• 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

Swedish tourists on board a Mallorca-bound charter plane were shocked to see two German Luftwaffe fighter planes appear beside them, after the aircraft had temporarily lost radio contact with air traffic control.

“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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

771
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