This Boeing 777-200 (reg number: (9M-MRO) is the one in question with Malaysia Flight MH370 – Photo: Thomas Becker
Almost exactly one week after the Malaysian authorities confirmed that MH370 operating from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had gone missing – today, in an astonishing turn of events, the government confirmed that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked. They have further confirmed that the aircraft was steered off course and flown for nearly seven hours. To where, they have not yet confirmed.
There is so much innuendo and speculation floating around, AirlineReporter’s senior staff thought we should throw our hats into the ring.
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 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.
- 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
Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200
Nothing like a good ‘ol fashion false alarm hijacking to get the heart beating! A Delta Air Lines flight left from Northwest Florida Regional Airport bound for Atlanta last Wednesday. Shortly after takeoff, the plane was ordered by the TSA to return to the airport. Apparently a TSA employee who was on the flight was not properly screened.
This would have turned out to just be an annoying time delay, but no one informed the Air Force base near by for the flight change. When the military noticed the plane was altering its filed flight path, they were afraid it might be a highjack situation.
The USAF base sent word to the local Sheriff’s office stating, “at this time advising that there is a poss(ible) hijacked airplane in progress.”
Further communication states: “Okaloosa airport cannot make contact with the plane at this time and this is considered a security breach.”
It took about 20 minutes for the situation to get cleared up. The plane landed, the TSA employee successfully was screened and the flight was on its way back to Atlanta.
Currently, the TSA is, “reviewing the incident and will take appropriate action if necessary”, Sari Koshetz, spokeswoman for the TSA said. “If necessary?” They don’t see that maybe this is not the best practice? The simple solution is making sure TSA employees are screened properly, but if that solution doesn’t sound right, then maybe informing the USAF base next time a flight is diverted? Just my two cents.
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Source: Crestview News Bulletin Image: sparky05
American Airlines flight 535 in the 'penalty box' area at Miami International Airport.
When you are flying in an airliner, you don’t really want to look out and see some military jets escorting your flight.
American Airlines Flight 535’s pilot from San Juan accidentally turned his transponder to a frequency that let’s traffic controllers know the flight is being hijacked.
The flight got a nice escort to Miami where it was met by Fire and Police. The plane was held at a holding point and inspected before being released.
Even though this was probably quite scary and kind of annoying for those involved, it is nice to see that there was a quick and mighty reaction — in case next time it is was not an accident.
Source: Miami Herald via AirlineBizBlog Image: CBS4