June 24, 2004 (by Wizard) - Two Portuguese Air Force (PoAF) F-16s intercepted an airliner on June 23rd. As part of security measures related to the EURO 2004 - European Soccer Championship - there are always 2 F-16s fully armed in the air at the time of the games to patrol the no fly zones around the stadiums.
On June 23rd, one NATO
AWACS based at Beja reported that an airliner flying to Lisbon had suddently changed course to Porto, north of Portugal
, without contacting anyone. The 2 F-16s were immediately sent to intercept the aircraft, which they did.
It was a British airliner from which the Captain had forgotten to report to Lisbon airport control that he needed to change course to Porto.
The 2 F-16s then escorted the airliner to the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport in Porto. The British captain had a hell of a surprise when he saw 2 fully armed Vipers flying by his side.