View Full Version : VS bomb threat - divert STN

14th Oct 2004, 05:36
The BBC are reporting that a VS aircraft ex HKG has diverted to Stansted due to a bomb threat. Reported as having landed safely at about 0530 UK time with 233 pax on board.

itchy kitchin
14th Oct 2004, 07:52
Hmmm. Seems to be coming more and more common. I pray that its not a "Cry Wolf" situation, softening response to these warnings. I wonder if the warning was phoned into a newspaper like the other ones.

I hope they catch the hoaxers (i use this word carefully) and cut their balls off.:eek:

surely not
14th Oct 2004, 07:58
I hope they catch the hoaxers (i use this word carefully) and cut their balls off.

The question is IK, how do you know they are male????:D
Whoever they are, I wish them great pain throughout their sad existence, and multiple delays on any journeys they go on.

14th Oct 2004, 09:28
To top it all the Police have asked and been granted BA staff to go from LHR to STN to unload it as needless to say STN staff have refused to service it.

itchy kitchin
14th Oct 2004, 09:30
Hanging is too good for them. Male or Female.
At this time, when the industry is slowly getting back on it's feet, bombscares like this are not only alarming to the public, but potentially crippling to airlines (assuming they are hoaxes).
It could just be a couple of spotty 13 year old Herberts thinking it's a "great laugh" or "really cool".
The first line of my post still applies.

14th Oct 2004, 09:45
Why would BA staff do a Virgin job?

14th Oct 2004, 09:52
The Sky newsreader has just said" The transatlantic jet flying from Hong Kong to Heathrow,"......I suppose if you are used to getting the facts right you aren't suitable for work for the media....

14th Oct 2004, 10:03
Hmmm. Seems to be coming more and more common. I pray that its not a "Cry Wolf" situation, softening response to these warnings. I wonder if the warning was phoned into a newspaper like the other ones.

I live close to the QRA station, I heard them go up this morning and on the previous occasion (athens flight). Noise abatement is not on the list of priorities, so I would gather any such threat will get treated very seriously. It would be insane to disregard the warnings, hoax or otherwise.

14th Oct 2004, 11:30
Why won't STN people service it??

14th Oct 2004, 12:06
Why won't STN people service it??

No A340 qualified people here at STN, we never get these a/c in normally.

14th Oct 2004, 12:09
maybe because it had just landed with a suspected bomb on board might have something to do with it

or because they don\'t usually have A340 a/c landing there.

14th Oct 2004, 13:23
Said aircraft (G-VFOX) being towed Northside to Southside as we speak, must be ready to head back to LHR shortly.

red 5
14th Oct 2004, 15:40
Wandered what all the fighter activity above my house in cambridgeshire was at 05.10L was this morning.

14th Oct 2004, 16:35
No A340 qualified people here at STN, we never get these a/c in normally

What rubbish, at least one handling agent is fully qualified to deal with all aircraft types at any time of day or night, in fact they dealt with a number of A340's a few weeks ago when the fuellers went on strike at LHR.

The reason nobody will handle these "threat" aircraft is that the handling agents insurance company cannot and will not cover the costs involved if something did happen to any of it's staff.

Also under the health and safety at work act employers have a responsibilty for the safety and well being of their staff, I hardly thing asking blokes to go and offlaod bags with possible bombs in them is a reasonable request, and therefore the guys would be perfectly withing their rights to say "on yer bike" which is what happend last time when the Olympic arrived (hence the reason for the delay to the steps as discussed in another post) this was eventually offloaded by managers.

Since then it has been made perfectly clear by the powers that be that under no circumstances should handling agents get involved in anything to do with these situations until the police, army, SAS or whoever is in charge has declared it perfectly safe, and even then they still don't have to deal with it.

15th Oct 2004, 07:49
Please take the the time to read posts before you fire off - the question was why won't STN people service it, not unload it. We are talking different issues here.

15th Oct 2004, 08:03
Servicing, unloading bags, refuelling, toilet dumping etc etc is all the same thing.

We are only covered by insurance if it is one of our own a/c, even then it is a voluntary act if we were to go to the a/c until declared safe, and no action can be taken against us if we choose not to. We handle 3rd party airlines and are therefore not covered by insurance if something does happen so quite understandable if nobody comes fwd until the incident is declared safe.

15th Oct 2004, 08:27
Sounds maybe a little bit stupid but why did they divert to STN?

LHR is not that far away and I assume better prepared for such damm occurances?

15th Oct 2004, 08:42
I think STN is the UK's designated airport for any terrorist/hijacker related diverts?

15th Oct 2004, 08:43

STN is fully equip for these type of events. There is a police anti terrorist squad based just down the road.

LHR would be out of the question, flying over London with a suspect bomb on board? I don't think so!


15th Oct 2004, 09:00
Ah soo its different from Germany where crazy people can fly over big cities with hijacked pipers without getting shot
and where airliners diverting due to bomb-threads or hijacking approach via downtown to the next rwy.

Thanx for the replies that makes sense!

15th Oct 2004, 09:32
BA ramp staff trained a Met Police team to do all the associated ground services activities. In this case the Met asked BA staff to go to STN and oversee the operation, which is a bit rich in that BA gets nothing for this and clearly it would be no lose to BA to see the A340 sit at STN all week with bags stuck on board, albeit not very sociable.

Sadly this load/unload situation in the case of a bomb threat has been unresolved sincethe 70's, still causing all sorts of issues each time a threat occurs besides which it is only tax payers monies.

15th Oct 2004, 10:25
With respect guys, what I was referring to was the Technical side. A Licensed engineer has to certify the aircraft as fit for flight, and there ain't no A340 cover at STN.

15th Oct 2004, 10:46
True enough, but as I state if I worked for abc airlines and was contracted to handle xyz airlines, our insurance would not cover us in the event that something did happen until the all clear was given by the relevant authority.

In fact this did happen to us and the crew did the necessary stuff, i.e. gear pins etc until the all clear was given.

bacardi walla
16th Oct 2004, 08:32
so who serviced the OA A340 on divert a couple of weeks earlier ?
Surely FLS can provide tech support, and Metro handle VIP A340's so surely there IS support at STN.

16th Oct 2004, 08:50
<<Sounds maybe a little bit stupid but why did they divert to STN?

LHR is not that far away and I assume better prepared for such damm occurances>>

There has been provision for many years for crews of a/c with "problems" to be asked, on behalf of the airport authority, if they would consider diverting a less busy airfield to prevent disruption at a major airport. The final decision is, of course, with the Captain.

16th Oct 2004, 10:26
Seem to remember that LHR (BAA) asked 'china-girl' with the gear-up a few years ago about Manston being available, which was rubbish, LHR management didn't want 27L shut down for the day

16th Oct 2004, 10:28
Hmm! Must be an echo in here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=146200)

16th Oct 2004, 12:52
<<LHR management didn't want 27L shut down for the day>>


16th Oct 2004, 18:19
It is time to stop using Stansted for these bomb threat flights. It won't be long before there are dozens of them. All one has to do is phone up and say there is bomb on board and everyone is BOUND to treat it as a serious threat.

Sadly, it is possible that there might be a flight a day like this, and really Stansted will soon not be suitable. Arguably Manston or Brize Norton might be better. There are other potentially better places than STN, as well.

Wherever it is, there really should be a slick operation set up, dealing with all requirements, so that the passengers and the operator are not too inconvenienced. It was not Virgin's fault that one of their aicrraft became a "bomb threat", and next time it could be BA, bmi, or any other airline.

Britain needs to get its act together on this. It is strong on emergency services, less good on other aspects.

16th Oct 2004, 20:34
I may be wrong of course, but somehow I don't think that these bomb threats are the work of kids. As far as I remember the two Olympic threats were made to Greek media and from the posts above, I'm not clear where the Virgin threat ended up.

Maybe the bad guys are just trying to test our resolve with the cry wolf principle, as someone pointed out earlier, and then when we become lax, whamo! Maybe the suicide bombers are finding it more difficult to get aboard?

In the early 80s I worked in a high office building which was evacuated 13 times because of bomb threats from the Puerto Rican Liberation movement. After the fifth time many of us decided to stay behind at our desks instead of walking down 24 floors and mingle on a cold sidewalk for hours until the cops said it was OK to go back in. You start developing a feeling of fate.

For history purposes, bomb threats and bombs on commercial aircraft started in the U.S. in the l950s when I believe some sick soul bought a million dollar, or something like that, insurance policy for his mother or wife. The plane did blow up but he was caught. However, ever since then, copycats, terrorists, disgruntled emplyees and others with an axe to grind toward a particular airline have used this method.

Some have been very successful, so don't let up on the possibility that it can't be me.

16th Oct 2004, 21:05

They don't all end up at Stanstead, dealt with plenty of these at LHR, which is set up to deal with them just as well.

However Stanstead is 'prefered' because obviously its out of the way. Have an A340 stuck on one of the remote blocks at LHR and its not that remote!

Heathrow Director is right the BAA would prefer to get rid to somewhere else, saves thier runways being closed, but I have seen plenty of captains insist on going to LHR.

19th Oct 2004, 11:11
The reason STN is used is not because of LHR or anyone else for that matter not wanting an aircraft potentially closing a runway, nor is it to do with flying over a built up city.

STN is designated for a number of reasons, some which I cannot divulge. However having been involved in Practice Hijacks for the DOT/Police et al I can assure you it is the most well provided for in the situation.

Lancelot de boyles
19th Oct 2004, 11:51
Maybe the bad guys are getting smarter. It must take less effort to make our lives more expensive with hoaxes (1 telephone call or so), than it does to get explosives, weapons and people into position for one attrocity.

A main aim of terrorism surely is major disruption? However it is achieved.

19th Oct 2004, 11:54
Often see exercises happening at STN and special forces are not an irregular sight at some of the airports locations.
This is why STN is the designated airport so everybody that needs to be familiar with the possible scenarios,are.

Flip Flop Flyer
19th Oct 2004, 12:45
Not quite, in my opinion. The aim of terrorism is generally to further a political agenda by causing disruption - therefore the disruption is a mean to an ends and not a goal in and of itself.

Furthering a political agenda, terrorism style, has the biggest impact if the perpretrators make their presence known, or in other words assume responsibility for acts of terror. Secondly, the act has to be significant enough to warrent newspaper headlines, preferably over an extended period of time. Hijacking of passenger aircraft used to be a preferred method as it had all the components of a good "story" for the news media.

Now calling an anonymous bombthreat does very little to further any political agenda, and may therefore not be classified as an act of terror. I would also very much dubt whether a government would be willing to speak to you on the basis of a bomb threat, whereas they'll probably open the lines of communications right quick if you're holding passengers at ransom.

With all this in mind, my sad conclusions is that we're either dealing with bored teenagers, disenfranchised airline staff or simply deranged individuals. In either case, the perceived risk far outweighs the true danger but, and here's the catch, any and all threats must be dealt with correctly. The terrorists only has to get it right once to succeed, we have to get it right all the time.

19th Oct 2004, 14:28
Flip Flop Flyer

Yes they do want to cause disruption, and the more the embuggerence factor the more the population will lobby Goverment to do something about it.

The examples of this seem to be forgotten, or not known about, the IRA used to make threats all the time, using recognised code words, not that many resulted in a bomb going off. But the disruption was there just the same. Roads or airports were closed, flights diverted and time was taken to search premises, which obvioulsy remained shut while that was happening. That has an economic as well as phycological effect.

Yes, you are probably right about the recent 'threats', probably do come from the groups of people you mention, but other threats don't. Just look at the number of times the US has gone onto 'red alert' recently. Nothing happened, maybe nothing was ever going to happen, maybe it was, but the general effect worked for the terrorists they induced terror, which is the name of the game.

Chip Dyson
19th Oct 2004, 21:57
"if they would consider diverting a less busy airfield to prevent disruption at a major airport"

Heathrow Director, I don't think that an airport with 600 movements a day can be considered a minor airport. We still have to deal with a lot of crap at SS and move a good chunk of the SE's movements. If the Virgin had diverted in at 0630(L) it would have disrupted the airport for the rest of the day (Mr O'Leary would not have been too pleased!!!). Anyway makes for a more interesing night shift!?!?!?