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Israeli plane turns back to airport to pick up 11-year-old cancer stricken girl

By Mason White 5:00 PM August 18, 2013
Inbar Chomsky with her passport 

By: David Ross
An Israeli airline made an unprecedented decision to turn around an aircraft set for lift off in order to pick up a cancer stricken girl, who was stranded at the gate after she lost her passport.

The airline, with the support of everyone aboard, turned around to pick up the 11-year-old girl.
All set to fly to New York, in order to attend a camp for children with cancer, Inbar Chomsky, was pulled from her El Al flight after her passport went missing.

Despite a frantic search by the airline staff, passengers and the group that traveled with Chomsky, her passport was nowhere to be found, so the flight attendants were forced to remove the sick girl.
With tears in her eyes, everyone said goodbye to the devastated girl.

“The airline called the child’s mother to tell her that her child’s passport was lost and that the girl, who had been battling cancer, will not be able to fly to Camp Simcha led by Rabbi Yaakov Pinsky, director of the Israeli branch of Chai Lifeline. “It was a horrible experience for an 11-year-old girl,” the rabbi said.

Minutes after the doors closed and the plane taxied away from the gate, a camper looking through another girl’s backpack found Chomsky’s passport and told flight attendants.

What happened next is virtually unheard of, especially after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The pilots of the plane immediately stopped the plane, and after about 45 minutes they were able to convince air traffic control to bring them back to the gate to pick up Chomsky.

Chomsky and others watched in disbelief as the plane turned around. “The flight attendants could not believe their eyes,” passengers said. “They said that they had never seen such a thing,” they said.

“Planes rarely return to the gate after exiting,” El Al said in a statement. “After consulting with the El Al team on the plane and the El Al staff at the airport, a decision was made and the plane returned to pick up Chomsky,” the company said.