Transaero Airlines Responds to Viral Story

After the story of a Lubavitcher woman whose vigilance saved an entire airplane – which was first reported here on – went viral, representatives of the airline – the Russian carrier Transaero – contacted us with a request that they be given the chance to give their side of the story.

The following is the statement sent to us by Transaero Airlines – complete and unedited – outlining the course of events that unfolded that Motzei Shabbos at Ben Gurion Airport, in accordance with their internal investigation:

Transaero Airlines: flight safety is key priority of the airline’s operations

A number of Israel’s media have published an information assuming that a passenger of Transaero’s UN312 flight carried out on April 12, 2015 contributed to detecting a defect in the aircraft condition.

As the initial information was published in the Israel’s media outlets with no comments requested either from the airline nor from independent aviation experts who could have helped to understand the actual state of the matter, the information was misinterpreted.

The airline finds it necessary to clarify the real circumstances. When carrying out the mandatory pre-flight system check at the engine starting point, the flight crew reported the indication of asymmetric work of slats. The flight crew called for specialists of the handling company of Ben Gurion airport. The diagnostics, carried out by the specialists, showed that the aircraft having this defect should not be operated on this flight.

At the time when the flight crew and the specialists of the airport were carrying out checks, one of the passengers reported to the cabin crew that she heard ambient noise. Although the passenger, indeed, drew higher attention to a strange for her noise, the decision to suspend the aircraft from operations was not made upon the information received from her, but as the result of the technical check of the aircraft. The aviation has strict regulations and rules of control over all systems of aircraft as part of pre-flight checks and preparatory operations. They were fully observed by the crew as well as by the specialists of the handling company.

Over 24 years of Transaero’s history, flight safety has always been and, at present, remains one of the top priorities of Transaero Airlines. Transaero has always been following the strict rules of preflight aircraft checks. Due to the airline’s highest consideration to safety issues, Transaero Airlines is included in the top 20 safest airlines in the world and the top 6 safest airlines in Europe in the international ranking of JACDEC research agency.


  • Chaim

    I would add that this account – that staff informed passengers that there was a problem discovered during preflight checking – is the one actually posted two days ago on a thread on Dan’s Deals, this is not their media department making something up.

  • ADN

    Thought so.
    And this is why it is important to have a code of ethics and standards in journalism. I’m glad they reached out to provide this intel, coming from a primary, reliable source.

    • Agree

      I believe that the passenger saved the day and the life’s of the rest otherwise they wouldn’t clarify it!

  • Nope

    Trying to save face, eh?

    Give me one reason they WOULDN’T claim so, and would in fact admit that the passenger’s uproar was what led to the life saving discoveries.

  • OJ

    They might have a high safety ranking, but they could still use some help with the English language.

    • I live in ch

      What does that have to do with anything. There are plenty of local shops that have signs — and websites– with the most atrocious spelling errors.

      Focus on the facts and stop nitpicking in an effort to deflect from the issue at hand.

  • Sara

    What’s this mean? “Although the passenger, in dead, drew higher attention to a strange for her noise”? Well you did say it was un-edited. So? Even if they didn’t check this document before sending, there’s a higher likelihood that they did the pre-flight check before take-off.

  • Observer

    “Over 24 years of Transaero’s history, flight safety has always been and, at present, remains one of the top priorities of Transaero Airlines”

    So flight safety remains “one of” the top priorities. Meaning certain important aspects of the airlines operations is more important then flight safety…
    Like say ticket sales? And having a passenger point out a faulty aircraft is probably not very good for ticket sales..

  • Grammar:)

    Hey Ben — fix this!

    “Although the passenger, in dead, ”

    in dead -> indeed

  • Google Translate can't be beat

    “Although the passenger, in dead, drew higher attention to a strange for her noise, the decision to suspend the aircraft from operations was not made upon the information received from her, but as the result of the technical check of the aircraft.”

    They are fantastic!

  • Chaim

    Who would know the truth?

    See, here is the thing.
    The father claims that it was his daughter’s telling them about it that “saved the plane”
    The truth is, he had zero information to back up that claim
    What he had were two pieces of information:

    1) His daughter raised a ruckus
    2) A problem was found.

    The very idea that one lead to the other, is based on NOTHING but PURE CONJECTURE!!!!

    He basically HAD to have made it up, he had no place to “get that info” from!

    On the other hand, the airline certainly holds the real answers to that.

    And, the official account is consistent with what other passengers on the plane have said.

    AND it could be independently verified with Ben Gurion staff.

  • Unprofessional!...and disturbing...

    If they were so professional they didn’t need a passenger to call them on the carpet!

    Airlines don’t let the passengers board the plane and then check it, actually is all the way around at all!… their check ups are prior to boarding…This means upon arrival to the airport.

    This airline is not that big to have planes waiting at the airport, as soon they arrive they are checked and are ready for the next destination.

    Passengers board the plane at the same time they suitcases are boarded onto the plane, this means that there is personal next to the wings that can easily identify something.

    This should been detected prior or while passengers boarding the vessel.

    I call this: negligence!

    They are trying to cover it up now after everything has been published!

    • They do run test

      Actually they do to check the engines after every one has boarded and the plane has been towed from the gate.There is a simple reason for this, as that is when they turn the engine on for flight.I flew recently with another Russian airline, to and from Israel, and remembered how annoying it was that the plane just sat there running the engines for a while shortly after leaving the gate via towing (we thought it was to warm them up,but it makes sense they where testing them as well).

  • To #13

    I checked with the big news channels such as ערוץ עשר, ערוץ שבע, and they told me that they indeed spoke to the airline and they did give permission to post the article. I guess afterwards they decided to put out a letter.. But they aren’t so smart.. And no one will believe them for so many reasons.. Especially due to this that you don’t start moving on a runway while having a problem on your flight..

  • to chaim

    Do you work for transaero? Sure sounds like it. Or maube you’re Alex Sasha Peterovich.

  • what a stupid airline!

    Trying to cover for themselves with writing that the girl was involved! Idiots!

  • such a good airline

    The plane started moving!!! And they knew it all along!! Explain me that!

  • I believe the girl, not the airline

    Obviously, this is a PR disaster for them, so they are covering up. Their cover up is not even done properly. Yasher Koach to this brave young girl and remember that Western standards are not universal standards. Choose your airline with care.

  • interesting

    Seems Russia thinks it can write some response based on their own account of events and just make it all go away… the last part where they gave some sort of argument to why they are safe to fly with wasn’t a bit forced, don’t you think?


    In dread. Her fear and anxiety caused a big deal to be made of the situation.

  • Chaim

    Oh yeah, we were GONNA catch it. Really we were. She just beat us to it. Maybe… or maybe not…

  • zk

    Love the loosely translated from the original Russian!
    My son flew on them before and after pesach and I got a real kick out of their website and its linguistic gymnastics.

  • Reb Chuna

    If they check their airplane safety as well as they do their grammar, I’m inclined to believe the passenger’s narrative.

  • Naftali

    so they were doing their pre-flight check with all passengers on the flight already and the stewards were buckled in already? Oh puh-lease!! Give credit where it’s deserved…. They are trying to save face this story could kill their rep.

  • zalmy

    I’d they didn’t check their spelling before sending out a press release you expect them to check their planes?!

  • zalmy

    And they’re not denying that they looked into the issue because of the girls insistence.

  • No Credibility

    The airline lost all credibility to make a statement when they wrote the first paragraph. They are obviously covering for bad publicity. What they should have done was just stated the facts as they were, with time, schedule and maintenance logs. However they clearly set off to defend a bad situation and for that you cannot take what they write at face value.

    PS the real interesting story here is “who is Chaim”?? he’s writing on every blog and article about this story with a vengeance. I’d be very interested on hearing his story….

  • Margaret

    Don’t believe a word of what the airline said! If they knew there was something wrong passengers would NOT have boarded the plane and not have been ready for take-off with the crew already buckled up.
    They should own up to the shotty workmanship of looking over the plane before boarding and thank this girl profusely for making a big enough ruckus to realize there was a problem and saving many lives had something gone horribly wrong during the flight! Shame on this airline! Remind me never to travel with them. I hope they are reading all these comments!

  • Chaim

    I love watching people using “Svaros” and “attempts at logic” to try to prove the girl right. Without a clue about how preflight checking is done.

    Naftali said:
    “so they were doing their pre-flight check with all passengers on the flight already and the stewards were buckled in already? Oh puh-lease!”

    really?! wrote:
    “don’t they do preflight checking BEFORE everyone boards the plane?”

    such a good airline wrote:
    “The plane started moving!!! And they knew it all along!! Explain me that!”

    Unprofessional!…and disturbing… wrote:
    “This should been detected prior or while passengers boarding the vessel.”

    A simple google search would have found that …..

    Since the flaps could only be checked once the engine is engaged….
    AND since the engine is not engaged until after pushback….

    Proper procedure IS that flaps are checked AFTER the engines are on, which is AFTER the plane is loaded, so all these “attempts at logic” to disprove the airline is nothing more than you showing that you aren’t even savvy to find out the facts before you use “logic” to disprove them.

  • Moish

    To: No credibility:
    I happen to know “Chaim”. “Chaim” is just a guy who favors “EMES”, even when it is less sensational, rather than “SHEKER” even it is an awesome story.
    He yearns for the the days when we were able to find inspiration and uplifting stories within Judaism without having to make them up.

  • Dear Chaim

    Maybe they should also take off to see if the plane could fly?! You did not think of that. Did you?

  • Dear Dear Chaim

    Your comment is almost as laughable as the hysterical notion that a hardened, Russian pilot would actually “relent” and “obey” a Frum teenage girl.



    Just reporting that it happened is an insult to the intelligence of all thinking people.

    The fact that some of you actually believe it…..

  • omg

    omg i don’t know why people are making such a big deal the airline should chill because the girl didn’t kill anyone so its fine if they once made a mistake and two because ok they misspelled a word fine

  • Conclusion

    The claim of the airline – that they were aware of the “possible” fault in the plane – is an illogical and senseless claim. Had they truly known of the possible fault – which could have, very likely, inevitably led to hundreds of critical injuries and many fatalities – they would not have the passengers board the plane. Case closed.
    Airline, 100% wrong. Passenger, 100% right

  • Dear conclusion

    Since you don’t know anything about how and when different parts of the airplane are checked – including which parts could only be checked after the plane pushes back from the gate, the only conclusion is: Your mind, closed

    Passenger (and you) 100% clueless
    Airline: 100% right

  • Wow

    This poster Chaim is working for the airline or was hired for them 100%
    The young lady was brillant and the airline should give her at least free tickets for ever

  • Chaim

    Dear Wow: the two statements in your comment (48) both have one thing in common.

    They are both false.

    I live in Monsey, have no connection to the airline, and an appreciation for the truth – and the ability (and the will) to find out the truth before posting.

  • Airline Sounds Credible

    Why would the airline be closely monitoring what Crown wrote? As far as I can tell, the story only went viral among the tight knit Jewish circles.
    A) The story did not go quite as viral as claimed
    B) The airline did not hear about the story until the blog contacted them about it and then they decided to write the letter.
    C) The girl made a ruckus because she heard the weird noise – which could have been caused by the checking and rechecking of the slats.
    D) After everyone left the plane she deduced she had saved the entire plane or she simply related the story to her father who then decided she had saved the whole plane.

  • They are just trying to cover themselves!

    If they were really planning on doing a precheck anyway why couldn’t they just tell the girl that they are anyway checking the plane so she has nothing to worry about instead of just brush laughing her off like that

  • The airline is just trying to cover themselves

    PROOF: If they were anyway planning on checking the plane before it took off why didn’t they just tell the girl that they anyway check the plane before takeoff instead of just laughing her off

  • No proof!

    to 51 and 52,

    The stewardesses were telling her to go back to her seat, and leave it to the professionals.

    The professionals were checking the slats and flaps as per procedure.

    Yes, she did raise the issue – repeatedly – to the staff.

    No, the pilots didn’t “relent” and “obey” the Frum Jewish teenager, when the flaps didn’t rise to 5 degrees, they came back.