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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 25th May 2021, 22:55
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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"activated over Vilnius" - So what kind of bomb did they think it could be then? Some kind of "smart bomb" that would activate at some specific coordinates?

So you are told there is a bomb that is going to activate over Vilnius, what is then the logic to take a much longer flight to Minsk?
How could this be perceived as the safer option?

I am just trying to understand the logical thinking process behind this. 70 km or 200 km, supposed to explode in 70 km, so let's do 200 km instead.

Yes, that all makes perfect sense.
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Old 25th May 2021, 22:57
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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It could ,of course be that the Belarus ATC were innocent parties to this `game`,and only doing what they are supposed to do if informed of a `bomb threat`...OTOH it did look like a `well-prepared` arrival party in Minsk,and perhaps not a great rush to get off the jet.....
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Old 25th May 2021, 23:00
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 2unlimited
So you are told there is a bomb that is going to activate over Vilnius, what is then the logic to take a much longer flight to Minsk?
Well there's certainly wouldn't be much logic or common sense in continuing to Vilnius if you have been specifically told that there's a bomb on board that can be "activated over Vilnius".

Now as for if or how any such device could be credible, that's probably something for an expert in that field and not something to be discussed here.
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Old 25th May 2021, 23:11
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I would also expect there will be an investigation into the Security systems in place in Athens prior to departure,with respect to the `others ` who left at Minsk....
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Old 25th May 2021, 23:19
  #145 (permalink)  
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Allegedly, some, or all, of the other passengers who left had final destinations In Belarus anyway. There are no direct Athens-Minsk flights that I can find.
If this was all pre-planned, why would Belarus leave it until the flight was almost out of their airspace before acting?
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Old 25th May 2021, 23:39
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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If this was all pre-planned, why would Belarus leave it until the flight was almost out of their airspace before acting?
They didn't though did they?

If the transcript is to be believed...:

The flight first made contact with Belarus ATC at the boundary inbound at 0929 UTC.

ATC first mentioned the bomb just two minutes later at about 0931 UTC....

The flight continued northwards with the discussion/request for clarification continuing, culminating in ATC calling it a red threat at 0945 UTC

It sounds more to me as if it was trap set just waiting to be tripped pretty much the moment they entered the FIR....

Last edited by wiggy; 26th May 2021 at 00:05. Reason: reinsert dropped quote
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Old 25th May 2021, 23:55
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Belarus has form in shooting down civil aircraft. Two American balloonists competing in the international Gordon Bennett long-distance gas balloon race were killed in 1995 after their balloon entered Belarus airspace without permission. They were intercepted, identified by a fighter and then shot down. Ignoring the ATC 'suggestion' to divert would be risky, especially since a MiG had supposedly been launched to intercept the flight, not the the crew seems to have known that.
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Old 26th May 2021, 01:04
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Supposing the PIC did not know he had a Belarusian dissident as a passenger, were his reactions really out of the ordinary? On the other hand, supposing he was aware that he had a Belarusian dissident as a passenger, could he, would he have acted differently?
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Old 26th May 2021, 02:00
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my speculation is, that what made them to declare an emergency, to make 180 turn and follow the order to land in Minsk, was threat from the KGB agents on board.
All evidece points to no agent on board (see in particular Belingacat research on the subject) - the people who left where merely some passengers travelling to Minsk in the first place.
In any case no-one has mentioned any disturbance in the cabin whatsoever (execept for some "rumors").
The pilots were tricked into landing in Minsk, which they did on their own accord. End of the story. A pretty crude con but not much to do with a highjacking at gun point.
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Old 26th May 2021, 02:04
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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tonyhap

He most likely was not.
Even Protasevich didn't realise what was going on until the plane was on the ground,
But in any case given the circumptances there was not much more the pilots could (and should) do.
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Old 26th May 2021, 02:49
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"ATC: RYR 1TZ this e-mail was shared to several airports."

And these airports who also received the email were...? That should be easy enough to check as presumably they weren't all in Belarus....

Amazing how these ludicrously amateur cover stories (think Skripal assassins were simple tourists who couldn't find Salisbury Cathedral) seem to be tossed in to create an alternative truth. Presumably it meets the needs of the home audience?
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Old 26th May 2021, 05:56
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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A quick look at CFMU this morning reveals Belavia is still operating to numerous EU destinations. It would seem that at least one EU member state is obviously not in favour of a blanket ban. Cyprus perhaps given the tourism links?
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Old 26th May 2021, 06:03
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The problem seems to be that the EU wants a ban, but has not yet a legal instrument to enact it. Of course, they could simply put Belavia on the unsafe black list, but that would be using a flight safety instrument for political reasons and they do not want that.
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Old 26th May 2021, 07:36
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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So, to which airports was the message shared to? ATC states several airports. Shouldn't be too hard to confirm those other airports. Oh wait, there were no other airports...
Not to mention the first report of "Lukashenka made an unequivocal order for the plane to make a U-turn" which now reads "the captain made an independent decision to turn".

This stinks to high heavens.
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Old 26th May 2021, 08:29
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Beamr

At the start of the ATC exchange the controller tells the captain the bomb will be "activated over Vilnius", then a few minutes later ATC tell the captain "for security reason we recommend you to land at UMMS."...

Now I guess in theory you could claim the captain made an independent decision but he/she is very much being steered into making the decision that the authorities wanted.


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Old 26th May 2021, 08:38
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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I hear what you are saying, it's the Lukashenka part thats annoying (as was the original statement by BY authorities). In essence: they changed the statement over night.
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Old 26th May 2021, 09:17
  #157 (permalink)  
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Assuming the R/T transcript is correct and complete.( Big "if" )
From an ATC point of view, looks like the controller is just a parrot mainly repeating orders from someone else behind him .

That part I find interesting :
ATC: 09.42.49: RYR 1TZ we have ground stuff frequency for Vilnius 131.750
Pilot. 131.75 and we have contact...(unreadable).
ATC:09:44:38 RYR 1TZ advise your decision please?
Pilot: Radar ,RYR 1TZ
ATC:RYR 1TZ advise your decision please.
The unreadable is the interesting missing part of course. and the subsequent pressure from the controller to ask for his decision, this is definitively not an ATC based request, but a request from someone directly behind him fearing the aircraft will enter Lithuanian airspace before a decision will be made .

Lastly : they start their Press release with :
Department of Aviation in accordance with the requirements of Standards 5.2.5 and 5.3.1 of Annex 17 to the Convention on the International Civil Aviation, the Department of Aviation informs about the fact of an act of unlawful interference in the activities of civil aviation on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
But there is no mention of the forcefully removal passengers from the aircraft which is in contradiction with the same ICAO Chicago Convention ..

In the meantime EASA issued a Safety Info Bulletin asking EU airlines to avoid overflying Minsk FIR until further notice, an indication they did not buy the Belarus press release story either.
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Old 26th May 2021, 09:27
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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that would be using a flight safety instrument for political reasons and they do not want that.
That would set a bad precedent, wouldn't it... ?
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Old 26th May 2021, 09:30
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
But there is no mention of the forcefully removal passengers from the aircraft which is in contradiction with the same ICAO Chicago Convention ..
Are you refering to this incident ?
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Old 26th May 2021, 09:51
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Still no videos of the MIG-29.

In case of unlawful interference shouldn't it be two FJ?
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