View Full Version : Thomas Cook gets courtesy flypast...

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1st Sep 2004, 12:27
Thomas Cook Airlines gets French escort (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/01/ujet.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/09/01/ixportaltop.html) (from the D. Tel).

"Thomas Cook Airlines were shocked yesterday when they saw that they were being escorted by the warplanes as they flew over north-west France.

The jets intercepted the airliner after it had lost contact with French air traffic controllers (ATC) as it flew from the control area in Bordeaux to the one around Brest.


The story goes on to say that radio contact had been temporarily lost, but all was OK as there were back-up systems on board that the pilot could have used 'should he have required them'.

Er, when would that be, then, if not before the (presumably armed) fighters pop out of his six and give the pax rather more excitement than they bargained for? How many replies does a chap have to miss before getting the free air show?


1st Sep 2004, 14:22
How many replies does a chap have to miss before getting the free air show?

They aren't going to publish that, or everyone would be getting a couple of Super Etandards to show them they way to final!

1st Sep 2004, 14:49
I assume that they talk about the transponder as back-up system. It's pretty common that you push the ident button upon ATC request in response if you are unable to transmit on the radio.

Fighter escort means not necessarily immediate risk of being shut down, remember. The AdA (or was it the Marine?) used the occassion to show their readiness.

2nd Sep 2004, 08:23
There was one on the 31st about 11am-ish over Brest. Didn't recognise it as TC callsign but we were behind it.

Missed call for about 30 mins. Sister ship tried to get company to SELCAL it (wouldn't have worked anyway unless they monitor a HF freq and it was the right one for time of day/area).

Eventually he came up 121.5 when he spotted an "A jet" having a look at him.

Got to say the decibels in his voice got a bit higher.!

When over France with more than 5 mins silence I always check it now.

Maybe it was an early lunch distraction?


2nd Sep 2004, 09:00
Few days ago, managed to get 70 nm N of Patel without a handover from Madrid to Brest.

No fighter escort, just a rather embarassed spanish lady when I prompted her for a handover.

2nd Sep 2004, 10:05

Surprised you didn't prompt her earlier... Or were you just making a point?

I flew with someone who tells the story of not being contacted by the crew for 3 hours on a transatlantic flight. As far as he was concerned it was their responsibility to contact him and not vice-versa.

I thought we are all in this together not playing silly point scoring games. Perhaps the Spanish controller made a mistake, God forbid! Luckily as a pilot Arkroyal you probably don't make any.



2nd Sep 2004, 16:56
Not, so, Veemo.

As a LCC pilot I make many, and this was one of them. FIR boundary coincided with FO going to the loo, and I plain missed the position. Only when I heard spanish accent did the penny drop.

After an August with 92 flying hours in it and a 28 day peak of 98h 35m It's hardly surprising. But we did not miss any calls, and were certainly not point scoring!

2nd Sep 2004, 17:03
What's going to happen next?
The French Air Force/Marine will send the bill?
Did anyone had this experience before?
I only had it when I was flying in Air Force, and I was asked if I minded that some fighters would intercept us. I happily agreed, and watch a nice overshoot.:}
After that we reduced from .97 to .8 and, you guessed what, another overshoot.:E
Gosh, how I missed those days...(not the paycheck,though:yuk: )

6th Sep 2004, 08:29
It's not an uncommon experience to miss the handovers in the Bay of Biscay area, especially at night or at weekends.

It does show the benefit of good practice monitoring 121.5 or having the chart out to anticipate frequency/FIR boundary changes if not familiar with the area..