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FR4978 ATH-VNO diverted, escorted to Minsk, alleged bomb threat – but was it?

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FR4978 ATH-VNO diverted, escorted to Minsk, alleged bomb threat – but was it?

Old 24th May 2021, 11:15
  #61 (permalink)  
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The today’s Ryanair flight, Cyprus to Tallin was flying true belarusian airspace like nothing had happened yesterday

Last edited by inbalance; 24th May 2021 at 11:31.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:16
  #62 (permalink)  
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According to MOL:

“We’re debriefing our crew, who did a phenomenal job to get that aircraft and almost all the passengers out of Minsk after six hours,” he added."

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Old 24th May 2021, 11:24
  #63 (permalink)  
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Good question. Is there a second crew involved? And where is the first crew? Did they evacuate as non-working crew?
Besides, I think that FTL limits do not apply to exeptional cases like this.
I your choice is to fly to Vilnius, or get arrested in Minsk, I would say that FTL rules are out of the window.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:38
  #64 (permalink)  
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Interesting that international media is calling him an "activist" whereas he is known as a high-profile criminal in his home country and is on a wanted list for specific criminal conduct.
FYI, 2012 Turkey demanded an unplanned landing of a Syrian PAX plane in Ankara, interrupting a flight between Moscow and Damascus; 2013 the former president of Bolivia Evo Morales had to land in Austria as he was barred from crossing airspace of France and Portugal....many more examples in the past.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:43
  #65 (permalink)  
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I believe it is Commanders discretion to do what he / she believes is the safest action for a safe outcome. In an Emergency and if you have a credible Bomb Threat, that would be a Mayday and land at the nearest airport. ATC instructions can be disregarded for a Mayday.

It would not mean making an 180 degree turn, into a country run by a dictator based on ATC instructions alone, to fly to an airport that is more then double the distance of your original destination airport.

But it would mean that you would need be at least slightly clued up on current local world affairs, to know that you really don't want the hassle to divert into a non-EU country, run by a dictator.

If the aircraft was never intercepted before the border of Lithuania by one more MIG's, then serious questions should be asked why the crew diverted to Minsk.

There does not seem to be any passenger statements / confirmations that the aircraft was intercepted by any fighter jets.

Also the "logic" of a bomb threat, why would a country then want to invite this aircraft to land in their own country, while they could leave it Lithuania to deal with it.

If there was MIG on their wing / tail, then that's another story, then I would say they had no other choice. Let's hope there will be a proper report of what really happen.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:46
  #66 (permalink)  
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Horse****. I'm in Moscow with a bunch of Belorussians on a track day and they basically burst out laughing at that suggestion.

Of course, being openly against the government makes one a high level criminal in Belarus.

In countries like this they will have no problem charging anyone with specific criminal conduct no matter how obviously false it is.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:56
  #67 (permalink)  
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Fully agree with this post... there can longer be any safety from rogue leaders if this action by Lukashenko is allowed to stand without any consequences for his handling high jacking of Ryan Air... All flights by all airline should be prohibited into Belarus... and all EU countries should suspend all landing aircraft out of Belarus... completely isolate the country from any air travel... They have lost that right due to their behaviour.
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Old 24th May 2021, 12:28
  #68 (permalink)  
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No, but my bet is that they never saw the FJ.

The presence of the Fulcrum is stated by Belarussian authorities, there was a statement by Lukashenka and an interview of a high rank military officer.
Quote "President Lukashenka ordered the fighter escort himself".
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Old 24th May 2021, 12:54
  #69 (permalink)  
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Now it is confirmed: Five passenger did not re-board in Minsk.
source: Lithuanian criminal police
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Old 24th May 2021, 12:55
  #70 (permalink)  
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Before we judge, we must have all details
Of course, we do! A well-known dictator is seizing by force a civil foreign aircraft en route to its foreign destination, to grab a political opponent from the plane. Those are FACTS!
While your and your troll-mates persuasive innuendos are, simply, political statements, trying to divert the attention from a technical topic to a political agenda.
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:00
  #71 (permalink)  
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He very clearly said "crews" in the audio clip (played on Sky News) of that quote. I listened to it twice to be sure.
Edit: Sky just played MOL audio clip again, he definitely said "crews" twice...
“We’re debriefing our crews, the crews did a phenomenal job......"
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:40
  #72 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the clarification, I haven't heard the audio clip.
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:47
  #73 (permalink)  
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You can't really compare this event to what happened in Belarus. In the case of the Bolivian president, this was a state flight. And as such this flight wasn't governed by ICAO treaties and such. State flights don't have an automatic over flight permission such as private flights and commercial flights do.
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:58
  #74 (permalink)  
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Old 24th May 2021, 14:29
  #75 (permalink)  
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If ATC tried to tell me to divert somewhere twice as far away as my destination because of an unsubstantiated bomb theat I'd be highly sceptical of their motives, especially if that state were a known rogue like Belarus. Genuine escorting fighters don't get aggressive, standing on and saying Vilnius was much closer - I'm going there would at least allow an assessment of the situatiuon by causing the authority to declare its intentions, either by letting you go as they must, or by issuing a threat if you don't comply. Upon a threat at that point I would comply, but also consider a broadcast on 121.5 and dialling 7500.
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Old 24th May 2021, 14:39
  #76 (permalink)  
Drain Bamaged
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You forget the 4 others “guys” who didn’t board the plane when it left Belarus.
Pretty sure they had a contingency plan (could be as simple as creating a real hijacking)
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Old 24th May 2021, 15:35
  #77 (permalink)  
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IFALPA, with ECA (European Cockpit Assn), statement. Missing: any mincing of words.

21prl03-global-pilots-on-ryanair-flight-4978_f.pdf (ifalpa.org)
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Old 24th May 2021, 15:54
  #78 (permalink)  
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Can't see it posted yet but UK has said the following so far:
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Old 24th May 2021, 16:04
  #79 (permalink)  
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Latvia and Belarus just a moment ago have severed ALL diplomatic ties over the yesterday’s hijacking outrage. The *entire* staffs of the both embassies will leave Riga and Minsk within 48 hours. All direct travel (not only by air) between the countries will be suspended indefinitely ASAP.

The United Kingdom officially has officially declared that the British air carriers will not be permitted to fly to Belarus or over its air space for undetermined time. UK will also immediately suspend the Belavia license to operate in the UK airspace.
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Old 24th May 2021, 16:07
  #80 (permalink)  
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FWIW as I'm reading it at the moment (1610 UTC) the likes of the UK are officially requesting UK carriers do not overfly Belarus - see the Grant Shapps tweet posted above, plus the UK CAA website here:


The "EU" are heading into a meeting shortly...but many members are not happy at all..

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