Pi­lot trig­gers false hi­jack alarm

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A PI­LOT of a Saudi Ara­bian Air­lines flight ac­ci­den­tally pressed a hi­jack alarm and trig­gered a ma­jor se­cu­rity response at Manila air­port yes­ter­day, au­thor­i­ties said.

Po­lice iso­lated and sur­rounded the Sau­dia flight af­ter it landed just af­ter one of its pi­lots is­sued a dis­tress sig­nal in­di­cat­ing a hi­jack was un­der­way, the Philip­pine avi­a­tion author­ity said in a state­ment.

Hun­dreds of pas­sen­gers aboard the Boe­ing 777 flight from the Red Sea city of Jed­dah were forced to re­main on the plane for more than two hours, but were al­lowed to dis­em­bark about 5pm af­ter it was con­firmed there was no threat.

Soon af­ter the dis­tress sig­nal was ac­ti­vated, au­thor­i­ties at Manila con­trol tower ob­tained a ver­bal con­fir­ma­tion from the pi­lot that he had trig­gered it al­though he did not say why at the time, Manila air­port avi­a­tion se­cu­rity chief Mao Aplasca told re­porters.

“It was only af­ter the plane was parked for some time that he said it was a false alarm,” Aplasca added.

In Saudi Ara­bia, an air­line spokesper­son also told AFP there was no se­cu­rity threat.

“False alarm for hi­jack for Flight 872,” the spokesper­son said.

The Philip­pines’ avi­a­tion author­ity said in a state­ment the dis­tress sig­nal pressed by the pi­lot alerted au­thor­i­ties “that a hi­jack­ing in­ci­dent is on progress on board”.

“Im­me­di­ately the flight was given pri­or­ity land­ing by air­port au­thor­i­ties … and was di­rected to park on the re­mote bay and iso­lated for se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures,” the state­ment said.

“Ap­par­ently the pi­lot com­mit­ted an er­ror ac­ti­vat­ing the 7500 squawk­ing sig­nal,” the state­ment said, re­fer­ring to the hi­jack alarm.

It said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion would still be needed to con­firm why the dis­tress sig­nal was pressed.

“Ap­pro­pri­ate penal­ties and sanc­tions will be im­posed on the erring pi­lot if the re­sult is in­deed a hu­man er­ror,” it said. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.