JetBlue Plane Surrounded by Armed Police After Pilots Stop Communicating With Air Traffic Control

Janita Kan
By Janita Kan
June 27, 2018USshare

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A JetBlue flight was reportedly surrounded by armed police after its pilots lost contact with air traffic control at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The major security scare occurred on June 26 at around 8 p.m. when Flight 1623, which was scheduled to depart for Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m., became unresponsive before takeoff, Fox reported.

NTD Photo
A JetBlue flight was surrounded by armed police at JFK Airport in New York on June 26, 2018. (JEEPVader via Storyful)

Passengers on the flight took to social media to describe the moment when “heavily armed” police boarded the plane to investigate the security incident.

Photos showed passengers with their hands above their heads as authorities stormed through the Airbus A320.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a statement about the incident, explaining that the incident was caused by a “radio equipment problem.”

“JetBlue 1623, an Airbus A320, experienced a radio equipment problem while taxing for departure at John F. Kennedy International Airport tonight at 8 p.m. The crew requested to return to the ramp. The FAA will investigate.”

According to New York Daily News citing sources, the pilot had entered a hijack alert by mistake which triggered a Port Authority Police Emergency Services unit response.

“There was a false alarm sent to tower as a result of a radio communications failure,” Port Authority spokeswoman Lenis Rodrigues said on June 27, reported the news website.

“[The] aircraft was inspected and cleared with no security threat.”

At one point, the pilot held up a piece of paper with his cell phone number so police could call him.

The security scare was cleared in about an hour and the plane returned to the gate without incident.

Video Credit: JEEPVader via Storyful


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