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Ethiopian Flight 702 (ADD-FCO) Hijacked by copilot -Diverted to GVA

Ethiopian Flight 702 (ADD-FCO) Hijacked by copilot -Diverted to GVA

Old Feb 18, 14, 7:56 am
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by JohnRain View Post
Here's another, more FT-like angle on this story:
The hijacked plane was escorted by French and Italian fighter jets, because Swiss military jets only fly during regular business hours....(no joke)
You gotta love this country.

The article is in French:
http://www.tdg.ch/suisse/forces-aeri...story/16122563
That was exactly my reaction when I read the news!

Here is the English version.

But although the co-pilot-turned-hijacker quickly announced he wanted to land the plane in Switzerland, where he later said he aimed to seek asylum, Switzerland's fleet of F-18s and F-5 Tigers remained on the ground, Swiss airforce spokesman Laurent Savary told AFP.

This, he explained, was because the Swiss airforce is only available during office hours. These are reported to be from 8am until noon, then 1:30 to 5pm.

"Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend," he said, adding: "It's a question of budget and staffing."
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Old Feb 18, 14, 8:02 am
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by BadgerBoi View Post
...Americans
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Old Feb 18, 14, 8:26 am
  #123  
 
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A passenger of the flight is currently answering questions at Reddit. To ask questions or comments one needs to register, but it's really quick and you don't even need to give email address.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comment...ed_plane_from/

I'm taking the liberty of copying the story of OK3n (25 year old male):

IamA passenger on yesterday's Hijacked plane from Ethiopian Airlines to Geneva. Contrary to news coverage, it was hell.

The plane was hijacked one hour after take-off. This is how it went down.

After entering the plane, I went to my seat: economy class, window-side and next to the right wing. As it was around midnight, I quickly fell asleep during take-off. I was waken up an hour later due to the sound of all the oxygen mask going down. I immediatly thought « what the... » I looked at my neighbor, she seemed as confused at me: the plane was not behaving oddly so I thought it was a simple technical glitch or somebody pressed the wrong button. Everybody looked at each other, thinking what’s going on. Suddenly, a deep and angry voice talked through the cabin radio: "SIT DOWN, PUT YOUR MASKS ON, I'M CUTTING THE OXYGEN", three times. At this point, I realized that the situation is serious: someone is in the pilot cabin and has hijacked the plane. Within a few seconds, the oxygen went down in the cabin: I felt very lightheaded and quickly decided to put on the oxygen mask like the rest of the passengers. Quickly after that, the plane suddenly started dropping down for about 8 seconds then went fast back up, then finally stablized. People were crying, yelling, praying. I was in complete panic. Cold. We were then waiting for an update, an information, what was going on. But it never came. We flew for 6 more hours, knowing only that a pirate was at command. Who was he, what was his intentions ? I started thinking, too far. For he was probably alone, he couldn’t possibly be planning to land at an airport, he would immediatly get caught. So I quickly took away the possibilty of landing safely. As I was looking throught the window, all I could see was dark. Dark up, dark down.

For the next 6 hours, I was imagining every possible outcome of this story : from suddenly crashing into the ocean, to hitting a building, to crashing into another plane, to landing and being killed as a martyr. At this point, I remember trying to send a SMS to my family and girlfriend « There is a problem with the plane. I love you, you are the best » on a 5% battery and stressing that another terrorist would see me and shoot me. There was no network, so I decided to shut down my phone and thought of restarting it just before we crashed, so the messages would eventually come through. I held hands the whole way with my seat neighboor, a very nice, simple older italian woman. Every single second of those 6 hours of uncertainty and soon-to-be death was a psychological torture. I broke down, let everything go, said goodbye, though of my family, of moments in the past, of who will inherit my stuff and much more.

The flight was supposed to land at Rome at 4:40am. At 5:30am we were still high, high in the sky. Down throught the window , I could see a coast and some light far away that somehow reassured me. Around 5:45, the plane started suddenly to do circle. Circles left, circle right. It seemed that this went on at least 20 times. I was thinking that maybe the pirate wants to deplete the fuel and stall the plane. We were still at the same altitude, we were not going towards land. After this terribly long sequence of turns, the plane started going down towards land at a normal speed. When we reached the clouds, the wings deployed completely like a normal landing, but it seemed to me like it wanted to cover more area to do more damage. I was thinking : that’s it, we’re crashing into something. Looking down to the window I see a light, two, three, I can’t see what’s ahead. It’s still dark. We’re going fast, we’re flying over many houses now. And suddenly, under us, the airport. Just thinking again about this moment makes me shiver. We are landing. WE, are LANDING. Is this true ? Is this a miracle ? We touched the ground, and the plane eventually stopped completely in a bit away from the plane entrance to the terminal. I remember crying, while most of the people (Italians) were applauding. At this point, for the first time in 6 hours, we got an update from the steward telling us about the copilot, that we are in Geneva and that soon the Swiss police will enter and evacuate the plane. Eventually, the Swiss tactical forces entered the plane, telling is to put our hands on the head and stay calm. It took about 2-3 minutes person person to evacuate. An hour later, I was finally out. We were checked and accompagnied very kindly by the swiss. There were sandwitches, hot chocolate, free wifi and psychologues. A few hours later, I could get my luggage and went out through normal gates. My mother was there, we went for a walk along the Leman lake and she cooked some good meal. The psychological impact is not negligible, I'm still in a state of shock. I'm a lucky ......., I hope none of you have to experience that. AMA.

tl;dr: Got to plane, after an hour the oxygen mask went down, scary voice through radio, plane going fast up and fast down, no update during 6 hours and finally landed safely. Miracle.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 9:37 am
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by WindowSeat123 View Post
Exactly.

The logical way to seek asylum would be just to "slip-off-the-radar" while staying overnight at some European destination and instead of reporting back to duty the next day for the flight home, declare he's seeking asylum at the Swiss Embassy/Consulate.

By hijacking and endangering a group of innocent passengers, he invalidates his own asylum claim...
Except your asylum request can be declined and you could be deported in a matter of weeks or months. By committing a crime in Switzerland, he ensures a lengthy prison term there, which might have sounded better than the fate back home. He also ensures sufficient media spotlight ont he case for the deportation to be relatively difficult.

Not excusing anything.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 11:39 am
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by tupungato View Post
A passenger of the flight is currently answering questions at Reddit. To ask questions or comments one needs to register, but it's really quick and you don't even need to give email address.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comment...ed_plane_from/

I'm taking the liberty of copying the story of OK3n (25 year old male):
Thank you for posting this.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 12:40 pm
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by Upgraded! View Post
So would this technically fall under the category of highjacking or mutiny?
For a ship, believe it would be barratry. Mutiny is the crew rebelling against the officers, barratry is misconduct of the master against the owner.

Originally Posted by JohnRain View Post
Here's another, more FT-like angle on this story:
The hijacked plane was escorted by French and Italian fighter jets, because Swiss military jets only fly during regular business hours....(no joke)
You gotta love this country.

The article is in French:
http://www.tdg.ch/suisse/forces-aeri...story/16122563
Something about a treaty between Swiss/French air-forces. The French had planes on the 767.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 1:29 pm
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
Thank you for posting this.
Indeed, thank you. It definitely puts perspective on the whole story.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 2:31 pm
  #128  
 
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What ever you call it.....I hope he never see's the light of day for the Terror he caused.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 3:08 pm
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by HasteFlier View Post
(indeed, i'm not sure i'd prefer working at an american feeder airline rather than at ET..)
My feeble little joke was indeed directed at the poor conditions that Americans work under compared to most of the western world.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 5:05 pm
  #130  
 
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Ethiopian Flight 702 (ADD-FCO) Hijacked by copilot -Diverted to GVA

Grrr... If he gets away with this, how many others will do the same? Maybe next time it would be a bus driver who won't let people off, cruise ship won't stop, another flight... Hijacking a plane to get what he wants - well, he should never ever see the light again, whenever he goes.

And what he did is STILL a crime - it's no different from someone kidnapping and asking for money and protection in return.

Last edited by yucci18; Feb 18, 14 at 6:43 pm
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Old Feb 18, 14, 6:55 pm
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by MtlChris View Post
Except your asylum request can be declined and you could be deported in a matter of weeks or months. By committing a crime in Switzerland, he ensures a lengthy prison term there, which might have sounded better than the fate back home. He also ensures sufficient media spotlight ont he case for the deportation to be relatively difficult.

Not excusing anything.
But again, we have no evidence of what terrible fate await him in Ethiopia. I seriously doubt being an Ethiopian pilot is worse than being jailed in a Swiss prison, even supposing less-than satisfactory work conditions at the airline. And if this pilot had indeed offended some seriously powerful people back home, political or otherwise, he would not have been permitted to still fly with the airline and be removed from his post.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 8:32 pm
  #132  
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He's not going to get away with anything; Switzerland will either sentence him or extradite him. Neither option will be a nice happy ending. Mr. Hailemedhin Abera Tegegn, 31 years old, can be sentenced to up to 20 years in Switzerland - his best option, and fortunately for him Switzerland does not extradite when the requesting nation offers a possibility of the death penalty (but AFAIK twenty years is the penalty in Ethiopia as well, so he may be in less than luxurious surroundings in the end).

Many sources out there for this information.

But... with a visa allowing him to be in Europe, why not land in FCO and bail to wherever within the Schengen, and then request asylum.

Originally Posted by yucci18 View Post
Grrr... If he gets away with this, how many others will do the same? Maybe next time it would be a bus driver who won't let people off, cruise ship won't stop, another flight... Hijacking a plane to get what he wants - well, he should never ever see the light again, whenever he goes.

And what he did is STILL a crime - it's no different from someone kidnapping and asking for money and protection in return.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 8:35 pm
  #133  
 
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What a selfish man to endanger all those people's lives that he was paid to keep safe for his own self benefit. Many, many people in Ethiopia would love a chance at any kind of life and income, the vast majority have no chance in hell of even getting on a plane as a passenger never mind a career pilot. He had a lot of other options if he wanted out of his country for good, this was a terribly stupid and insensitive thing to do.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 9:11 pm
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
But... with a visa allowing him to be in Europe, why not land in FCO and bail to wherever within the Schengen, and then request asylum.
Others more knowledgeable than me have pointed out that once you enter Schengen, any asylum application you make is processed by the country where you first entered Schengen. And Italy is not the most charitable country when it comes to giving asylum to Africans.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 9:21 pm
  #135  
 
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Reading to my wife the passenger story pasted above, she had an interesting comment.

She said " you know why the copilot turned off the air in the cabin and deployed the air masks"? That way none of the passengers and crew could move from their seats.

She has a criminal mind sometimes
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