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September 26, 2010

Man released following bomb-scare forced flight diversion, warning a possible hoax

Man released following bomb-scare forced flight diversion, warning a possible hoax

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Crime and law
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Authorities have said that an anonymous phone call warning of a potential terrorist threat aboard an aircraft may have been a hoax call. Swedish police detained a passenger aboard a Boeing 777 on suspicion of preparing an attack on the aircraft, but he was later released. A police spokesperson said: “The man who was the suspect for the bomb case was released by the district attorney. They couldn’t find any crime done, therefore [they] decided to release the man and he’s free to go where he wants.” A statement released by Swedish prosecutors confirmed that “the prosecutor on duty decided not to keep the man suspected of having explosives on the airplane in detention. The suspicions against this man are not sufficiently solid to keep him in detention and so he is free to leave Sweden. No further information can be given for [the] moment”.

The Pakistan International Airlines jetliner, which was carrying 273 people according to an airport spokesperson, was flying Flight 782, which travels from Toronto to Karachi, when it was diverted to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Stockholm after Canadian officials were informed that a passenger had explosives on his person. Passengers were reportedly informed that they had to divert for technical reasons, but were only told on the ground why they had to land in Stockholm. “The pilot only informed us that he’s landing there due to security reasons. All passengers and crew members are well,” a spokesperson for the airport said. Upon landing, the aircraft was evacuated, and the suspect was arrested by a SWAT team. Passengers were taken away from the aircraft, which was encircled by armed police, by buses. 35-year-old Irfan Ahmed, a passenger on the flight said: “We really got scared, especially when we saw a large number of commandos wearing masks coming in.”

AP-BGY, the aircraft which was forced to land in Stockholm, photographed last year. Following the incident, one man of Pakistani origin was detained by police.

Anonymous tip-off

A police spokesperson said that two calls were received from a payphone in Canada, but no explosives were found on the man or in the aircraft, which was searched by a bomb squad. Police warned that the warnings may in fact have been made by a prank caller, but said they had to divert the aircraft because they take such threats “very seriously.” The man, according to police official Stephan Radman, was being questioned at a police station. Earlier, he said that police were ” searching the plane with bomb technicians to see if there is something we can find but so far we haven’t found anything, neither on the plane nor on the man,” he said. The flight crew and some passengers were also interviewed. They were later allowed back aboard the aircraft to continue their flight. The suspect was released several hours after being taken into custody, and reports suggest officials are helping him book a flight to continue his journey to Pakistan.

Radman stated that police had learnt of the threat from a Canadian woman, who allegedly made two calls to police from a payphone after the plane had lifted off. “The aircraft started in Toronto at 05:15 local time and when the aircraft was in Swedish territory, a woman called the Canadian police and said that this man could probably have a bomb on board the aircraft,” said Janne Hedlund, a police official. “She called through a payphone, so the Canadian authority don’t really know who the woman is. The Canadian authority alerted the pilot and he landed in Arlanda airport. The aircraft is evacuated and the suspect is under control by the police authorities in Arlanda. We are going to question him now.” A police spokesperson said: “A woman called police from a pay phone in Canada and told Canadian police about the man. She said the man may have had explosives, but he passed security checks.”

‘Unknown reliability’

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, announced that the call may have been a “terrorism hoax,” and said it was investigating. According RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Gagnon, the tip-off was of “unknown reliability”, adding that if it was found that the tip-off was a hoax, the woman who made the call will likely be prosecuted under public mischief charges. “There’s an ongoing investigation related to the information to see whether it was deemed to be a hoax or not. If the person who passed on that information was mischievous, then they can be charged with public mischief,” she said. Police later said that they were attempting to find out whether the anonymous woman had a grudge against the suspect.

A Canadian police spokesperson said that they had received two calls. “The first call provided vague information,” he said. “It did lay out that there was an individual on that specific flight in possession of explosives and then the second call provided more details with regards to the identity of the person.” He said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “take any call of this nature very seriously,” and said that the call may have been a hoax. “We have to ascertain the credibility and reliability of the call and try to determine whether there was a deliberate intent on behalf of the caller to mislead the police or if it falls into the definition of a terrorism hoax,” he said. While it is not known if the man has a criminal record, it has been reported that he is not on any international no-fly lists, and no concerns were raised when he went through airport security in Canada. “He is not on any list [of people banned from flying] and he’s been through the security check in Canada,” a police spokesperson said, confirming that the man was a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin. A man who sat next to the suspect on the flight said he was returning to Pakistan after a very long time to get married. The suspect was apparently happy, and was a bit drunk. “When he was arrested, he remained calm and did not react much,” said the passenger.

It was later reported that all the passengers—excluding the suspect—were transported back to the aircraft, which was to fly to Manchester, England, where the crew will be changed, and then continue to Karachi. “We were very concerned and it’s good news they were all safe,” said airline spokesperson Sultan Hasan. He added that there was no further risk to anyone aboard the flight. “The plane would not have taken off unless it was cleared by the security team,” he said. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport released a statement stating that the incident had “no impact on air traffic, public transport or traffic on the roads to and from the airport.”



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February 12, 2010

Reports issued after jets collided twice in same spot at UK airport

Reports issued after jets collided twice in same spot at UK airport

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Aviation

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The United Kingdom’s Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) has issued two reports today into collisions between jetliners in the same spot at Manchester Airport. None of the 468 passengers caught in the incidents, which were in separate years, were injured.

The first report concerned an incident in 2007 in which a Pakistan International Airways Boeing 777 struck a Flybe Bombardier Q400. The 777 was trying to turn in behind the Q400 onto the taxiway when its wingtip struck the smaller aircraft’s rudder.

The 777’s pilot had been “cautioned about the presence” of Flybe’s plane, according to the AAIB. The pilot stated that he believed he had sufficient room to manoeuvre and that he expected a further warning were this not the case. The aircraft were later able to continue on their journeys.

The second report issued today involves the exact same location, this time scene of a collision in 2008. A Boeing 737 operated by now-defunct Spanish airline Futura was instructed to “give way”; this confused the flight crew of the Tenerife-bound plane and it moved forward, one wingtip striking the tail of a Lufthansa Airlines Airbus A320 destined for Frankfurt.

The Futura flight crew had believed they had an unobstructed path with plenty of space to clear the A320. The AAIB recommended that Manchester’s air traffic controllers stop using the phrase “give way” and instead state “hold position”. Procedures have already been changed at Manchester in light of the collisions.



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June 29, 2007

EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola

EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The European Union banned all of Indonesia’s air carriers yesterday, none of which presently operate services to Europe, as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola. They are the latest additions to the already extensive List of air carriers banned in the EU. The ban is scheduled to come into effect on July 6. Just hours after the ban a Boeing 737 operated by one of the blacklisted airlines, TAAG Angola Airlines, crashed into a house during landing, causing at least six fatalities in Northern Angola.

Indonesia currently has 51 airlines, having grounded several and revoked the licences of others on June 25. The EU said that substandard maintenance and operation and a slow reaction by Indonesia to solve the problem were the main causes of the ban. EU holidaymakers who have booked flights with banned airlines via travel agents will be refunded for the services.

EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot said of the ban “Once more, the EU blacklist will prove to be an essential tool not only to prevent unsafe airlines from flying to Europe and to inform passengers travelling worldwide, but also to make sure that airlines and civil aviation authorities take appropriate actions to improve safety.”

Operations and safety editor at Flight International David Learmount commented that Indonesia, whose airline industry was deregulated the early 1990s, is one of a handful of cases where deregulation has lowered safety standards instead of improving them, saying of the move by the EU “Standards in aviation safety have been going up dramatically on a worldwide basis, but there are still places where they are [of the standards of] the 70s and 80s. In Indonesia the safety watchdog was told earlier this year to pull its socks up, but the EU is clearly convinced that it has not done so.”

One unnamed EU official was reported by The Guardian to have described Indonesia’s civil aviation authority as “not very reliable”, referring to a lack of reaction to warnings of an imminent ban and requests that Indonesia reassured officials that the problem was being dealt with.

Indonesia has responded to the ban by saying that, according to information unseen by the EU, Indonesian safety standards are rising. Director-general of civil aviation at the Indonesian transport ministry Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno told Reuters new agency that, “Our data can show them that we have improved on every line. The US had already downgraded Indonesia’s safety rating earlier this year.

Also affected by the bans are Ukraine’s Volare Aviation, while Russia has imposed bans on four of its airlines after consulting the EU and restricted six others, Bulgaria has revoked the licences of six cargo airlines and Moldova has banned eight airlines.

Meanwhile, Pakistan International Airlines, subject of a controversial EU ban earlier this year, had restrictions on some of its aircraft lifted. The airline’s fleet of Boeing 777s and some of their Boeing 747s and Airbus 310s will now be allowed back into European airspace.

The announcements come after three accidents involving Indonesian airliners – the New Year’s Day crash of Adam Air Flight 574, which killed 102 people, the subsequent accident involving Adam Air Flight 172, which cracked in half on a hard landing but held together, preventing serious injury, and the March crash of state-run Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, which claimed 23 lives. All the accidents involved ageing Boeing 737 aircraft.

Related news

  • “Indonesia shuts down 4 airlines and grounds 5 others over safety concerns” — Wikinews, June 28, 2007

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March 7, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: March 7, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: March 7, 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 7, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, March 7, 2007.

Pakistani airline banned by European Union

The European Union has banned the 35 planes in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) 45 aircraft fleet from flying in EU airspace. The reason provided by EU was that these plans do not fulfill the safety requirement for international planes and thus were banned. PIA has redeployed its Boeing 777 jets from US to EU flights to facilitate passengers in Europe. Flights PK 782 and PK 790 are still running on time from Toronto in Canada.

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Oklahoma Senate approves new insurance bill

The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill introduced by lawmaker Patrick Anderson of Enid that enables police to seize vehicles when drivers fail to produce proof of insurance. The bill was tacked onto a measure to prohibit inserting microchips into people without their permission. 91,000 drivers have been ticketed for lack of insurance in Oklahoma to date.

Sources

New Orleans Saints release Horn

The New Orleans Saints have released All-Pro wide receiver Joe Horn because of money issues. The Saints hope to draft LSU (Louisiana State University) wide receiver DeWayne Bowe in the NFL Draft to fill Horn’s place.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 17, 2005

Boeing unveils long-range 777

Boeing unveils long-range 777 – Wikinews, the free news source

Boeing unveils long-range 777

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Boeing has unveiled a new ultra-long range version of its 777 airliner, capable of flying from London to Sydney non-stop.

The 777-200LR can fly for 9,420 nautical miles (17,446 kilometers) with 301 passengers onboard, giving it a range greater than any other airliner in the world.

The aircraft can fly from New York to Singapore and from Los Angeles to Dubai with a full passenger and luggage load non-stop, and has been named the Worldliner by Boeing to mark the fact it can connect almost any two cities on Earth.

Although it can fly from London to Sydney non-stop, the 777-200LR will have to break its return journey to refuel due to direction of the prevailing winds in the upper atmosphere.

So far, Boeing has received five orders from two customers for the 777-200LR since it was announced in February 2000. The first of the new airliner will be delivered to Pakistan International Airlines in January 2006. EVA Airways is the other launch customer.

First flight is scheduled in early March.

The 777-200LR will be the basis for an all-freight version of the 777, announced last November.

Boeing’s European rival Airbus, which has out-sold Boeing since 2003, believes that the future of passenger flight is in very large aircraft like its new twin-deck A380 airliner flying up to 840 people between a relatively small number of large hub airports world-wide. Passengers would then take connecting flights to reach their final destinations.

Boeing, by contrast, believes passengers will want to fly direct between more local airports too small to handle aircraft like the A380.

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