Blast From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5254 times:
Apparently, one of the flight's passengers, a Cameroon-born woman, said she had some device surgically implanted. "Out of an abundance of caution the flight was diverted to Bangor where it was met by law enforcement", said Transport Security Administration spokeswoman Jonella Culmer to the BBC.
According to this article, the TSA instructed the captain to lie to the passengers, telling them that they were stopping for fuel due to "uncharacteristically strong headwinds." I have not heard of this happening before (being told to lie to passengers). Is this standard procedure? What if the captain had refused to lie? Would he face punishment from the TSA? I can imagine when passengers heard the truth, many of them must have been quite angry.
Also, the picture appears to be an A330, but the article says 767. Anyone know for sure?
B6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4666 times:
Quoting MDCJets (Reply 8): Also, the picture appears to be an A330, but the article says 767. Anyone know for sure?
Flightaware and the articles indicate 767. Also, the picture above is very much so a 767. There are no winglets, the empennage is tapered, MLGs are not spaced apart as far, that is definitely a 767. I have a feeling it is just elongated because it was a screen shot off of a wide-screen monitor.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
A320ajm From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 643 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4645 times:
Quoting MDCJets (Reply 8): According to this article, the TSA instructed the captain to lie to the passengers, telling them that they were stopping for fuel due to "uncharacteristically strong headwinds."
In my opinion, ignorane is sometimes bliss. The passengers not knowing this probably saved them from a lot of panic and anxiety. A plane full of panicked, scared people does not help the situation in the slightest.
If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
stasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3316 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4552 times:
Quoting D L X (Reply 7): Seriously, who tells people they have a surgically implanted device just for the heluvit?
Testing our defenses, perhaps? Wanting to see what actions the airline and Homeland Security would take in this type of situation. Admittedly, a surgically implanted explosive on a passenger is TSA and Homeland Security Department's worst nightmare. Thus, the F-15 scrambled and diversion to BGR to get the plane down as quickly as possible.
According to CNN, passengers heard an annoucement inquiring if there was a doctor onboard. Later, there was an announcement from the captain that the plane was making an unscheduled stop for fuel due to unexpectedly strong headwings, but the captain did NOT disclose where they would be landing. Once the plane was on the ground, security authorities and ICE came on board the plane and removed the person from the rear of the aircraft. Passengers reported that the removal happenned very quickly and quietly. Bizarre situation, but kudos to the US crew involved.
[Edited 2012-05-22 17:12:34]
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
I'd say the #1 priority of the crew in this situation is to get the plane safely and securely to the diversion airport. Keeping passengers calm is the best strategy, and mentioning a security issue while the plane is still in the air doesn't add to the safety of the aircraft. It's also possible the passenger in question had severe mental health issues, and there's no need to add extra stress to her situation either at that point in time either.
Hopefully, the captain came on after the situation was resolved and explained everything. Most passengers would probably understand. And, as for the few that don't, it ain't a democracy on board.
chrisnh From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4383 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4175 times:
The F-15s scrambled from Barnes in western Massachusetts, the only deployed F-15s in New England, I believe. These planes were based in the Cape Cod area, at Otis, before the whole wing was repositioned in Westfield, MA. These F-15s (when they were based at Otis) were the ones scrambled (albeit a bit late through no fault of their own) on 9/11.
As for the stop in Bangor for more fuel, that's a semi-regular happening at KBGR...although obviously for the 757s facing stiff winds. But I do recall many times that Delta's Stuttgart-Atlanta flight had to stop at BGR and it was a 763. That's because of a 'hill' near the departure end of the Stuttgart runway that prevented the plane from climbing over it with full fuel. So, they 'tech-stopped' at BGR many times...mostly in the winter.
In today's case, I wonder whether passengers were able to clear customs and/or immigration. Usually to pass through customs you need your luggage in your possession. In today's event I'm not sure they went to the extreme of removing all the luggage, too. Although the plane was on the ground for over 3 hours which might have given them enough time to do that.
affirmative From France, joined Jul 2009, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4158 times:
Same story is going on Avherald.
Consider this, that I read on the Avherald site.
If you have a pacemaker or similar "device" implanted and you suffer from heart attack symptoms you need to tell people if your able since a defibrillator will most certainly kill you if used. And if you think you're having a heart attack I can assure you you don't feel calm and composed. If you're also from cameroon that really doesn't help your case flying into the US these days. Sad but true.
Could also be that while setting 7700 on the transponder the flight crew accidentally flipped by 7500 and thus ringing the big bell. It happened not too long ago in the UK and some fighters were scrambled too.
BE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3117 times:
Quoting MDCJets (Reply 8): I have not heard of this happening before (being told to lie to passengers). Is this standard procedure? What if the captain had refused to lie?
Pilots having to lie is quit common, actually..."We expect maintenance to have us fixed and going in 10 minutes", "The ride today will be smooth without many bumps", and of course, all of the obvoius ones like "Of course I will respect you in the morning" and "I had 8000 hours PIC in lear jets by the time I was 24", etc.
A fuel stop fib is a pretty easy sell for a security diversion, if the cause wasn't obvious in the cabin already. Only someone reallly geeky about airliners (ie. anyone reading this) would wonder why a 767 was short on fuel if the flight was on time for arrival.
Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 12): Thus, the F-15 scrambled and diversion to BGR to get the plane down as quickly as possible
Not sure on when the decision to land was, but it doesn't sound quite 'as soon as possible' since YYT, YHZ, and YQX are generally all 'gotta land now' options (as we know, it doesn't happen every day, but those airports do get some unexpected spotting opportunities). F15's are fast, but they were there for the landing so they must have had some notice to get there from Cape Cod, suggesting the flight was not in a panic to land.
Bangor would of course be a better choice for US Air on a US bound flight if the landing is precautionary, not an emergency (customs / immigration, legal reasons, much easier to reroute pax, etc.).
YULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2249 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1803 times:
Quoting BE77 (Reply 19): Only someone reallly geeky about airliners (ie. anyone reading this) would wonder why a 767 was short on fuel if the flight was on time for arrival.
No. Any aircraft can run unexpectedly low on fuel if the amount of fuel necessary to cover the flight is miscalculated. Or if the refueling guy screws up. Even with a 787.
Quoting boeingfever777 (Reply 13): Passenger should be charge with interference, billed for the diversion, and deported.
What a beautifully uninformed comment and accusation without evidence. (read quote below). She might also very well have a bad English and no idea how what she was saying got interpreted. This has happened before. Notably to a French guy who was sick on a toilet on an AA flight and ended up in prison for it...
That's why I recommend anybody who is not comfortable enough with English to avoid flying into the US on a US airline.
Quoting affirmative (Reply 18): If you have a pacemaker or similar "device" implanted and you suffer from heart attack symptoms you need to tell people if your able since a defibrillator will most certainly kill you if used.
Quoting BE77 (Reply 19): Pilots having to lie is quit common, actually..."We expect maintenance to have us fixed and going in 10 minutes",