with.

  • 79. Leah Cohen wrote:

    I would not have dared to stand up to all these people. This was an important lesson for me and others like me!!
    A very courageous act!

  • 80. Avrom wrote:

    Its a great time to do good to others and for the rest of the week! This is great sign from above, of mercy, so let’s do a practical mitzvah towards the world! Let’s unite and call for unity to the friends and neighbors around us. Also great to read at this moment some writings of great kabbalists of our time, Baal Hasulam – peace in the world article. True eshet hail! Thanks for posting.

  • 84. topshot wrote:

    When I was due to make a flight to EY, someone told me about the great deals from TransAero. There are a few problems: 1. Russian airlines have a reputation for being lax in maitenance. 2. A Russian visa is required to leave the airport, which much be gotten in advance and is costly, plus one must figure in the cost of a taxi and hotel, since the flight to Israel requires an overnight stay, and they won’t permit you to stay in the airport overnight. (If this has since changed, please let me know). Bkitzur, sometimes saving money is costly. I ended up flying with carrier from No. America.

    • 85. Moshe S. wrote:

      You obviously are not 100% informed. Who says you need to overnight. What kind of connection did you book.
      I traveled on Transaero in February 2015, no problems at all, great flight, kosher food, on time, very friendly. My flight had no maintenance issues that caused us problems.

  • 87. levi wrote:

    We learn from this when it comes to eagels wings lubaavitch ladys know best …..
    Binat nashim kol hakavod ……
    Chasday hashem……..

  • 89. Passanger on the flight wrote:

    Is this the girl who ended up going on a direct flight with Elal? cause she had no luggage?
    Just curious….

  • 91. Robert Furst wrote:

    Regarding all the comments that the woman was from Lubavitch, this website is a Lubavitch website, so it only makes sense to mention her connection to the audience.

    As for her persistence, the other passengers should join her in being saved from what potentially could have been a disaster.

    Nice to hear good news, and lets just leave the politics at the door, at least on this one.

  • 92. MATHEW SPARKS wrote:

    SHAME on you! The girl did such an amazing thing and all you can do is show your personal antagonizm (most likely from ignorance or jealousy) towards Lubavitch! Neither she nor anyone gave Lubavitch any credit for her actions. All it said was that she was a Lubavitcher girl. But now that you chose to pick a bone with that it is ONLY a girl whose brought up in an atmosphere-such as Lubavitch, that is “out there” and “proud” that would have the backbone to do what she did.!!!!!

  • 93. me wrote:

    i think the problem might have been that the Air France livery was ripped off….

  • 95. Noah wrote:

    Can one person be right, when everyone says you are wrong? Stand your ground.

  • 96. Annie Kristen Wiig Walker wrote:

    There was probably a colonial woman on the wing, that happened to me once. A colonial woman, churning butter. And they thought *I* was crazy!

  • 97. to # 30 wrote:

    it says and i quote, “22-year-old Mussie Weinfeld most likely saved the lives of a plane full of people when she suspected a malfunction with the aircraft just moments before takeoff. Despite being mocked and ridiculed, her insistence led to the plane being grounded after a serious malfunction was discovered.”

  • 98. הרבה שלוחים למקום wrote:

    Amazing story but i hope this doesnt mean that people will be doubting the crew stubbornly every time they hear a noise.

    The statement in the update implies that the pilot noticed it on his own anyway.

  • 99. Ben wrote:

    “Most likely saved their lives”, utter rubbish. A single engine failure on a 767 does not mean it’s about to crash. All this passenger did was save the airline a lot of fuel, because they would have had to turn back after taking off. But it’s extremely unlikely that they would have crashed.

  • 100. Baruch wrote:

    Do you really want to save money flying an airline where, if something G-d forbid happens to you, all they would say afterwards about you is, “Well, what did he expect?”

  • 101. Avraham Moiseyvich Naiman wrote:

    Let Hashem bless her for such as taking the great action to save the life of alot of people.

    AM Rabbetzin Chai

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