A Jet Airways Mumbai to London flight carrying 330 passengers and 15 crew members recently raised a hijack-alarm while it was over German airspace. It happened on February 16 after the plane lost communication with the ground staff for 33 minutes. Two German fighter planes were sent in to inspect the aircraft.

Jet Airways later issued a statement where it cited satellite communication failure as the reason for the mishap. 

But that is not all that happened. 

b’Jet Airways | Representational Image | Source: Reutersxc2xa0′

‘Un-Alert’ Crew? 

The crew lost touch with Air Traffic Control somewhere over Prague after one of the pilots switched over to an incorrect frequency. According to the Jet Airways, this was due to satellite failure and that communication was restored within minutes. But reports say the crew remained off the radio for 33 minutes. 

According to an Economic Times report, the volume on the pilot’s headset was turned down so the crew did not hear any of the emergency calls sent from German ATC on the Universal Emergency Frequency.  

The report also claims that the other pilot was sleeping.

Two Eurofighter Typhoons of the German Air Force were sent out to intercept the flight in  order to re-establish communication, but the crew made contact with local ATC before the planes could reach the Mumbai-London flight, Hindustan Times reported. 

Fellow flight to the rescue 

It was the crew of another Jet Airways flight (9W122) flying from Delhi to London, just ahead of the Mumbai flight, which responded to the emergency calls and helped make contact with the ‘incommunicado’ crew.

b’Representationaln image | Source: PTI’

The crew contacted Jet Airways ground staff in India which used satellite phone facilities to alert the crew on the Mumbai-London flight. It landed safely at  London’s Heathrow Airport.

Jet Airways has said that an investigation is being conducted into the issue by Directorate General of Civil Aviation. 

Here, video of the the Jet Airways plane flanked by German fighter crafts was shot by another pilot of a European vessel:

Feature Image Source: Reuters