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Airliner escorted by RAF into Manchester Airport

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Airliner escorted by RAF into Manchester Airport

Old 5th Aug 2014, 19:58
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunnyjohn View Post
It may be a little naive of me, but I am assuming that there is an understood protocol in these cases. Unfortunately, as it is, I assume, a military protocol, we won't be party to it, but it would be comforting (or not!) to know what the sequence of actions actually are.
For interception of non military aircraft it is a civilian procedure

CAA Safety Sense -Interception Procedures
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 20:02
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Post 9/11, shooting down a passenger aircraft that appeared to be under control of other than the crew and was heading for a densly populated UK location, such as for instance Canary Wharf, would be seen as the least worst option. 300 lives lost vs thousands.
Sadly we live in an age where those sort of decisions need to be considered.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 20:51
  #23 (permalink)  
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That fighter might provide options but not for you. You just became a pawn in a game and that fighter is there to blow you out of the sky if it becomes necessary. You're videoing your executioner.

In 2004 or so we inadvertently drifted into a prohibited area and were engaged by two fighters which came at us head on numbingly fast from 14 miles and only broke away at the last second leaving us in the midst of a turning 'descend, increase climb, descend NOW' type RA, both passed at a large rate of knots each side of us not very far away at all. No prior warning. We got the message. Not quite ICAO but rather effective.

When they come at you like that you appreciate these machine's true purpose for the first time. They arent just pretty toys that grace airshows, they are massively terrifying, the absolute personification of sudden aggression, racing dogs of war which are on you before you can even react.

Last edited by JG1; 5th Aug 2014 at 21:02.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 21:19
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I'm truly amazed that anyone who has lived through the last decade and a half has to ask what the value of a fighter escort on a threatened airliner is. How quickly we forget.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 22:06
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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QRA Typhoon Flight

I couldn't tell from the photographs, but I'm presuming this particular Tiffie was armed? It's a QRA jet allegedly so should have been.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 23:33
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Well people ARE asking, Laarbruch. The only reason the authorities knew there was a suspect device is because the Captain called them and told them so. That conversation would hardly have taken place had it been a hijack. Without wishing to seem ungrateful I'm struggling to see what the Typhoon contributed, and I'd particularly question the need to maintain close formation down the approach.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 23:41
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I would assume that the fighter pilot can visually check that the cabin is secure and the crew are indeed in charge of the flight.
If there isn't a protocol where cabin crew can make a covert visual signal of some kind, to an escort, there should be….. like stuffing a safety card between windows and blind or at night cracking a light stick.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 23:58
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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If there was any real prospect for trouble, why was this flight allowed to continue into Manchester, rather than diverting, as seems usual in such circumstances, into Stanstead?

Given that the escort might have ultimately had to destroy the escortee, why wsa it allowed to approach over densely populated Tameside and Stockport, with the triggering event possibly being a turn towards central Manchester, rather than over the relatively unpopulated northern Cheshire? I don't recall there being much wind around these parts today.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 00:22
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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The only reason the authorities knew there was a suspect device is because the Captain called them and told them so
Police said the pilot had been handed a note about a possible device on board - "suspect" not the same as "possible"

If there was any real prospect for trouble, why was this flight allowed to continue into Manchester, rather than diverting, as seems usual in such circumstances, into Stanstead?
There is a robust system in place for assessing the individual threat level.

PS correct spelling is "Stansted"

Last edited by fireflybob; 6th Aug 2014 at 00:36.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 07:32
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by judge11 View Post
.........and the Typhoon is achieving what? Genuine question.
Something that has been missed so far is that if there were an explosion in one of the holds the Typhoon would be there to inform the pilot what, if any, damage had been sustained to the aircraft. An A330 is a big aircraft and a single bomb would have to be quite big to bring it down. The Typhoon pilot could inspect the aircraft after any explosion and tell the pilot what external damage can be seen and whether the flaps, gear, etc. had been damaged. From this the pilot could determine the best action to take to get the aircraft down safely.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 08:09
  #31 (permalink)  
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It has just been reported that the arrested passenger has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 10:55
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Given that the escort might have ultimately had to destroy the escortee, why wsa it allowed to approach over densely populated Tameside and Stockport, with the triggering event possibly being a turn towards central Manchester, rather than over the relatively unpopulated northern Cheshire? I don't recall there being much wind around these parts today.
It was put in a holding pattern over the peak district whilst ascertaining the validity of the threat on board.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 11:36
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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It was put in a holding pattern over the peak district whilst ascertaining the validity of the threat on board.
So, once it was ascertained that there was no credible threat, why did the Typhoon then have to escort the airliner all the way to Manchester?

It would surely not have been permitted to proceed had there been a credible threat of any kind whatsover, so the cynical inference is that the purpose of the continued escort was to achieve lots of publicity.

Not saying publicity is bad - if it shows the other bad guys that the interception capability is there, all good.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 11:38
  #34 (permalink)  
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Passengers were complaining that they only found out what was happening through tweets and calls from people on the ground.

What would have been achieved if they had been told? OK, they found out when they shouldn't but that is life.

"This is your captain speaking, we have been told there is a bomb on board, but don't worry.

If it explodes there is nothing to worry about as you won't feel a thing. We are attempting to land at our destination as normal. Don't panic, sit back, and watch the pretty aeroplane flying along side."

Yeah right.

Seriously though, how did the passengers react? Press reports are fairly restrained in what they said. Did many passengers not find out? Did those who did just accept it?
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 11:41
  #35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by TopCat
Not saying publicity is bad - if it shows the other bad guys that the interception capability is there, all good.
- so you are saying it was good, then.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 11:45
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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@mickjoebill

cracking a light stick at night = covert?

lmao

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Old 6th Aug 2014, 11:52
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Not saying publicity is bad - if it shows the other bad guys that the interception capability is there, all good.
- so you are saying it was good, then.
Well I'm not sure. If it's a transparent publicity stunt, you could argue that it will erode, rather than enhance the deterrent effect.

Military shows of strength have always been historically used to imply both ability and willingness to use said strength, but these days the link to the latter isn't so clear.

I know I'm contradicting my earlier 'all good' - I don't think it's that obvious either way.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 12:18
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Personally if I was a passenger and saw one of our Eurofighters on the wingtip I would feel quite reassured.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 12:57
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Well people ARE asking, Laarbruch. The only reason the authorities knew there was a suspect device is because the Captain called them and told them so. That conversation would hardly have taken place had it been a hijack. Without wishing to seem ungrateful I'm struggling to see what the Typhoon contributed, and I'd particularly question the need to maintain close formation down the approach.
There are procedures in place for all scenarios and they do overlap, the key point is that initial reports can often be very different from the eventuality. A note to the flight deck may be the early stage of an attempted takeover of the flight deck through duress. The Typhoon is there in case the "suspect device" scenario turns out to be something else entirely. It takes seconds for these things to develop and Coningsby is a fair way from MAN.

On the need to maintain close formation down the approach, you'd have to ask a QRA pilot, I'm not sure. Maybe it's part of procedure, or maybe the pilot decided on the spur of the moment to carry on with the escort as a kind of visual deterrent.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 17:08
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Quick question.
I know that there was a situation ( a couple of years back now) where people around the Bath area were complaining because they lost some panes of glass when a Typhoon QRA intercepted a helicopter, and had to go supersonic to get there.
Just wondered, I believe that supersonic is usually prohibited over land, are QRA allowed to ignore this rule, or whether it would have to be authorized "per job" as it were?

Last edited by scudpilot; 7th Aug 2014 at 09:26.
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