Monday, February 20, 2017

Dramatic moment German fighter jets intercept London-bound flight after pilot lost contact with air traffic control

The Eurofighter Typhoons were scrambled after the Jet Airways Boeing 777 aircraft lost contact with local air traffic control for a few minutes as it was crossing over Cologne.

Video footage apparently taken from a British Airways plane travelling behind showed two fighter jets flying alongside a passenger plane above the clouds.

The London-bound flight had 330 passengers and 15 crew on board and was flying from Mumbai to Heathrow.

Officials said contact with the passenger plane was restored by the time the fighter jets were airborne and that they were deployed to “ensure the safety of the flight and its guests”.

It made a safe landing at Heathrow after being escorted by the Typhoons as a precaution last Thursday.

The video was uploaded to Facebook by user CirrusPilot with the caption: “This incredible footage shows the German Air Force intercepting a Jet Airways 777-300ER bound for London (from Mumbai) yesterday after it failed to respond on the appropriate ATC frequencies.

“The trailing British Airways plane captured the footage near Cologne Germany.
“The JA pilots saw the Eurofighters and after speaking over emergency frequencies the plane carried onto London.”

Jet Airways said in a statement: “Contact between Jet Airways flight 9W 118, from Mumbai to London’s Heathrow Airport and the local ATC, was briefly lost while flying over German airspace.
“Communication was safely restored within a few minutes. As a precaution, the German Air Force deployed its aircraft to ensure the safety of the flight and its guests.

"The flight with 330 guests and 15 crew subsequently landed at London.”

It added that the matter was reported and the crew was taken off the roster pending a probe.
20/02/17 Hatty Collier/Evening Standard