Concrete and Fire: The crash of El Al flight 1862

The crash left a high rise apartment building in ruins. (Pool Merillon/Ribeiro via Getty Images)
4X-AXG, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Torsten Maiwald)
The route of El Al flight 1862. (Google + own work)
A diagram of the 747 engine pylon attachment points. (Netherlands Aviation Safety Board)
Close-up of the midspar attachments and their failure sequence. (Netherlands Aviation Safety Board)
This CGI animation from “Seconds from Disaster” (National Geographic) fairly accurately reproduces the moment of the failure.
Overview of the damage suffered by the plane. The missing area the of the leading edge is crosshatched. (Netherlands Aviation Safety Board)
Map of the area where the engines fell to earth. (Netherlands Aviation Safety Board)
A full map of the flight path, with the ATC transcript overlaid. (Netherlands Aviation Safety Board)
Due to the failure of the hydraulic systems, control was difficult due to degradation of some of the flight controls, in particular the outboard ailerons. (M. H. Smaili et al)
In this CGI animation of the crash, it should be noted that the plane comes from the wrong direction. In reality it impacted the outside angle of the two buildings, not the inside angle. (Mayday)
Firefighters work to extinguish the flames shortly after the crash. (ANP)
An image from later that night, after the worst of the fire had been extinguished. (GPD)
The Bijlmermeer neighborhood shortly after its construction. (Failed Architecture)
Much of the Bijlmermeer looked like this in the 1970s — not an attractive place to live. (De Architect)
A typical street scene in the Bijlmermeer. (Ceren Sezer)
An aerial view of the crash site. (Jos Wiersema)
Debris continued out the other side of the building for several hundred meters. (Unknown author)
The aftermath of Trans-Air Service flight 671. (BA Istres)
The missing engines are recovered from the Gooimeer. (AP)
Rescuers search for victims amid the rubble. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
The Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix visits the scene of the disaster. (ANP)
Cranes work to clear debris from in front of the apartment buildings. (Gulf News)
Another view of the crash scene. (Unknown author)
A body is removed from the rubble by crane. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
A memorial now occupies the place where the destroyed apartments once stood. (Marten de Waard)



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg


Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at