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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, 21:48
  #101 (permalink)  
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Maintaining FL390 while discussing possible bombs on board doesn't seem to make immediate sense?!
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Old 24th May 2021, 21:48
  #102 (permalink)  
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Would the CVR still be available for readout? And were there any recordings of ATC radio traffic?
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Old 24th May 2021, 21:55
  #103 (permalink)  
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The CVR should record 2h.

It should not have been erased after landing in UMMS/MSQ as there was an incident. The 2h should be sufficient for the diversion to MSQ and the short flight back to VNO.
However, maybe the "security personal" at MSQ erased it while looking for the "bomb".
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Old 24th May 2021, 22:15
  #104 (permalink)  
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Has any agency stated they are going to investigate and have they requested the CVR?
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Old 24th May 2021, 22:31
  #105 (permalink)  
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Alpine news report that all Belarus carriers will be banned from EU airports and all EU operators will be "asked to refrain from overflying Belarus". The latter is a shame as it should be an order, not a request. We certainly need one EU aviation authority.
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Old 24th May 2021, 23:55
  #106 (permalink)  
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A U.S. registered 747-8 over Belarus today would certainly seem to be relevant to the discussion.
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Old 25th May 2021, 04:29
  #107 (permalink)  

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Exactly. Don't get shot at. Turn and land as instructed. On top of that, you're being fed false information the Lithuanians are not accepting you anyway AND threatening with their S-200 and Patriots. Easy job, no need to take sides or make decisions - just follow instructions.

For all we know, staying up there past TOD could have been the result of similar gameplay from the BY special ops team. "Oh sorry captain, VNO ACC does not give permission to land, because of your bomb. Descent not authorized, there's no one to hand you over to."
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Old 25th May 2021, 05:57
  #108 (permalink)  
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Like it was hard to check what's happening, on the right frequency - they were less than 50 NM out. Or ACARS. Or phone. Or whatever. Or they were jammed, too :/
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Old 25th May 2021, 07:47
  #109 (permalink)  
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Lots of people here do not know how ATC works and what the international interceptions rules are
The big question still open is what the crew was told and if they were intercepted or not.. If the aircraft was indeed intercepted then a large part of the discussion is becoming irrelevant.
As to disregarding an interception, well I would not advise this in any country, and definitively not after 9/11. Also since a couple of years the world is slowly becoming a much more dangerous place.

Anyway the RYR crew has been debriefed, their story will no doubt come out soon , so a bit of patience.
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Old 25th May 2021, 08:31
  #110 (permalink)  
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Alpine Flyer

FWIW the UK CAA website (updated last night) worded the sanctions as a request rather than a direct order to UK operators:

“The Civil Aviation Authority has also issued a notice to all UK registered airlines requesting that they avoid overflight of any territory of the Republic of Belarus”.
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Old 25th May 2021, 08:49
  #111 (permalink)  
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Interesting twist: Asta Skaisgirytė, chief foreign policy adviser to the Lithuanian president, said that Belarus used two military aircraft, a MiG-29 fighter jet and a Mi-24 helicopter, in the operation, which was likely staged by the Belarusian KGB.

Taking into account that these folks most probably have the primary radar data from "better radars" and "some other intelligence info" available, I'd be keen to know what was the role of the Hind...

Source: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-englis...arusian-regime
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Old 25th May 2021, 08:51
  #112 (permalink)  
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With the benefit of hindsight we all know this was an outrageous ploy, notwithstanding that, I suspect the FR Bomb Threat procedure is based on industry standards, the first two lines of our BTP;

Maintain current flight altitude.Divert to a nearest suitable airport.
It then rambles on and it is not appropriate to post here, however it does make sense to maintain current altitude until further investigation is carried out.
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Old 25th May 2021, 09:15
  #113 (permalink)  
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The cynic in me reflects on the fact that a somewhat lukewarm response to this outrageous act of international piracy might be motivated by a wish to reserve the possibility of a similar action by a "responsible state actor" in the case of a situation where "real bad guys" might be similarly intercepted. Call me cynical...
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Old 25th May 2021, 09:37
  #114 (permalink)  
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ATC Watcher

The Minsk ATC has reportedly released the audio (haven't managed to locate it so I will refrain from any conclusion) of the interchange between the pilots and the tower. Again reportedly the pilot says “WE are requesting emergency landing”. It would obviously be most helpfull to have said recording (I'm sure it exists).

Anyway the RYR crew has been debriefed, their story will no doubt come out soon , so a bit of patience.
I wouldn't be so sure of that... especially if it doesn't match the current narative
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Old 25th May 2021, 09:49
  #115 (permalink)  
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Lithuanian Minister of Defense appeared on Lithuanian TV yesterday around 2200 EEST. According to him, a Belorussian fighter jet MiG-29 was scrambled while the pilot of the airliner was in doubt whether to comply with Belorussian ATC. MiG was airborne for 13 min but did not get closer to the airliner than some 40 km. When the flight was released from MSQ, MiG escorted the plane to the Lithuanian border at close distance.

This is backed up by the BBC interview of a passenger, who said that she saw a fighter jet far away before landing in MSQ, but close during MSQ-VNO flight. Can anyone comment if it is possible to see a fighter jet 40 km away?
(Unfortunately I cannot post URLs yet, but BBC News page entitled "Belarus Ryanair flight diverted: Passengers describe panic on board" has a video with interviews, see at 1:00 min)

A passenger interviewed by Lithuanian media said that there was no disruption on board prior to landing in Minsk.
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Old 25th May 2021, 11:12
  #116 (permalink)  
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Well..yes, on a good clear day you might, just, and I'd say certainly if it is trailing (i.e. leaving a contrail), but identifying anything at that range without optical assistance..in my IMHO no.
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Old 25th May 2021, 11:28
  #117 (permalink)  
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There is one news article on youtube where you can hear the actual ATC recording (which is dubbed in Russian immediately) and the RYR pilots are not requesting emergency landing they ask if advice to land at MSQ comes from company or Airport authorities and ATC replies advice comes from them. Starts at 27 seconds

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Old 25th May 2021, 11:31
  #118 (permalink)  
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A MIG 29 intercepting and joining up on a airliner at cruise altitude doing .80 Mach is a difficult maneuver to pull off. It would require excellent GCI and the ability to go supersonic. With the fuel limitations of the MiG 29 it would require near perfect timing on takeoff. It certainly can be done by competent air crew but timing would be critical.
In answer to can you see a fighter sized target at 40km the answer is basically no. If you know exactly where to look with a radar lock and hud queuing a fighter sized target is a pinhead at 20 km.
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Old 25th May 2021, 11:40
  #119 (permalink)  
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Wow, Kudos! Can we have a translation of this?
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Old 25th May 2021, 11:47
  #120 (permalink)  
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Apparently it is ATC (controller and supervisor) who is saying it's their recommendation that the RYR flight lands in Minsk.

So if we are to believe this, they were not intercepted or forced to go to Minsk.
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