A picture is worth a thousand words, and it's more than enough to ground a plane.
A flight that was scheduled to take 166 passengers from Israel to Turkey was canceled after every passenger received an anonymous AirDrop request. What they received was enough to cause a panic.
Those who approved the AirDrop request received several images of past airplane crashes, including the 2009 crash in Amsterdam that led to the deaths of nine passengers, and the 2013 flight in San Francisco, leaving 3 dead.
One passenger described the moment that led to a plane-wide panic.
"Most people received a request for a photo confirmation in AirDrop. Some approved, and some did not."
"The plane stopped, and the flight attendants asked who got the pictures."
"The airport manager told us there was a security incident. They took our luggage out of the plane for a second check."
All 166 passengers on the flight received AirDrop requests, though it was true that not all passengers accepted the request. Flight attendants circled, monitoring who had accepted the messages, looking for possible suspects.
After the pilot was informed of the unsettling incident, he decided to return the Turkish Airline plane to the terminal at the Ben Gurion Airport, so the incident could be investigated, and the airplane could be checked for safety compromises.
Airline authorities have since been able to confirm that this was not an external cyber attack, but they otherwise have been unable to identify a suspect.
Airports Authority spokesman Ofer Lefler stated:
"This is not a cyber attack. The source of the videos is inside of the plane."
"All passengers and luggage are being further examined, and the police and other security officials have opened an investigation."
"All steps taken are in cooperation and coordination with the flight captain who has shown great responsibility in the decision to return the aircraft to the terminal."
The internet was unnerved by the incident, though likely not as unnerved as those involved in the flight.
The investigation has only just begun, and not enough information has been collected for the flight and passengers to depart.
Airport authorities have confirmed that passengers will be able to travel to Turkey once it has been confirmed that there are no risks to the airplane or those onboard.