The Libyan co-pilot of an airliner shot down by Israeli fighters almost two monte ago left Tel Aviv on sunday (15 April) after being declared fit to travel by Israeli doctors.
SV Co-pilot lifted on stretcher into ambulance
SV Co-pilot shakes hands with doctors
SV Ambulance door closed
SV & CU Pilot being interviewed by press (4 shots)
SV Pilot carried out of ambulance and up aircraft steps
Initials BB/1808 GD/BOB/BB/1815
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Libyan co-pilot of an airliner shot down by Israeli fighters almost two monte ago left Tel Aviv on sunday (15 April) after being declared fit to travel by Israeli doctors. Mr. Yunis El-Mehdi had told reporters the day before, his French captain had deliberately ignored instructions to land from Israeli jet fighters.
In an interview broadcast over Israeli radio, the co-pilot said he had seen Israeli Phantom jet aircraft following the airliner. He said the captain followed the instructions the Israeli jets gave after warning shots wore fired, but changed his mind during a landing approach.
Mr. El-Mehdi said he identified the aircraft as Israeli jets and had told the captain. He didn't know why the pilot had changed his mind about landing.
Mr. El-Mehdi was admitted to hospital in a critical condition with severe lung damage and broken legs. At Tel Aviv's Lod Airport, he said he was happy with his medical treatment before departing on an El Al aircraft, bound for Greece. both legs were still in plaster and Mr. El-Mehdi had to be carried aboard. He was one of only five survivors aboard the aircraft which was carrying 113 people when shot down.
SYNOPSIS: The Libyan co-pilot of an airliner shot down by Israel almost two months ago, left hospital on Sunday to return home. Mr. Yunis El-Mehdi was one of five survivors of one-hundred-and-thirteen people aboard the Libyan airliner which crashed in the Israeli-occupied Sinai desert.
The co-pilot had said the French pilot of the airliner knew the jets following his aircraft were Israeli Phantoms. He said the pilot had started to land after warning shots, but changed his mind for no apparent reason.
When admitted to hospital, Mr. El-Mehdi was in a critical condition with both legs broken and severe lung injuries. An Israeli airline carried the co-pilot to Athens where he said he would stay until completely well. Both legs were still in plaster casts when he left, but, generally, his condition was good.