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BA108 intercepted on April 30'th

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BA108 intercepted on April 30'th

Old 1st May 2016, 08:44
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BA108 intercepted on April 30'th

Heard that BA108 had been called again and again and again on 121,5 on april 30'th 2016, by multiple ACC and other aircraft.
In the end one could hear that an air force reported "BA108 you are being intercepted by *** air force".
Only then did BA108 come up on 121,5 and reported operations normal.
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Old 1st May 2016, 08:51
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British Airways flight to London Heathrow intercepted by fighter jets over Hungary
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Old 1st May 2016, 09:05
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Yup, i was in the area and heard all the repeated calls on 121.5 by ATC and other aircraft. Then the response by 108 when intercepted.

I can empathise with having 121.5 turned down at times due to unnecessary chatter, but there are other tools available to remind us of FiR boundaries.

All ended well.
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Old 1st May 2016, 09:47
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Heard it too on 121.5 taking place, whilst we were passing by at F390 eastbound. Same airspace. Heard him acknowledge the "other aircraft insight" and confirming ops normal and in contact now on 124..... with Budapest I believe.
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Old 1st May 2016, 09:48
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Dunno why these ATC units don't have SELCAL on 121.5. FFS, its a free app
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Old 1st May 2016, 10:26
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121.5

The idea of monitoring 121.5 with a spare radio, whenever operation permits, is so that a transmission from anybody, anywhere at anytime is is heard. An aircraft at altitude over a remote area is in a unique position to relay a signal. Selcal would defeat the object and there should not be other traffic on this frequency.
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Old 1st May 2016, 10:31
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Regrettably not uncommon for ATC to fail to transfer flight to next freq. Then, when pilot notices and calls, they are out of range and it then takes time to re-establish comms with current FIR.
Agree guarding 121.5 is a sensible habit.
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Old 1st May 2016, 10:47
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Nineiron,

Actually, I am fully aware of that. Regrettably there is way too much chatter on the frequency, often interfering with proper communications on the primary frequency.

And don't even get me going about the UK and their Gdamned "practice pans". more often than not I find I have to turn 121.5 off because unlike others, I can only process 1 frequency at a time.

My point being this....."loss of comms" is hardly such an earth shattering event that it requires an intercept.

Caveat.....obviously I do monitor 121.5, as it is SOP. However, I have had to turn it down/off and occasionally found it that way some time later. Mea Culpa
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Old 1st May 2016, 11:37
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If armed interceptors are sent to "investigate" airliners often enough, one day the holes in the cheese will so align as to produce a tragic result.

I suspect that something should be changed.

Incidentally, I flew on Easyjet recently and one of our party reported seeing "fighters" rather close to the aircraft. Flight details will be sent by PM on request by PM.
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Old 1st May 2016, 12:42
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A British Airways flight was intercepted by fighter jets over Hungary after the passenger plane lost contact with air traffic controllers.
Hungarian authorities reportedly issued their highest alert after the Boeing 777 passed over its border unannounced on Saturday afternoon.
Two Hungarian Air Force Gripens were scrambled to identify the aircraft which was en route from Dubai to Heathrow.
According to air safety protocols, pilots must make contact with air traffic controllers on the ground when passing from one country's airspace to another.
The Gripens reportedly took off at 12.55pm before the BA flight made contact with ground control.
A BA spokesman said: "Communication was quickly restored with air traffic control and the flight landed normally at Heathrow."
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Old 1st May 2016, 13:28
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The idea of monitoring 121.5 with a spare radio, whenever operation permits, is so that a transmission from anybody, anywhere at anytime is is heard. An aircraft at altitude over a remote area is in a unique position to relay a signal. Selcal would defeat the object and there should not be other traffic on this frequency.
If Nigel is not responding on 121.5 then he has probably turned the volume down and he, not SECAL, is defeating the object of tuning it. SELCAL would get his attention which is a good idea as a last resort if he is not responding. Most commercial aircraft are fitted with VHF and HF SELCAL, why not deploy every tool in the box to establish communication?
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Old 1st May 2016, 13:33
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Coffee with no biscuits for Nigel. Plus a load of paperwork.
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Old 1st May 2016, 13:56
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And in the UK soon the prospect of an unlimited fine.

CAA consultation
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Old 1st May 2016, 14:31
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My experience is with military radios, but I assume civil radios also continuously monitor guard (in addition to the active frequency) unless guard is toggled off. Which does happen, because of clutter.

A simple hardware solution would be a 'guard-pause' function on future radios, which would turn guard monitoring off, or reduce its volume, for a set period (say, ten minutes) and then resume it.
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Old 1st May 2016, 15:17
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Paraglider crossing the Boarder

Recently a young Alsacian paraglider was very proud to tell at the bar, he had flown from The Treh (Vosges in France) to Germany crossing the Boarder, where he landed and being searched by his older friends that he was in the Schengen Area !!! (Flight recorded). They seem to have a big Hole In rules learning... No fighter in the sky for interception that day
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Old 1st May 2016, 15:48
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My experience is with military radios, but I assume civil radios also continuously monitor guard (in addition to the active frequency) unless guard is toggled off. Which does happen, because of clutter.
The civilian radios I've used don't monitor guard unless you dedicate a separate receiver to the task. Most of the planes I've flown in recent years have three VHF transceivers with one dedicated to VHF ACARS. There is also HF and SATCOM mixed in the selector panel. A lot of buttons with multiple opportunities to mess up.

Post 9-11 we really are more aware of the requirement to monitor guard in the U.S. domestic environment. It's always been a requirement on international flights as far as I know.

You have the 'guard police' who come up on the frequency to scold perceived violators of their radio discipline policy. 'You're on guard!' is their eternal cry, even when someone is legitimately trying to seek emergency assistance.

Every night over the central U.S. the guard police catch hapless FedEx crewmembers calling MEM ops on 121.5. Maybe it has something to do with their standard radio setup during preflight.

And, on occasion, you get a magnificent PA announcement on guard by a Skygod from a formerly bankrupt Once Great Airline (e.g. AA, DL, UA).

I've certainly been asked to try to contact an aircraft that missed a frequency change. And, most ACARS installations can sound a chime in the cockpit if the company sends a wakeup message.

Wouldn't BA 108 normally have CPDLC comms with the LHCC controllers prior to entering the airspace?

Last edited by Airbubba; 1st May 2016 at 16:44.
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Old 1st May 2016, 16:00
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Coffee with no biscuits for Nigel. Plus a load of paperwork.
What a really useful, insightful and inspiring post.
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Old 1st May 2016, 16:46
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Wondering about Hungarian air force procedures - do they actually have 24/7 coverage ? Given the size of the country and timing involved it would not be completely trivial to pull out this intercept.
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Old 1st May 2016, 17:18
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I believe almost all European countries operate one form of QRA or another.
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Old 1st May 2016, 17:36
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Originally Posted by Kennytheking
Dunno why these ATC units don't have SELCAL on 121.5. FFS, its a free app
Dunno why all you airlines don't have selcal equipped aircraft, I mean Ryanair don't for example
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