View Full Version : London - US flight bomb scare diversion (Merged)

Electric Sky
4th Apr 2003, 02:21
BBC reporting that a U.S. bound flight from London has landed safely in Ireland. No further details at present.

ES ;)

4th Apr 2003, 03:25
Its a United 777 enroute to JFK ...... 197 on board ....... decision made to overnight in SNN and do a full security check friday morning ....... passengers and crew being put up in local hotels ....... will certainly get a great welcome given the state of Tourism right now ........

its a beautifull clear night in SNN and if they pop out around 22.02 local time they should get a great view of the ISS(international space station) coming in from W with visibility ending at 22.06 SSW

cheers ......

p.s. ...... looks like a bomb warning written on a napkin !!!!

edit - ISS just gone over - bang on time with perfect visibility

4th Apr 2003, 14:39
Just heard on the news at 8am BST that a United Airlines jet inbound UK from America I believe divirted into EINN Shannon, Ireland as they found a note onboard claiming there was a bomb on board? I think it departed from JFK.

Anyone else know anything?

4th Apr 2003, 15:02
Flight was UA905 which depated LHR yesterday afternoon. (Airborne 1437 B.S.T.)

Electric Sky
4th Apr 2003, 22:21
Sadly I suspect this may become more common due to the current unrest. It is not difficult for some clown to smuggle a biro and a napkin on board a flight and cause panic. Hope they get the idiot that caused this to happen.

ES ;)

4th Apr 2003, 23:28
...smuggle a biro and a napkin on board...

No need to smuggle, as neither are prohibited items (AFAIK), and rightly so. While I can understand the current twitchiness, has any incident of a note or 'message on the mirror' ever lead to the discovery of explosives on board ? Genuine question.

5th Apr 2003, 21:21
I was the Captain on that flight....but can't comment just yet until all of the reports are filed and I get that lucky opportunity to sit down at that long green table and being the only guy without a glass of water.

Shannon was very proficient in their procedures and response.

A morning walk found the area very pretty, and the locals very hospitable. Foods good and left with a warm feeling. From the reception, not the Guiness......

West Coast
6th Apr 2003, 00:18
Small PPRUNE world we live in to have the skipper here.

7th Apr 2003, 17:12

glad you enjoyed your enforced stay, bring back lots of well paying friends [preferably voluntarily this time]; our tourist industry needs the money :D :D :D

11th Apr 2003, 21:51
Enough time has passed now......

Our flight had just approached Limri coast-out fix when the Relief Pilot called and asked to be let in the Cockpit.

On his arrival, he presented me with a small note that said "Theres a bomb on the plane" and asked me what I thought of it. He said it fell out of the rolled napkin that has the eating utensils in it.

We contacted dispatch on the Satellite phone but the connection kept dropping.

At this point I was faced with two basic options; divert now, while really in radar contact, or continue on the track and possibly divert in no radar. This can be done and we are trained to do, but offers no protection against someone else who has a problem and is also diverting off the tracks, and probably heading to the same ETOPS alternates as we are using. It was an unusal flight plan, with only two ETOPS alternates instead of the usually three, meaning we could be in the air for a very long time if we droned on.

Given the war in progress and us being a flag carrier, we decided to turn to Shannon. Besides, a few weeks earlier their had been another incident at LHR where someone had been smuggled aboard thru catering. And I remember coming to work in LHR last month when Armored Personnel Carriers and soldiers were all over the place at Heathrow.

We dumped about 60,000 pounds of fuel to get below landing weight and sped to SHA which was about 260 NM away.

Our Bomb checklist, and yes, there is one, calls for using the evacuation slides on the aircraft to deplane. Because there are always injuries in slide use, we co-ordinated with Shannon tower directly and had two stands awaiting on our arrival and busses were at the security hot spot.

That alone was the second smartest thing we did, after diverting.

Had we found a device or had confirmation of one onboard though we would have used the slides.

Then a comedy of errors set in; the Gardia's policy is (smartly) not to search the airplane until the elapsed time of the flight had passed, in case there was a timer activated device on board.

The search with dogs and explosive sniffers was to commence the next morning, but the use of CAT 2 approaches prohibited vehicles near the runway, so the search and catering did not begin until the fog lifted.

I believe we left about 3 PM or so local time.

Pax bags and carryon's were throughly searched.

Nothing was found.

Additionally, because of the late arrival of our equipment, the JFK-NRT pacific flight was cancelled, making this a very expensive two days.

LHR ops say the Authorities have narrowed the culprit down to one or two people.

Air Lingus station operations did a really great job with the crew and the passengers accomodations. They basically assigned one full time staff to handle all facets of the operation until we were gone. I know how to handle things in the US, but have no knowledge of people and procedures in Ireland. Without there assumption of the situation we would have been there a lot longer.

Electric Sky
11th Apr 2003, 22:54

Thanks for the inside reply. Sounds like a great job done by all with minimum fuss. It is a shame that a moment of absurd stupidity by someone has cost UAL such a vast amount of money at a time when they least need it. I doubt it will happen but I hope they do string up the culprit!

Happy flying!

ES ;)