I found an interesting and rather frightening forum post about a technical incident aboard an El Al 777 en route from TLV to JFK:
Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!
BoeingForEver From United States, joined Dec 2004, 189 posts, RR: 0
Posted Wed Dec 19 2007 00:42:30 your local time (2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13529 times:
just got home on LY 007 from TLV-JFK. we were on their 777-200er..one of their older ones. around 5 hours into flight, we all smelled an electrical fire in the cabin..everyone was calm,,the F/As and the spare crew members scrambled to find the fire, and they thought they found it in the IFE main section(think swissair md11 crash-yikes) . they ended up shutting all electrical power in the cabin for the remainder of the flight, which included all ife, power seats, galley power(no hot food) and all personnal lights(lucky it was a daytime flight)
i just wanted to say that the cabin crew handled the situation as best as can be expected by a cabin crew. everyone was calm and they kept informing us about the situation. we landed on schedule, and the mechanics were waiting on the jetway to start working. great job ELAL!!
now i was in F class,,should i bother writing a complaint bc we had no hot food or ife, and our seat were all stuck in the position we left them in?? will it get me anywhere?
If there is a suspicion of a fire onboard, I would understand that international regulations would oblige the crew to land asap; and if not international safety standards, than at least those of any airline. How is it that without finding with certainty said "fire", they decided to cross the Atlantic ocean...?! Because "around 5 hours into the flight" means that the plane was somewhere over England or Ireland or slighty further north; there would have been several opportunities for an emergency landing. From all the emergency landings stories I have heard, I know that such landings happen for incidents much less serious than the suspicion of an electrical fire onboard....... Seems surrealist.
"[...]ended up shutting all electrical power in the cabin for the remainder of the flight
and our seat were all stuck in the position we left them in[...]"
Why the hell not tell everyone to put his seat back into landing position before deciding to shut up all electrical power? From this story, it seems that many passengers were not seated according to safety regulations during landing in JFK...one more breach from the part of El Al.
The original topic, although recent, has been archived, because it got too big I guess. I would be very interested to know how this incident is seen and analyzed in the international civil aviation community. To me, at least, it seems totally crazy.
Any related info or link would be appreciated, thanks.
[PS: All the above is written while taking into account that the story is rather accurate... If, for instance, the "electrical incident" started "around 9 hours into the flight", my comments would be quite different (there would be actually no comment at all, except for the seats position...)]