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Atlas plane forced to land in Mumbai over call sign confusion

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Atlas plane forced to land in Mumbai over call sign confusion

Old 31st Jul 2006, 23:42
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Atlas plane forced to land in Mumbai over call sign confusion

The Indo-Asian news service has following headline:

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) An American Boeing-747 masquerading as a US Air Force (USAF) plane has been detained at the Mumbai airport and authorities are verifying its antecedents, officials here said Monday.
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Old 1st Aug 2006, 02:41
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Sounds like an Atlas Air military charter operating with a 'Reach' callsign:

US aircraft detained in Mumbai

[ 31 Jul, 2006 2230hrs ISTIANS ]

NEW DELHI: An American Boeing-747 masquerading as a US Air Force (USAF) plane has been detained at the Mumbai airport and authorities are verifying its antecedents, officials here said on Monday.

The aircraft, which was bound for Hong Kong from Nairobi, "is still at Mumbai and is yet to file its further flight plan," an Indian Air Force (IAF) spokesman here said.

The first indication that something was amiss came at 10.05 pm on Sunday when the Mumbai Movement Liaison Unit (MLU) of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) called the IAF to confirm clearance for a USAF Boeing-747 that was to enter Indian airspace at 00.47 am on Monday.

"As there was no air operations routine (AOR) available for this aircraft or any other military aircraft flying this route from July 27 to Aug 1, MLU was advised to inform the aircraft through the Mumbai Flight Information Centre (FIC) that it was not permitted to enter Indian airspace," the spokesman said.

At 11 pm, the Mumbai MLU called to inform that the aircraft was now coming as a civil registered aircraft operated by Atlas Air and had obtained the DGCA clearance.

"At 00.55 am, the duty officer at (the Gandhinagar-based) South Western Air Command called to inform that he was refusing clearance to this aircraft due to the suspicious change in aircraft particulars from military to civil," the spokesman said.

"At 2.10 am, he informed that the aircraft was being asked to land at Mumbai to verify its antecedents. He was then advised to keep the Operations Room informed on the status of the aircraft after it landed.

"The aircraft landed at 3.03 am and was checked by a duty officer of the Mumbai MLU who confirmed that it was a civil registered aircraft and the pilot had stated that there was a mix-up by the Nairobi Air Traffic Control (ATC) in forwarding the aircraft particulars," the spokesman added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...ow/1833003.cms

After the appropriate baksheesh is paid, the aircraft will be on its way...
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Old 1st Aug 2006, 04:06
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Thanks for the additional info.
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Old 1st Aug 2006, 08:34
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It concerned N512MC from Atlas
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 12:03
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Incident over watched it push back yesterday 1 Aug
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 12:13
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An American Boeing-747 masquerading as a US Air Force (USAF) plane...

Interesting use of language!

"Quick, put this hat and glasses on and pretend you're a B-2... "

Would've thought a Jumbo is a tad hard to hide

(then again, that 727 went AWOL in Africa a year or two back!)
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 12:20
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An American Boeing-747 masquerading as a US Air Force (USAF) plane..
Maybe the call sign "Air-Force-One" gave it away
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Old 3rd Aug 2006, 19:38
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Originally Posted by Taildragger67
An American Boeing-747 masquerading as a US Air Force (USAF) plane...
Interesting use of language!
This is just media fluff guys.

US cargo carriers, Atlas, Kalitta, Polar, Evergreen etc., under military contract, will often fly under military call signs, i.e. "Reach XXX". This is normal and usually done with B747F.

This may be confusing for some ATC if the A/C flew in as "Reach" and depart as civil or vice versa. The flight plans and hand offs sometimes get all mixed up and so on.

On an interesting note, all flight crew flying for USAF AMC (Air Mobility Command) charters are US citizens carrying Geneva Convention cards with equivilent military ranks. Just in case.
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Old 3rd Aug 2006, 20:18
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This is a typical Indian sub-continent non-story.

Add to that the possibility of possible inaccuracies inadvertently added from a "westerly direction".

When I flew DC-10s in the USA we did a lot of military flights. Now not many people realise how much diplomatic clearance is involved in a military flight. It all takes a lot of sorting out and sometimes it can happen that you have to change callsigns at the FIR boundary to meet the requirements.

For example, when I was in the RAF based in the Middle East and we wanted to ferry an aircraft back to UK for maintenance we needed diplomatic clearance across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

As far as I can remember the Iraq clearance was for 48 hours BUT you had to enter and exit within + or - 2 hours of schedule.

Syria was for a period of 48 hours with time limits and Lebanon was that day only.

So, if you took more than a 2 hour delay out of Bahrain then you couldn't meet the Iraqi requirement. So you then had to wait 24 hours to meet that requirement while the Embassy had to refile the Syrian requirement etc etc etc etc.

So why am I not astonished to hear that Bombay ATC can turn "Send reinforcements we are going to advance" into "Send Three and Four Pence we're going to a dance"!

How many of you out there remember having to get 15 signatures on your flight plan?
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Old 3rd Aug 2006, 21:01
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Common problem we deal with on a daily basis in the ME. The dips get messed up often and if they don't add up from FIR to FIR, then there is no compromise....NO DIP NO TRIP!

In the peak of hostilities we even sent buffs back to DG as they were using the wrong callsign for the timeslot or day, and at that point an excursion via the straits of H was not an option, so back they went bombs and all!

Ahh the joys of our 'South West Asia Location'........

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Old 6th Aug 2006, 02:32
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But *what* was it, that the US MAC needed shifting in an Atlas Air 747F from Nairobi to Hong Kong?

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Old 6th Aug 2006, 03:03
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Cool

A lot of AMC trips are one way, with no return cargo. In this case the airplane is ferried from the end of it's AMC trip in Nairobi to it's next operating trip for Atlas in Hong Kong. AMC picks up part of the cost for the ferry flight.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 03:25
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Originally Posted by ceedee
But *what* was it, that the US MAC needed shifting in an Atlas Air 747F from Nairobi to Hong Kong?

The airplane was empty.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 04:07
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On an interesting note, all flight crew flying for USAF AMC (Air Mobility Command) charters are US citizens carrying Geneva Convention cards with equivilent military ranks. Just in case.
Rubbish...........
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 06:00
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Agree with 5Y744. Nonsense.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 06:10
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5Y744 is correct.

There are a lot of Ruskies, Ukranians and Romanians in theater using the Reach callsign, flying AN-24's and IL-76's under contract with USAF.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 13:11
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Welcome to Absurdistan

Having worked at BOM for most of the last twelve months, I just imagine the following scene:

- The first time the Atlas crew realized that the indian controller (probably forced by his supervisor at that time) has ordered them to land at BOM, with the following radio traffic ("No, we want to go to HK!" - "No, in the name of Praful Patel, you MUST land at Bombay, ahm, Mumbai!"....)
- Descend from a FL probably > 400
- Landing in monsoon during night, shut down of the airplane on a remote stand
- Many indian officials in their brown uniform with all their weapons planted on the ground around the airplane
- Negotiations start with thousands of forms, letters and - stamps!!!

Welcome to India!
J. V.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 16:39
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5Y744:

"Rubbish".

Well, when I was flying military charters in the USA I carried a DoD ID card proclaiming that I was a Field Officer Grade IV. I was told that this was Lt Col equivalent which was better than I achieved in the RAF!

Mind you, I was a Brit working for the USA if you think that is important.
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 17:48
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Originally Posted by Taikonaut
This is just media fluff guys.
US cargo carriers, Atlas, Kalitta, Polar, Evergreen etc., under military contract, will often fly under military call signs, i.e. "Reach XXX". This is normal and usually done with B747F.
This may be confusing for some ATC if the A/C flew in as "Reach" and depart as civil or vice versa. The flight plans and hand offs sometimes get all mixed up and so on.
On an interesting note, all flight crew flying for USAF AMC (Air Mobility Command) charters are US citizens carrying Geneva Convention cards with equivilent military ranks. Just in case.
Have to take Your word regarding the flight crew but in My previous life as a flight mechanic with American Trans air, Southern and Polar I had no such paperwork also I am (and several other Collegues) a Brit, were We being left out to dry?????
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 18:04
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Well, years ago I was issued a DD Form 489, Geneva Conventions ID card, in preparation for a Civil Reserve Air Fleet operation that never took place.

Seems like it did show a military officer rank (O-3, maybe?). I flew in the military, not sure what it would have shown if I had a civilian background. I'm pretty sure we had to turn it back in along with the maroon passports when the operation was cancelled.
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