View Full Version : Olympic Airlines A340 military escort into STN ?

26th Sep 2004, 14:26
Rumours circulating about an OAL A340 being diverted into STN with presumably RAF escort ?

ETA STN 1450z.

Anyone know anything ?

26th Sep 2004, 14:37
What's OAL? Olympic of Greece? I recall a similar incident with one of their B732's into Lyon Satolas many years ago.

Hope all is OK with all on board and it't not another attempted hijacking.

Was the aircraft en route to USA?

26th Sep 2004, 14:43
Yeah, Olympic A340. Now on ground at STN. STN closed TFN !

26th Sep 2004, 15:09
No sign of any closure at STN, according to the live flight arrivals and departures on the BAA stansted site.

26th Sep 2004, 15:14
MoD confirms flight was escorted. Anyone got more on this?

Mark Lewis
26th Sep 2004, 15:17
On Sky News:


26th Sep 2004, 15:25
Jet2, arrivals & deps were closed whilst the A340 taxied in.
STN opened shortly after.
Thankfully they didn't park it outside the FLS hangar like the Ariana incident !

Rwy in Sight
26th Sep 2004, 15:28
The aircraft took off normally at 12:30 local time as OA 411. Some 3 hours later a major greek paper received a warninig about the existence of a bomb abroad this flight.

So the captain decided to landed at STN.

Rwy in Sight

Thunderball 2
26th Sep 2004, 15:29
BBC News 1625

Security alert plane lands safely

RAF Tornados were scrambled

A plane has landed safely at Stansted Airport in what was believed to be a security alert.
An unspecified number of RAF planes were scrambled after Olympic Airways flight OA411 from Athens to New York asked to be diverted to Stansted.

It landed at 1529 GMT and the RAF planes have now returned to base after the incident was concluded 'safely', according to the MOD.

Essex police and fire services were in attendance at the airport.

'Full emergency conditions'

A spokesman for Stansted Airportsaid the plane landed under "full emergency conditions."

The BBC's Athens correspondent Richard Galpin told BBC News 24 the incident happened after an elderly man called a Greek newspaper anonymously and told them there was an bomb on board.

The paper called the police, who called the airline. No code word is believed to have been used.

The plane, which was carrying 290 passengers, landed safely.

The RAF is not releasing any more details of how many of its planes were involved for security reason.

26th Sep 2004, 15:57
So, had there been a bomb on board, what exactly would the RAF Tornadoes have done and what purpose was served in scrambling them?

26th Sep 2004, 16:06
I presume SOP is to scramble at the slightest sniff of suspision of anything untoward.

If a hijack event a la 9/11 takes place, then their ROE would quickly be changed from 'intercept, identify, report' to 'clear engage'.

However, they won't know until they actually intercept the target.

In this particular event, little was achieved from a military point of view, apart from a usefull exercise and good PR. Thankfully.

26th Sep 2004, 20:53
Aircraft originally wanted to go LHR!

Still at STN at 2100 local although flight plan continuing to JFK has been filed but this was many hours ago.

26th Sep 2004, 22:30
Apparently when the two F3s RTB Coningsby the runway condition was Black.
I think one of the BOBMF Spits had gone off the runway.
Hopefully nothing too serious and I don't think the F3s had to divert.

Kaptin M
27th Sep 2004, 00:51
This incident lends a lot of credence to the thread Aircraft hijackings - the REALITY (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=145580), I believe.
If not, why FOUR fighters?

27th Sep 2004, 03:22
(shell suit, big tash,scouse accent)...calm down calm down all you raf types. conningsby ...spits...condition black...yawn yawn.Two fighters earned their keep to show we are puppets of the yanks.end of.
scrap the lot of em

just a thought.. do they wait until the aircraft is over a shitty part of town,or the country before they fox one it or is there a sort of hijack etiquette NIMBY (not in my back yard syndrome ) type attitude at play here.after all we couldnt have the inbred windsors getting hurt could we might clear up the gene pool too much, oh and liberate some national assets from the german/greek dynasty that has hijacked this once proud land .etc etc..

Good job cat stevens want on board...get a grip.

time to deletion by a mod...less than 4 hours.

27th Sep 2004, 03:47
My God Bigdick, what have you been smoking:confused: :confused:

Say Mach Number
27th Sep 2004, 08:09
Happened to be on stand at time when the OAL A340 landed in STN and there were some interesting exchanges between ATC and the A340.

THe crew of the A340 were continually asking how long the fire engines were going to be? This went on for about 15 minutes. Crew sounded very agitated as you would expect considering the crew told ATC they had given 50 mins notice of arrival.

ATC explanation "local airport problem"

Next question from crew was how many sets of steps were coming to aircraft. The answer from ATC was 1(one) which resulted in a curt response of "well done England" from OAL crew.

One set for 290 pax!! Think they blew some slides in the end.

Was parked on other side of airport so didnt have a first hand view but it sounded like a farce listening on radio.

Hope for all our sakes there was a master plan in place and I didnt have the big picture but it sure as hell didnt sound like it.

27th Sep 2004, 09:08
any news on its departure again?

27th Sep 2004, 11:42
Athens airport is inherently safe but with all the additional security measures lately, there couldn't have been anything untoward placed on anything that remotely resembles an aircraft or on anything else within a radius of 100nm for that matter :zzz:

According to the Athenian News Agency, the ac departed around 0800Z for KJFK following an allnight search of luggage and airplane. Passengers stayed in nearby hotels. (What's the nightlife like in the area?) It was also reported that the ac diverted to STN on instruction from the authorities as STN was "better trained and equipped" to handle cases such as this one :ugh: :confused:


27th Sep 2004, 13:01
Better trained and equipped? Not according to OAL crew. Nightlife at Stanstead=ZILCH!

27th Sep 2004, 13:06
So, had there been a bomb on board, what exactly would the RAF Tornadoes have done and what purpose was served in scrambling them? They would have "arranged", if necessary, for the bomb to explode in less undesireable location than might have otherwise have been intended (for some definition of "less undesireable") :uhoh:

27th Sep 2004, 14:25
The bomb threat was received while the aircraft was still in Southern Europe.

The French allowed it fly all the way through their airspace and let it come to the UK.

Originally the crew wanted to land at Heathrow - French ATC put in a reroute with EGLL as destination.

This was changed to EGSS when London received the Flight Plan.

Not that much notice for Stansted.

Well done to the ATCO who vectored it along the channel and round the coast with nearly every level of NATS management standing behind him, watching like some bad Keifer Sutherland movie.

27th Sep 2004, 14:27
The crew of the A340 were continually asking how long the fire engines were going to be? This went on for about 15 minutes.

Hang on, the crew diverted because they were told a bomb might be on board, and then argued with ATC for 15 minutes on the ground for the fire services to arrive?

Why not evacuate via the slides then?

27th Sep 2004, 14:42
There must have been some amazing "problem" at Stansted.. the AFS at Heathrow reckoned to reach anywhere on the airfield in just a few minutes.

Doubt we'll ever know the truth.

Goldfish Watcher
27th Sep 2004, 15:37
Why would the fire service want to rush toward an aircraft that was potentially about to explode? Aren't they the folks who put fires out ?

Get everyone off first then send people who are paid to look for these things.

747 Downwind
27th Sep 2004, 17:12
Say Mach Number: ".. crew told ATC they had given 50 mins notice of arrival."

On a westbound flight at an A340 cruising G/S that would put the jet nicely in the French FIR, as substantiated by VectorLine.

Unlike the French to pass the buck:E

Those horrible little turds should pay up for whatever costs will be incured upon the British tax-payer, not to mention questioning the safety of the crew and their passengers!:* :mad:

If my facts are somewhat untrue I apologise to all of France:suspect: , but I read it in the Daily Mail so it must be true!:O

Departures Beckham
27th Sep 2004, 19:22
I was also listening to Tower, Ground and 121.6 yesterday. I noted the steps (single set) arrival time as 20-21 minutes after landing. The Airport Fire Service were positioned at runway holding points PRIOR to the aircraft arrival, and the crew were not calling for the Fire Service to attend. Once parked the crew were switched to 121.6 and contact was established between the acft and Fire 1. It was with Fire 1 that the crew were requesting the steps, and were understandbly distressed that they had to wait so long for them. The Servisair steps did eventually arrive, by which time I understand the coaches were waiting to transport the pax to the terminal.

It was very worrying that the steps took so long to arrive, especially as there would have been a number of suitable steps located much closer which would not have needed to be towed from one side of the airfield to the other.

27th Sep 2004, 19:28
ahh but this is the days of user pays.... and someone would have had to sign a handling contract before anyone provided stairs!!!
Exploding planes dont pay bills you know! :\ :{ :ouch:

HOTDOG - you obviously aint seen the flying trapeze in the wine tower at the SAS Radisson STN. Perfect evenings entertainment for any red blooded male.

Say Mach Number
27th Sep 2004, 22:11
At the time on stand I wasnt aware what the nature of the emergency was but assumed it was serious.

But to 'Departures Beckham' I was only listening to ground because we were trying to get out of Stansted and the OAL crew were definately asking ATC how long before the fire service were going to be and they asked 3 or 4 times.

Only found out it was a bomb threat once saw it on the news. But can assure you the tone on the voices of the OAL crew definately gave me the impression they were not impressed with what was taking place around them.

What took place after landing was obviously not what the crew thought was going to happen.

27th Sep 2004, 23:05
I have often been wondering about the purpose of escort fighter jets. Ok, there is an emergency, a bomb threat but WHAT are the fighters going to do??? Shoot us down? Or just scare our passengers whitless?
Is there a purpose of this escort that is hidden to me? I thought this sort of behaviour was limited to US showoffs.

16 blades
27th Sep 2004, 23:17
STN is the designated div to handle any hijacked / threatened aircraft, is set up to deal with such and has been for some time. Quite why the crew didn't evacuate the pax down the slides as soon as the parking brake was on is beyond me.

Post 9/11, ALL reports of hijacked / bomb threat etc aircraft would result in an intercept and escort. Had this been a hijack, and the aircraft suddenly driven towards a heavily poulated target a-la WTC, many many people would be glad of the fact that there is an armed aircraft there to ensure the loss of 300 lives does not become the loss of 3000 lives or worse.

For those of you determined to sling insults at the AD boys, just imagine being the person who has to fire upon a fully laden airliner to prevent even worse loss of life. Sh1tty deal, but what other choice is there?

Having air defence QRA could not be more relevant nowadays.


27th Sep 2004, 23:24
The Servisair steps did eventually arrive, by which time I understand the coaches were waiting to transport the pax to the terminal.

Coincidental or intended ? Can't have passengers wandering about the apron now, can we ?

VH-Cheer Up
28th Sep 2004, 00:07
Certain aspects of QRA policy canvassed here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmdfence/518/2030611.htm.

Read Q 529... And happy flying, chaps!

28th Sep 2004, 00:54
>>Quite why the crew didn't evacuate the pax down the slides as soon as the parking brake was on is beyond me.<<

Obviously, it was because the pax lacked the requisite airport ID and high viz vest to be on the ramp at EGSS. If you've done a walkaround there, you know what I mean...

A and C
28th Sep 2004, 07:40
If I was put in this situation with the threat of a bomb on the aircraft I would have ordered an evacuation via the slides had the steps not been in place as soon as the aircraft parked.

I could and would not expect the pax and crew to sit on top of a potental bomb wile the BAA get there act together. I am paid to keep the pax safe not to fit in with the timetable of some BAA paperpusher.

28th Sep 2004, 09:30
The issue of steps was raised a while a go. Many German airfields fire services have large aircraft steps mounted on a standard fire engine chasis. Seems like the perfect piece of kit for this sort of thing and should certainly be standard at places like STN.

Much safer than blowing slides, How do you know the bomb is not in the slide? Best to only touch things you have already used.

28th Sep 2004, 10:15
Many moons ago(early 80s) we were coming back from Athens in a Dan Comet up the usual east side of Italy when we were asked to call Roma. Over we went only to be told they had a message from London that "there is a bomb on your aircraft"!! Note, not "there might be" but "there IS". After an initial fit of crying, we decided to test how quickly you could descend in a Comet with everything dangling. Quite fast actually and amid screams of "I don't want to die" from the three of us we were on finals at Rimini in about 5 mins. It transpired that the Italian military were having a practice invasion or something similar (in those days most airfields were jointly run by civil and mil - are they still?) and were at a high state of readiness. As we turned off the runway we were met by two sets of motor driven steps which positioned at our pax doors far quicker than we could have deployed the slides. Before you could say Mama Mia, pax and crew were whisked away to a flash hotel and left the aircraft parked just off the runway but clearly creating an obstruction. Rimini was closed for 12 hours and inbound charter aircraft diverted to the rest of Italy.
Needless to say, no bomb was found but hundreds of pax were inconvenienced by one stupid hoax call.

28th Sep 2004, 18:35
From the BBC website....

New bomb scare diverts Greek jet

The incident comes two days after a Greek jet was forced to land in the UK
A New York-bound Olympic Airways flight carrying 295 passengers has landed in Ireland after a bomb alert.
An Athens newspaper received warning of a bomb on board, the airline said - the second such incident in three days.

"There was a call to a local newspaper around 3.45pm (1245 GMT) saying a bomb on the plane would explode in an hour," Olympic Airlines' Melina Pitta said.

"Nothing has happened," she added. The plane made an emergency landing at Shannon, the nearest airport.

Passengers were being evacuated and taken to a secure area for screening before the plane is searched.

Jets scrambled

The BBC's Richard Galpin, in Athens, says Greek officials have said the incident is an "absolute carbon copy" of an incident on Sunday.

Then, Olympic Airlines flight 411 landed at Stansted in the UK after a bomb alert.

That plane was en route from Athens to New York when a Greek newspaper took anonymous phone calls saying there was a bomb on board.

RAF jets were scrambled and escorted the plane, with 301 passengers and crew, to Stansted, near London.

The aircraft resumed its flight to New York on Monday.

'Copy-cat fears'

The second aircraft, with a crew of 12, took off from Athens at 1013 GMT, Ms Pitta said.

The airline spokesman said US authorities had refused permission for the plane to land at New York's JFK airport.

Airline sources told the Greek news agency ANA that they believed the bomb threat was a hoax, adding that passenger checks in Athens were rigorous.

David Learmount, operations and safety editor of Flight International magazine, told the Press Association news agency: " What the worry is now is that this could spark off copy-cat actions that could disrupt airline services."

29th Sep 2004, 12:05
16 Blade said:
For those of you determined to sling insults at the AD boys, just imagine being the person who has to fire upon a fully laden airliner to prevent even worse loss of life. Sh1tty deal, but what other choice is there?

WHY? The airliner IS under full control by the pilots that most likely have landed the jet before. IF the bomb explodes suddently what on earth are you going to do? Yeah, add some more explosives, huh? Or are you perhaps going to divert the wrekage to some less populated area?
Remember when Richard Reid (aka shoebomber) was captured, US fighters escorted the airliner in for landing. THE MAN HAD ALREADY BEEN TIED UP! Only his nose was visible and he was barely able to breathe. YUP, letīs bring in the airforce scouts. Isnīt this showoff? If not, what is?

29th Sep 2004, 15:51
What an appropriate name, Sir!

29th Sep 2004, 17:25
Master [email protected]

You are clearly talking out of your hoop, go away with your bag of chips and annoy the kindergarten forum.

Your "argument" is flawed and you cannot seriously say we do not need QRA cover for rogue airliners. It has nothing to do with "showing off", it is MoD policy, do you really think the guys and girls enjoy the enormous weight of responsibility placed on them?

Well said Flt Lt!!!

Giles Wembley-Hogg
29th Sep 2004, 18:52
On the subject of steps. Does anyone know if any UK Airport Fire Services have steps? A set of steps operated by the Fire Service would be very useful at Heathrow. At least then the necessary equipment is operated by people who are in the business of safety rather than a commercial organisation.

I guess that persuading HAL to buy steps for their Fire Service would be difficult as they would not get much use. Since it would take my company an age to get steps to an aircraft in distress at a remote part of the airfield, perhaps the Fire Service could use their own set to provide a faster response thereby returning the airfield to normal operations more quickly and thus saving HAL money.

Slightly off topic I know. Sorry.


29th Sep 2004, 22:12
Is this the best answer you can give in this argument?

No wonder we canīt win any wars nowadays:uhoh:

16 blades
29th Sep 2004, 23:32
Master Rocket Polisher,

AD crews are good, I'll admit, however clairvoyance is not an entry requirement, nor is it in the training syllabus. Tell me exactly how an attendant F3 crew are meant to know:

1. Exactly who is in control of the aircraft.

2. What their intentions are.

3. Whether or not a hijacker / potential 'shoe bomber' has been subdued / tied up / hooded / given the kicking they deserved by the cabin crew / pax.

If the attendant interceptor cannot determine the above, a controller on the ground looking at a radar return has even less of a chance.

Seems like you have an unfulfilled dream in there somewhere - either that or you're just an ignorant [email protected].


30th Sep 2004, 01:09
16 Blades.
Well, who would know at any time whoīs in control of any jet?
Are you going to look and see if there is a turban visible through the cockpit windows. Why not follow us all? I was referring to problem NOT related to aircraft control. I canīt see how a bomb threat or a maniac all tied up and secured, justify the taxpayers money thrown at such a thing as an escort service.

Reading the personal shitload thrown at me for asking a simple question really shows the mental status of the military today. :yuk:

16 blades
30th Sep 2004, 02:23
It's a question of safety. Post 9/11, ANY threatened aircraft will be given an 'escort' in case the worst happens. Just because somebody calls in a bomb threat, are you going to take that as the sole and definitive threat to that aircraft? What if a 'subdued' hijacker / shoebomber managed to free himself and take control of the aircraft?

I do see your original point - yes, an escort wouldn't be much good to an ac that suddenly explodes mid-flight. But does it not make sense to provide an escort when something, ANYTHING suspect is happening? Perhaps a bomb would not bring the ac down, in which case I'm sure the crew would be glad of someone outside to give them a visual inspection.

I think you pissed people off by suggesting that the often difficult and dangerous job we do is nothing more than showboating in this case.

How would YOU like to be the poor sod who gets the order to shoot down an aircraft with 300+ POB? Please think about that before you denigrate our job.

In the spirint of good discussion, I have attempted to keep this post insult-free - I hope you read it as such.


30th Sep 2004, 06:58
And MB - no one could know if the shoebomber was acting alone......
Or was he just the diversion before fellow d!ckheads attacked the distracted crew?

A and C
30th Sep 2004, 07:53
I agree with you about the quick reaction steps it sounds like a very good idea.

You ask the question " how do you know that the bomb is not in the slide?".

I have packed slides and the biggest problem that you have is getting the slide small enough to get into the box , this involves(with the bigger slides ) two or three days of withdrawing the air inside the slide with a vac pump.
The stowage in the aircraft is such that it would not be easy to hide a bomb inside without it being noticed by the cabincrew on there checks , no doubt someone here will tell us that you could hide a bomb in a but in my opinion there are far easyer and more descreet places for such a device to be hidden.

30th Sep 2004, 15:33

Your original post had nothing to do with asking a "simple question" as you innocently claim, it was inflammatory and derisory towards AD crews involved with a QRA scramble and the RAF in general, do no therefore be surprised when you get a "shitload" thrown back at you.

You were trying to do nothing more than highlight the huge chip on your shoulder regarding the military. If you have nothing sensible to say, then dont bother.

If you have a genuine "simple question" i suggest you refer it to 16blade who seems to know what (s)he is talking about. I suspect however you wont bother, instead you will just read through more threads looking for more opportunities to highlight how much of a MasterBate(r) you really are.