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Old Jul 27, 04, 1:57 am   #1
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UA840 to LAX causes major emergency scare at SYD - forced to return to airport

Breaking news on 6pm TV news here.

Massive security scare at SYD as UA 840 to LAX forced to return and land just minutes ago. Was 90 mins into flight when it turned around. Originated in MEL.

246 pax on board. Highest possible Airport alert - Cat #3. Peak hour traffic in total chaos.

Departed 2.45pm I heard. Now 6pm local. There was a silent alarm triggered by cabin crew to SYD. i.e. a break-in alarm type light went off from cockpit TV news said. Nothing on newspaper news wires yet. I'll update when there is.

Another TV news saying a bomb is suspected on board according to UA source.

747 now parked off in a secure area surrounded by Federal Police etc.

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Last edited by ozstamps; Jul 27, 04 at 2:02 am.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 2:06 am   #2
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http://www.news.com.au/common/story_...55E421,00.html


Airliner returns to Sydney airport

July 27, 2004

A UNITED Airlines flight was forced to return to Sydney International Airport late this afternoon as a precaution because of a problem on board, the airline said.

The flight, which took off about 3pm (AEST), was 90 minutes into the flight when the pilot made the decision to return to Sydney, the spokesman said.

He would not detail the nature of any problems onboard and refused to confirm whether there were any problems with the plane's landing gear or in the cockpit.

The flight landed at about 5.45pm (AEST).

NSW Fire Brigades and the NSW Ambulance Service had multiple vehicles on the scene, and police closed roads leading to the airport.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 2:20 am   #3
 
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lots of conflicting info at the moment

a post on airliners.net, apparently sourced from the uk early morning news, mentions an attempted cockpit intrusion - http://www.airliners.net/discussions....main/1670780/

the news here seems to be reporting a bomb threat in addition, possibly called in from the terminal?

i hope it's just a nutter, and i hope they go to jail for 30yrs.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 2:31 am   #4
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Update on TV news a minute ago says passengers now being taken off plane and will be re-screend of course if plane is allowed to leave this evening. As SYD has a strict curfew I'd sincerely doubt it will be going anywhere this evening.

Federal Police say cagily there was "some sort of threat". Either an unruly passenger or the alarm mentioned above - they will not specify.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 2:43 am   #5
 
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Or a C-Class pax got confused between the loo door and the cockpit door?
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Old Jul 27, 04, 2:59 am   #6
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Whilst Sky News is reporting this version of events....

Tuesday July 27, 09:52 AM

Suspect Package Forces Flight To Land
Sydney Airport has denied claims that a United Airline flight was forced to land after an attempt to break in to the cockpit. United Airlines flight 840 carrying 246 people was bound for Los Angeles but turned back to Sydney as a precautionary measure about 90 minutes after takeoff, a United Airlines spokesman said.A United Airlines spokesman said the flight landed after a suspicious object was found on board.

An airport spokeswoman said a local television report that an attempt had been made to break into the cockpit was "not true at all".

New South Wales ambulance and fire services are on standby and nearby roads have been closed off.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 3:02 am   #7
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Latest update is quoting the Captain as saying there was "some sort of object" found on the plane that was sufficiently of concern for him to turn around the plane.

Apparently everyone will fly out tomorrow 11.30am.

Air Traffic Control still calling it on 7pm news just now as a "non specific threat". 246 pax and 18 crew.

Governmment sources say there was a note alluding to a bomb threat found on board.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 3:23 am   #8
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A spokesman for Transport Minister John Anderson said the note indicated a bomb was on board and prompted the pilot to abort the flight.

"The pilot made the decision to return to Sydney (after the note was found)," he said.

"(These things are treated) very seriously and the pilot obviously felt he needed to return to Sydney."

It is understood the note was found in the plane's toilet.

The usual security precautions and processes were implemented immediately and investigations would continue, he said.

A United Airlines spokesman said an object found on board "raised some security suspicions", prompting the captain to return to Sydney immediately.


http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/...693958197.html
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Old Jul 27, 04, 3:36 am   #9
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Current news says all air traffic to and from SYD airport was halted whilst this apparent emergency played out. At peak time this must have been a disaster.

Minister said a minute ago "things are getting back to normal now at airport". Now 7.35pm.

Federal Transport Minister on TV just indicated the 'object' may have been a barf bag. The writing on it appears to be letters only - not words. Curious.

Reading between the lines seems like it was a stupid hoax.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 4:07 am   #10
 
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Most curious is the flight status....customer service?

Flight 840
NOT DEPARTED
Details Sydney, Australia (SYD)
Wed, Jul 28
Scheduled: 2:50 PM
Estimated: 11:30 AM
Reason: Schedule change due to Customer Service
pier c
Gate: 55
Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Wed, Jul 28
Scheduled: 11:15 AM
Estimated: 7:52 AM
Reason: Schedule change due to Customer Service
Terminal 7
Gate: 74
Baggage claim: --
Flight 840
NOT DEPARTED
Details Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Tue, Jul 27
Scheduled: 1:00 PM
Estimated: 1:00 PM
Reason: --
Terminal 7
Gate: 75B
New York, NY (JFK)
Tue, Jul 27
Scheduled: 9:27 PM
Estimated: 9:27 PM
Reason: --
Terminal 7
Gate: 7
Baggage claim: --
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Old Jul 27, 04, 6:29 am   #11
 
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I suppose removing a suspect bomb is a service to customers
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Old Jul 27, 04, 6:30 am   #12
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Passengers, crew cleared of hoax note

July 27, 2004 - 9:54PM

NSW Police said a bomb threat written on a sick bag that forced a United Airlines flight to return to Sydney Airport was a hoax.

"We have been carrying out our investigations since the plane landed and I'm quite satisfied that it is a hoax," Botany local area command Superintendent Peter O'Brien told reporters

"There have been no persons detained and our specific screening process happened without incident."

Supt O'Brien said passengers and crew aboard the flight were cleared of writing the hoax note which sparked a massive mid-air security scare.

The note, found aboard Los Angeles-bound United Airlines flight 840 "implied that there might be a bomb on board", federal Transport Minister John Anderson said earlier.

The flight left Sydney International Airport at about 3pm (AEST) Tuesday with 246 passengers and 18 crew on board.

But 90 minutes into the trip, the jumbo jet's captain aborted the flight after the note - written on a sick bag - was found near the toilet by another passenger and "handed in", Mr Anderson said.

NSW Police refused to confirm where the note had been found or what it had been written on.

"An unspecified and undefined hoax was found onboard the plane and the captain used his judgment to return to Sydney," Supt O'Brien said.

Supt O'Brien also said it was safe to say the note had not been left on board from a previous flight.

He said investigations were continuing to find who wrote the note, but all passengers and crew on board the plane had been cleared since the plane returned to Sydney.

"Every crew member and every passenger had to undergo our specific screening process, and all those persons have been processed without incident," Supt O'Brien said.

However, he said that screening process did not (not) include a handwriting analysis of all passengers and crew.

He said all passengers would now continue onto LA on Wednesday at 11am (AEST).


http://news.com.au/common/story_page...5E1702,00.html
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Old Jul 27, 04, 6:42 am   #13
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I do NOT believe it.

The barf bag had "BOB" written on it.

Captain decided this meant to him BOMB ON BOARD and turned around.
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Old Jul 27, 04, 8:33 am   #14
 
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Hmmmmm, BOB! Isn't that "Buy on Board"? Oh, scratch that, this is an international flight!

Well, at least it wasn't a few passengers getting hyped up about a syrian band or something similar!
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Old Jul 27, 04, 8:43 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozstamps
I do NOT believe it.

The barf bag had "BOB" written on it.

Captain decided this meant to him BOMB ON BOARD and turned around.
If "BOB" was indeed the only "threat" written on the bag (as implied by http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/...693967340.html ) and there were no other oddities, then the pax that reported this and the flight crew that got so agitated need to have their collective heads examined.

If we interpret all words as acronyms, just about any 3-or-more-letter combination can be made into a threat.

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