JetBlue Pilot Sends Wrong Message, Signaling Hijacking Attempt

The passengers were terrified as SWAT members stormed the JetBlue flight after the pilot mistakenly sent the wrong code that signaled hijacking.


Police surrounded a JetBlue aircraft at the New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after the pilot mistakenly called in hijacking. 

Flight 1623 was on its way to Los Angeles, when the pilot tried to send a message to air traffic controllers that the tarmac was having radio issues. However, he punched in the code used to signal a hijack by mistake. As a result, a plethora of police officers, firefighters and SWAT officials encircled the plane.

To make things clear, the pilot reportedly wrote down his number on a piece of paper and held it up so that the air controllers could call him and find out about the situation. But when the controllers failed to make contact with the pilot, they assumed a security threat onboard. That’s when the officials swarmed in the plane and told passengers, who were already petrified, to raise their hands up in the air as they searched the plane.

A blogger who was on the flight shared pictures of what was happening inside the plane. "SWAT came and told us to pull our phones away and leave (our) hands up," said Alexa Curtis. 


“Shortly before departure, Flight 1623 from New York JFK to Los Angeles experienced a radio issue impacting the crew’s ability to communicate and a false alarm was sent to JFK tower,” a spokeswoman for JetBlue said, calling the incident a “false alarm.”

“While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded in an abundance of caution. The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection,” she added.

The plane “was inspected and cleared with no security threat,” said a Port Authority spokeswoman.

Later it was discovered that the police had responded after the cockpit’s communication with tower officials stopped.

Passengers who got affected by this false hijack alarm chaos shared their experience on social media.










Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Lucas Jackson

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