• Sweden edition
 
Luftwaffe fighters pursue Swedish charter plane

Luftwaffe fighters pursue Swedish charter plane

Published: 25 Jul 2012 15:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jul 2012 15:14 GMT+02:00

“The plane had lost radio contact momentarily and the German planes were there to make sure everything was alright,” confirmed Alexander Huber, CEO of the air company Tuifly Nordic to The Local.

The plane had taken off from the Gothenburg Landvetter airport and was cruising over Bremen when it suddenly lost radio contact with air traffic contol.

“Air traffic control lost radio contact with the plane at 8:41 am, and activated a request for a sight identification of the plane," said Captain André Hesse of the Luftwaffe to The Local.

According to Hesse, two Phantom F4F jets on a training flight were ordered off their route and redirected to the plane to carry out a sight identification.

"This involves getting close enough to identify the plane – and to take a look in the cockpit to see whether anything unusual is happening. They have to come relatively close to do this," Hesse told The Local.

For several nerve-racking minutes the pilots struggled to regain contact before finally getting the radio to work again while the two fighters flew alongside the charter plane.

Hesse also told The Local that Luftwaffe planes must react within 15 minutes to any such request as part of the Nato integrated air defence system covering Europe.

“The Phantoms escorted the plane from 8:45 until 9:00, when radio contact with air traffic control was re-established,” said Hesse.

According to Alexander Huber, it isn’t that uncommon for planes to temporarily lose radio contact and he maintains that passengers were never at risk.

“It has happened before, both to us and to other companies. All countries have different routines as to how fast they deploy their air force to check out the situation. It differs from country to country,” Huber said.

The jet plane, a Boeing 737-800, is currently on its way back to Gothenburg from Mallorca.

“When it arrives back to Sweden we will make a full investigation into why it lost contact with air traffic control,” Huber told The Local.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

02:17 July 26, 2012 by Eagle63
Wow, do the Germans still use the old F4 Phantom..? That was a great plane btw....
08:01 July 26, 2012 by bsutemp112
Several air forces still do (including Greece and Turkey within NATO), though many of them, such as the Luftwaffe's, have been upgraded. I think the Germans are retiring them this year now that more Eurofighters have come into service, however.
09:10 July 26, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
'For several nreve-racking minutes the pilots struggled to regain contact before finally getting the radio to work again while the two fighters flew alongside the charter plane'.

One wonders how long the pilots had to regain radio contact before the missiles would have been launched, or would the missilies only have been launched it the plane took a collision course with a populated or military target other than an airport.

One imagines a system where commerical pilots are informed of secret set of hand signals to make from the cockpit to signal if things are okay or not okay (with many sets of signals to choose from for every flight), and that the fighter pilots could then be informed of the set of signals in use for that particular flight, in order to properly interpret the pilots hand signals.

Or if things are okay, could one of the pilots not walk back into the cabin and grab a sattellite phone to alert some central air traffic control office not to shoot them down? Some planes have satellite phones on the back of every chair, and most have with no phones, but one imagines that each plane should be equipped with at least one for emergency use.
10:17 July 26, 2012 by Prestonrobsun
Same near London yesterday. A Thomas cook plane 'lost contact' and a Typhoon was scambled. My, it was noisy!

Some threat we are not aware of?
20:10 July 26, 2012 by jack sprat
Most likely simply forgot what frequency they needed to be on, as they normally change a few times during the course of a flight.
15:21 July 27, 2012 by BillyH
Thats what happens, if you go bombing countries with teddies, we won't stand for it.
18:39 July 27, 2012 by james7
Prestonrobsun, Yes, the threat is muslims flying planes into buildings, something everyone should be aware of.
21:37 July 28, 2012 by AirForceGuy
Eagle63, that was my first reaction too. The Luftwaffe is STILL flying F-4s? I flew them last in 1981. That was 30+ years ago!
22:31 July 31, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Lesson learned. Make sure that all electronics are properly working before take off.
15:38 August 3, 2012 by capt
Usually happens when air traffic control fails to hand-off the aircraft to the next sector as it passes out of radio range, The pilots don't realize this until the frequency has been "too quite" for a few minutes.
21:11 August 3, 2012 by sunnchilde
Fly the friendly skies...you too can almost be blown out of the sky because of an unfortunately-timed system malfunction.
00:48 August 9, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
"I think the Germans are retiring them this year now that more Eurofighters have come into service, however. "

Indeed.

They also had a bunch of MiG 29´s and Hinds etc. coming from the GDR reunion. The MiGs got sold off for symbolic 1 € and so did the Hind choppers I believe.
Today's headlines
National
King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament
King Carl XVI Gustaf arriving on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament

BREAKING: Sweden's post-election parliament is meeting for the first time following a fanfare opening from King Carl XVI Gustaf. READ  

Opinion
Should Sweden's school age be raised?
A high school in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Should Sweden's school age be raised?

After the new coalition announced plans to extend Sweden's compulsory schooling until the age of 18, The Local asked two Swedes at high school if they agreed with the idea. READ  

International
Sweden slammed for ecological footprint
Sweden should increase its renewable energy according to WWF. Photo:TT

Sweden slammed for ecological footprint

Sweden is among the world's top ten polluters according to one of the largest scientific studies looking at the impact of humans on earth, produced by the WWF. READ  

Society
Swede's necklace found after 52 years in lake
Ing-Marie Olofsson whose necklace was found. Photo: Private

Swede's necklace found after 52 years in lake

A 66-year-old Swedish woman got the surprise of her life when a fisherman returned the necklace she dropped in a lake at the age of 14. READ  

International
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Malin Sahlén during a Top Model shoot. Photo: TV3/Nina Holma

Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos

A British newspaper has apologised after a freelance journalist stole a Sweden's Next Top Model contestant's photo and created a fake Twitter account used to trick a UK minister. READ  

Brand stories
Johanna N: beautiful jewellery with a story

Johanna N: beautiful jewellery with a story

Aged just 27 and already living off of her own designs, some may consider Johanna Nilsson lucky. But she doesn't believe in luck. She's the founder of a jewellery line blending sustainability, subtle style, and Scandinavian simplicity - and it's taking the world by storm. READ  

Sport
Heel injury sidelines Zlatan in Barcelona clash
Photo: AP

Heel injury sidelines Zlatan in Barcelona clash

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss Tuesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Parc des Princes due to a nagging heel problem, the French club have confirmed. READ  

National
Stockholm patient tests negative after Ebola fears
The Infection Clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge. Photo: TT

Stockholm patient tests negative after Ebola fears

A patient in a Stockholm hospital who was suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus was given the all clear on Tuesday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
A Jas Gripen. Photo: TT

New coalition agrees on defence and migration

UPDATED: The Green Party has committed itself to expanding Sweden's defence force, while the Social Democrats have compromised on work permits for migrants. READ  

National
Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden
The patient is being treated at the Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: TT

Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden

Doctors in Stockholm are checking a patient suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

878
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN