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Hijacking fear prompts military escort

chperplt

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BALTIMORE, Maryland (CNN) -- A U.S. Airways jet en route to Baltimore, Maryland, landed under military escort Tuesday morning after an apparent miscommunication led ground controllers to fear the aircraft was hijacked, officials said.

The plane -- U.S. Airways Flight 1814 from Charlotte, North Carolina -- was ordered to taxi to a remote area of Baltimore-Washington International Airport after landing about 9:30 a.m. FBI agents then boarded the aircraft, passenger Jim Jinjozian told CNN.

The aircraft was escorted by fighter jets from central North Carolina to the airport, but "I can guarantee you there was no hijacking going on," Jinjozian said.

The aircraft, with 45 people on board, was allowed to proceed to the gate about 10:45 a.m., he said.

The FBI said the flight crew erroneously transmitted a code that indicated there was some sort of threat on board the aircraft Tuesday morning shortly after it left Charlotte. The crew quickly radioed ground controllers that the code was sent by mistake, but federal authorities sent fighters to intercept and escort the plane to Baltimore just to be sure, an FBI spokesman in Baltimore told CNN.

Jinjozian said the jet's pilot described the incident as the result of "a terrible misunderstanding." He added that he noticed something was wrong "when I saw the tail of an F-16" outside his window.

"The pilot came on and told us right away that there had been a misunderstanding from the tower, that they thought there was something possibly wrong with the aircraft," he said.
 

Draginass

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That F-16 was not "escorting" the airliner. It was shadowing it with the intention of targeting it and shooting it down should the order be given.

WAY too many stupid people think that the fighters are there to "help" the victim airliner. Not true. He's there to shoot down and probably kill everyone on board in hopes of preventing an even larger tragedy.
 

A Squared

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I've been wondering what the public reaction would be if the media just came out and said: "An F-16 followed tha airliner, ready to shoot it dow if necessary"
 

Daresuzy

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What Did he SQUAWK?

Was it an inadvertant squawking of 7500 or 7700? Would each squawk code cause such a response....fighters to scramble? What the frick was this pilot thinking messing around a 7500 or 7700 code on his transponder???

-Suze
 

jointops

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Suze,

As I understand it (and that's limited from the NPR station today), there was a radio transmission, not a squawk that resulted in the "misunderstanding".
 

Daresuzy

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What "verbal" transmission in the Aeronauctical (Airman's) Information Manual would cause such a response. I don't recall ever seeing a "verbal code" that can be used to declare a hi-jacking. What did I miss in schooling?

P.S. Don't taxi around with your flaps fully extended either!! Same result!

Suze
 

chperplt

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Just because it isn't in the AIM, doesn't mean there isn't one that is used in the 121 world.


P.S. Don't taxi around with your flaps fully extended either!! Same result!

Not any more..
 

CHQPilot

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A lot has changed in the past year (especially for 121). I agree with chperplt...the old ways for the most part are gone for the airlines. Last October we tried to call our times into the station and didn't get a response. Before we could get on Delta Radio, we heard are callsign repeated over and over because our company had seen we had lifted off and no times had been entered. Though tensions aren't as high as before, I think there is an overall increased awareness of anything that appears out of the ordinary.
 

Eagleflip

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I have no problem talking generalities, but remember folks...we should not discuss specific anti-hijacking/anti-terrorism procedures on the board.
 

ifly4food

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Daresuzy said:
What "verbal" transmission in the Aeronauctical (Airman's) Information Manual would cause such a response. I don't recall ever seeing a "verbal code" that can be used to declare a hi-jacking. What did I miss in schooling?

Actually, there is a specific phrase you add to your transmission to suggest you've been hijacked. Any 121 airline pilots should know what I'm talking about. It's not too hard to accidentally say. It's a pretty common phrase except in that context. And it's not in the AIM.
 

Russ

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This is about as much as should be said. I hope the moderator has a quick delete finger, as some nimrod will surely do it.
 

ShawnC

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Hmm intresting, I guess I will have to ask my airline friends next time I see them becuase as a bug smasher I have never even heard rumours about that. Unless some kind sole would be willing to tell me over a PM.
 

Britpilot

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Daresuzy said:
What "verbal" transmission in the Aeronauctical (Airman's) Information Manual would cause such a response. I don't recall ever seeing a "verbal code" that can be used to declare a hi-jacking. What did I miss in schooling?

P.S. Don't taxi around with your flaps fully extended either!! Same result!

Suze


Taxing with the flaps down does'nt mean anything either. Things are very different now in 121. Can't say any more.
 

Caveman

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My guess is that the previously accepted code word was used and ATC overreacted.
 

Little_Bill

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Airbus-off topic

Something a little off topic.

It's still depressing when an Airbus-319 I believe, only had 45 people on board.

Plus, the trip was from CLT to BWI. Kind of makes a point as to the current state of the industry or specifically Airways.

Does anyone know what typical loads are for that pairing?

It seems that things can only turn around when loads like that start increasing. Or, perhaps the right plane is utilized for the right trip from an efficiency(sp?) standpoint?!

Also, aside from the tradgey of 9/11, the other bothersome fact was the loads on those aircraft. 75s and 76s that weren't even half filled.

I'm curious as to what the state of the industry would be like today if 9/11 had not happened? I know it has been discussed that 9/11 just sped up the process. Ie.. cutbacks and furloughs. But you would think that management would of had the foresight to adjust schedules and such based on similar loads like the 9/11 aircraft?

It just seems absurd that there was a hiring frenzy and next thing you know guys are on the street. When do you guys think that the industry actually turned the corner towards shrinking loads?

Again, I know 9/11 was the reason/excuse. That's another debate. Just looking at it from a business standpoint that these planes were flying these routes previously. How long would United, American etc.. have been able to keep going without 9/11 happening?

Bill
Job Seeker Extrodinaire
 

chperplt

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It's still depressing when an Airbus-319 I believe, only had 45 people on board. Plus, the trip was from CLT to BWI. Kind of makes a point as to the current state of the industry or specifically Airways.

If you're talking US Airways specific, they fly the 319, 320, 757, and 733 from CLT-BWI.

Some flights aren't as full as others. I can tell you this though.. Trying to non rev on US Airways is a big pain in the butt. Why you ask.. Because the majority of all flights are at 100% capacity.
 

rumpletumbler

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The media isn't at fault. They are just trying to do their jobs. The fault lies with the person who told the media what the code was.

RT
 
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