Well, for once I’m happy about “fake news,” but I have so many questions.
This evening a major security scare happened at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. At around 7:30PM an Air Europa Airbus A330 bound for Madrid had a hijacking scare. The pilots had squawked 7500, which is the code pilots enter when there’s a hijacking.
As is normal in these kinds of situations, this was taken seriously, and the police response was massive, as planes were kept away, terminals were cleared, and more.
From the beginning there were some questions about whether this was a mistake or not, though. For example, this happened during the boarding process. Typically if a plane were to be hijacked it wouldn’t happen during the boarding process when the door is open, but rather once the plane has departed.
What makes this even stranger is that there were reports of three people with knives on the plane, who were allegedly the hijackers.
Well, as it turns out the entire thing was a mistake. Air Europa has now apologized on Twitter, explaining that it was a false alarm, and that the alarm was triggered by mistake.
#AirEuropaInfo False Alarm. In the flight Amsterdam – Madrid, this afternoon was activated, by mistake, a warning that triggers protocols on hijackings at the airport. Nothing has happened, all passengers are safe and sound waiting to fly soon. We deeply apologize.
— Air Europa (@AirEuropa) November 6, 2019
It’s now being reported that the reason the pilot accidentally squawked 7500 was because he was explaining to an “intern” what the transponder codes are for. Oops. Well, I think it’s safe to say that the “intern” now has a pretty good understanding of that!
I’m happy that this was a false alarm, and that nothing actually happened. It of course makes sense for airports to always respond in full force in these situations.
What I find strange about the situation is how details quite widely emerged about three guys with knives who were allegedly on the plane. I don’t know if someone just started the rumor and so many sources picked up on it or what, but that sure is an odd element to this.
The fact that the pilot also activated all of this because of showing an “intern” what the buttons are for sure is something (assuming that part isn’t fake news).