Boeing 737 jet carrying 160 people aborts take-off in Israel after pranksters use iPhone AirDrop to send terrified passengers pictures of plane crashes, causing one woman to faint
- The AndoluJet flight had been due to take off for Istanbul at Ben Gurion Airport
- The photos allegedly included a Turkish Airlines plane which crashed in 2009
- Nine were removed and could be prosecuted for disseminating false information
A Boeing 737 plane aborted take-off in Israel today after nine people on board used the iPhone AirDrop function to send photos of aviation disasters to passengers’ phones.
The AndoluJet flight had been due to take off for Istanbul at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport when the incident happened.
Ofer Lefler, a spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, said it was not a cyberattack over the Internet.
According to the Hebrew Ynet news site, the pictures included a Turkish Airlines plane which crashed in the Netherlands in 2009 and another in the US in 2013.
The AndoluJet flight had been due to take off for Istanbul at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport when the incident happened (stock image)
A photo of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, believed to be one of several plane crash photos sent to passengers on the flight
The nine suspects, described by police as Israeli citizens and among the passengers, were removed and could be prosecuted for disseminating false information, the authority said.
The offense carries a maximum three-year prison term in Israel.
‘I am sure the police and the security authorities will find out why they (the suspects) did it,’ Lefler told Channel 12 TV.
Passengers alarmed by the images informed the flight crew, and the pilot made the right call in heading back to the gate, Lefler said.
Another picture showing a person on top of a jet engine believed to have been sent using the iPhone AirDrop function
A photo of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951, a passenger flight that crashed during landing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands, on 25 February 2009
‘One woman fainted, another had a panic attack,’ a passenger, identified only as Diana, told Channel 12.
The plane took off hours late after a security check of the plane, luggage and those onboard, Lefler said.
AirDrop, which Lefler said was the method used for the file transfer, allows an iPhone user to send out images to other devices in the vicinity.