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2013: 330,818

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All The Details of Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight 702 Being Hijacked

 Photo of the Boeing 767 (reg ET-AMF) that could be possibly hi-jacked as flight ETH702 - Photo: Fabrice Clerc | Flicker CC

Photo of the Boeing 767 (reg ET-AMF) that was hijacked as flight ETH702 – Photo: Fabrice Clerc | Flicker CC

At 5:00pm Pacific Time, Ethiopian Flight 702, a Boeing 767-300 (registered ET-AMF) was flying over Sudan when it started squawking 7500. The transponder code, is supposed to indicate a “hijacking.”

Sometimes, pilots accidentally switch to this code or equipment malfunctions. This however, does not appear to be the case. The aircraft can be tracked live via Flightradar 24.

This was hopefully just an error, but this was certainly a deviation from normal flight.

We have reached out to a source who is an aircraft electrical expert and they confirmed that a “7500” code can’t come from a glitch.

The flight, operating from Addis Abba to Rome has been confirmed by Rome Airport not to have arrived yet.  It is currently circling over Geneva Airport (GVA), with a military escort.  Emergency crews are standing by a GVA.

The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing. Image - Flightradar24

The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing – Image: Flightradar24

The aircraft landed in Geneva, safely, but with an extremely limited quantity of fuel remaining.

This story will be updated as details emerge.

We will also be live updating via twitter with #ET702

Ethiopian Airlines Press Release: 

Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.

Once the press release went out to the public, the airline recanted it. Shortly it was re-released with minor changes.

UPDATES: 

  • The aircraft now has 20 minutes of fuel remaining (8:45pm PST) via LiveATC.net
  • Reports of one engine potentially flaming out (unconfirmed via LiveATC)
  • Reports of the aircraft being directed to make an approach but not landing until a response is given regarding the word “asylum” (via LiveATC)
  • Fuel warning has been received on the flight deck (Via LiveATC)
  • Aircraft apparently cleared for an ILS approach. What could be a hostage negotiator has been heard on the radio (Via LiveATC)
  • Response to the request will be given by Swiss Authorities on Short Final for landing on Runway 05 (via LiveATC)
  • AIRCRAFT HAS LANDED SAFELY (Via FlightRadar24 and LiveATC)
  • Pilots heard on radio stating they will be exiting via the aircraft flight deck window. (via LiveATC)
  • Airport/Airspace around Geneva is now closed (via LiveATC)
  • Geneva airport remains closed (updated at 10:01PST)
  • Unconfirmed reports the aircraft is parked at the end of Runway 05.
  • Asylum request still pending. (9:33PST)
  • International arrivals into Geneva are diverting to other airports (via FlightRadar 24)
  • “We will disembark our passengers within the next 5 minutes and we will call you back.” Heard over LiveATC. (10:13pm PST) According to John Walton- this may actually have been regarding the arrival of BA723.
  • Geneva Airport now saying that police are still negotiating with hijackers. (10:32pm)
  • As of 10:42pm, there are unconfirmed rumors there is a lone hijacker.
  • Geneva Airport Police confidently stating that no one has been hurt (10:45pm)
  • Swiss Authorities stating that they have arrested the hi-jacker
  • There is a press conference scheduled for 9:00am CET (12:00am PST)
  • Swiss Police confirming that a pilot aboard the aircraft is the individual in custody (10:54pm PST)
  • Signs of life on Geneva ATC are starting to be heard- normal airport operations are expected to resume shortly (10:56pm) (via Live ATC)
  • News from the press conference indicates that it may have been the first officer that hijacked the aircraft (12:16am PST)
  • The aircraft was apparently escorted by two Eurofighter Typhoons (12:20am PST)
  • The co-pilot locked himself in the flight deck and was unarmed (12:27am)
  • Regardless of where the hijacker is tried (either Geneva or Bern)- he is looking at a potential 20 year sentence.
  • Back in 1996 an Ethiopian 767 had to ditch in the water due to hi-jackers and lack of fuel. Fight 961

What’s (Air) Niu With You? A Review of Air Niugini

P2-PXV a 767-383/ER waiting for boarding at BNE's gate 85. Photo by Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

P2-PXV, a 767-383ER waiting for boarding at BNE – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

So, you’re dumb enough to decide you want to go to Port Moresby on holiday? Well, first off, you are pretty dumb. Do you know how dangerous Port Moresby is? The American government clearly knows; they’re building a new fortress-embassy on the highway to the airport. This embassy construction site also houses all its workers behind three 20-foot high fences and a small contingent of Marines. Having said that, it is still safer than Lae! So, if you have to pick between the two…

It’s not an organized sort of crime, or resistance. It’s something more like a zombie movie. One target sees an opportunity and then, almost like a wave, the rest follows. From what I’ve seen, cricket bats are a popular weapon of late.

I suppose muggings and general mischief do take the edge off after the national pastime, chewing buai, was banned this year. Not that the other three activities were not popular before- they’re just all rather hard to do with a buai, and some mustard, turning your teeth and saliva bright red!

It is the most bizarre dichotomy, because at the same time, I have never met any people more welcoming, helpful, and friendly as the general Melanesians in the very same place.

Continue reading What’s (Air) Niu With You? A Review of Air Niugini

FedEx Takes Delivery of Their First Boeing 767-300F

FedEx's first Boeing 767. Image: Boeing.

FedEx’s first Boeing 767. Image: Boeing.

FedEx Express (redundant, right?) is the air freight branch of the shipping and delivery giant, operating a massive fleet of airliners. These include DC-10s (also referred to as MD-10s), MD-11s, 777Fs, and now, their brand-new Boeing 767-300F. At a fleet count of over 300 “mainline” aircraft (those narrow and wide-bodies not operated by feeders), how big is FedEx as an airline? Bigger than British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, ANA, Qantas, or US Airways. With a 50-plane backlog on the 767-300F, FedEx is taking drastic steps to modernize their fleet in the name of fuel efficiency and reliability.

The years of experience Boeing has in building and refining the 767 line has resulted in an airframe that satisfies the cargo mission very effectively. The 767-300F is based upon the 767-300ER passenger variant, with its upsized range, MTOW, and fuel capacity. FedEx expects a 30% fuel burn reduction compared to the DC/MD-10 models the 767-300F is replacing.

Continue reading FedEx Takes Delivery of Their First Boeing 767-300F

Video and Photo: New American Airlines Livery on a Boeing 767

We have seen the new American livery on a Boeing 737,  Boeing 777 and a Bombardier CRJ700. Now, there has been a newly painted American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER spotting in the wild; LAX to be exact.

SpeedBirdHD caught N7375A taxiing back and taking off — once again, another great video.

American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER (N368AA)

American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER (N368AA). Photo by SpeedbirdHD

It seems that more and more of you are starting to either be okay or (heaven forbid) actually like the new livery. I just can’t wait to see it on the Boeing 757, which I think is the aircraft that almost all liveries look best on.

Checking out American Airlines Entertainment on Demand


American Airlines Boeing 767

American Airlines Boeing 767

This adventure and write up was completed by Temo Madrigal, AirlineReporter Correspondent. Enjoy…

The best things in life are free. Well, not always. Sometimes they will cost you anywhere between 0.99¢ to $3.99. I recently had the opportunity to test out American Airlines new in-flight entertainment system (called Entertainment on Demand) on a flight from New York to Los Angeles and this was a good opportunity for me to see if my money would be well spent.

Before boarding the plane I had to make sure that all of my electronics were fully charged, just in case the movie options were not to my liking. I had my mp3 player, my tablet, laptop, and if all of those options became boring on my 6 hour flight, I would simply resort to my good’ole fashioned book. I had not seen any advertisements on the new In-flight Entertainment System in the terminal, so was keeping a lookout for the first glimpse of what was to come.

Before take-off, I sifted through the front seat pocket and found a pamphlet with information highlighting GoGo’s services that include Wi-Fi and the In-Flight Entertainment Service. The information on the pamphlet was simple and clear but still left me wanting to see it in action. As we prepared to take off the emergency instruction video played and shortly after a 2 minute commercial on the GoGo IFE was played as well. It also let the passengers know that it was simple and easy to navigate. It made me think that even my 8 year old could sign-up and choose her movies.

Watching what the airline wants you to watch during the flight is so 1999.

Watching what the airline wants you to watch during the flight is so 1999.

Once we were at the appropriate altitude that allows for electronics use and after about 45 minutes of some technical issues with my personal laptop, I was able to connect to the GoGo website and begin my entertainment adventure. I have to say that navigating the IFE was as easy as 1-2-3 (okay there is a 4th step, but it is sitting back and enjoying your movie). You go to the website, sign-up and add your credit card information, select a movie/tv show, and watch.

Movie selections are currently limited to 18 movies with selections in most genres (i.e. comedy, action, drama, etc.). The cost of a movie is $3.99, which is comparable to what you would get at Block Buster or your local movie rental store. Movies included Due Date, Arthur, Jane Eyre, The Adjustment Bureau, The Eagle and the Kingdom. Each movie also provided a short description and the movie rating. Dad mode kicked in and I was interested in knowing the options for kids.

There are currently only two selections, The Green Lantern animated and Nanny McPhee. I asked Jason Cohen, who works for GoGo was on the flight, about this and was told that because this is currently the test phase, the selections are limited and by November 1st, 2012 the selections of movies and TV Shows will be increased to 200. Of which 18 will be in the children’s genre.

The TV show selection was the most limited, only offering 30 Rock and Royal Pains, with only 10 episodes of each. The cost of renting an episode is 99¢, and this is the same as what you would find on iTunes for a TV show rental. Browsing these selections are made easy and my favorite was the browse by length of movie or TV Show option (i.e. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1-2 hours or over 2 hours). I opted for a 30 minute TV show (30 Rock) to begin with because I assumed that the buffering would be terrible and streaming would be choppy. This was not the case at all. The video quality was crisp and clear and the streaming was flawless with no buffering stops. I was truly surprised.

It only takes a few steps to get yourself watching movies or TV shows.

It only takes a few steps to get yourself watching movies or TV shows.

I thought to myself, I’ll try and navigate the web and watch the movie at the same time and I’m sure it will cause a buffering issue. Did it, and again, was not the case. I was able to watch the TV show, navigate the web, and check my email at the same time. I truly enjoyed having all of the options and not cause an issue with the streaming the tv show.

I was lucky enough to have Jason on board to help me and answer any questions, but if you don’t have a Jason on your flight, no worries, GoGo also has live help via chat. I took the opportunity to chat with Seth just to test out the service option. I asked Seth a few general questions but one of the most important ones that I could think of that other users would ask is, “What if I don’t finish watching the movie on my flight?” Seth let me know that I would be able to go back into the same webpage and continue watching the same movie at a later time (maybe the connecting flight if wi-fi is available) as long as it was from the same laptop I was using the first time and within 24 hours of purchase for movies, and 10 days for tv shows.

American has rolled out this new service on 15 of their Boeing 767-200 aircraft, primarily serving the New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco routes.  American is hoping to roll out this feature on other GoGo equipped aircraft starting later this year. One downside of featuring this on the 767 is they only have power outlets in Business and select economy seats found near the front of the aircraft. I was sitting in the rear and if I would have been watching movies non-stop, my laptop would have ran out of juice before arriving at LAX. American is in process of installing additional powerports across their fleet.

There were no issues with bandwidth. I was able to stream my show and work on my email with no slow down.

There were no issues with bandwidth. I was able to stream my show and work on my email with no slow down.

Although the movie and TV show selection is currently limited, Jason explained that GoGo will be adding up to 200 movies soon and they will be rotated out every month. He also explained that that number would possibly go up depending on the demand from customers. I know some people might also think, “For $3.99, why don’t I just rent a DVD at Redbox and return it at my destination?” Well, that sounds great, but there a few things to consider: What if there are no Redboxes at your destination? And will the time and hassle it takes to find the redbox and return it be worth it? I would not want to go through the hassle and really a few bucks to make my flight go by quicker is always worth it.

American and GoGo are not willing to talk about how many passengers are currently using the new Entertainment on Demand, but they obviously feel this will be a successful venture with looking to add it to other aircraft. I hope to get the opportunity to use this feature again soon. Thanks American and GoGo for letting me and AirlineReporter.com try out your new service. Cheers!

Boeing 767 Image: So Cal Metro
Others: Temo Madrigal