QatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1857 posts, RR: 9 Posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 19489 times:
Quote: A Qatar Airways Airbus A330-200, registration A7-ACF performing flight QR-18 from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Doha (Qatar), was enroute at FL390 enroute from Czech into Slovakian air space when the crew failed to establish contact with Slovakia's Air Traffic Control. Two Mig-29s were dispatched to intercept and visually identify the A330, radio communication was re-established thereafter and the flight continued to Doha for a safe landing about 4.5 hours later.
Slovakia's Air Force confirmed two MIG-29s intercepted a Qatar Airways Airbus A330 from London to Doha on Saturday (Oct 22nd).
May seem like a regular incident, nothing important. Just see those pics. Honestly, if you were a window passenger, what would your reaction be?!?!?
Honestly I think my heart would beat faster, adrenaline would rush and I would be on "high alert" (tense and restless) until we land or at least until I know what is happening with certainty. A fighter escort can mean many bad things, including a hijacker in the cockpit.
Surely not a nice feeling, but I might enjoy some of it. Once it's over, I will have a story to tell - whether it'll be worth the stress... I'm not sure at all...
CXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3071 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 15236 times:
Quoting metjetCEO (Reply 4): I was thinking they look like F16s, but then again I am a commercial a/c guy....
First thing I did was check wikipedia for Slovak Air Force, and saw that they had no F16's only Mig29's. Knew something must have been wrong!
Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 9): THE PICS WERE FROM QR'S FIRST FLIGHT TO BELGIUM WHERE 2 F-16'S WERE ESCORTING THE QR PLANE ON ITS MAIDEN FLIGHT TO BELGIUM AS A WELCOME GESTURE!
That makes much more sense, not only because of the F-16, but the fact that the QR plane in the second photo is much closer to the layer of cloud (that and the fact the F-16 had its landing gears out), which must mean the plane was descending.
LAX888 From Singapore, joined Oct 2010, 279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14313 times:
I am curious, how can this happen, that an aircraft cannot establish contact with ATC? Were they on the wrong frequency? It seems thereafter they could establish contact again, so it does not sound like a breakdown of the system I am a bit baffled to be honest. Does this happen on a regular basis? Also is QR going to pay for the dispatch of those Mig29? I am sure it must have cost a few thousands just to dispatch those fighters.
Not only does the profile of the fighter give it away as an F16, another clue is that the flight appears to be going westbound based on the position of the sun. That would be the opposite direction to London-Doha
catiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3038 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8595 times:
Quoting LAX888 (Reply 21): I am curious, how can this happen, that an aircraft cannot establish contact with ATC?
I think it happens more often then we know. Seems like it is an easy mistake to make.
On a related note, it happened a few years back to a DL 767 traveling from IST to JFK. It was intercepted in Dutch airspace. The link below has more info and also has a recording of the intercept and the communications between the fighters, the DL 767, and the ground.