F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Dutch and Belgian F-16s intercept airliners

September 30, 2004 (by jeroen) - Two Dutch F-16 fighters from Leeuwarden AB, the Netherlands have escorted British Airways flight BA 983. Earlier this week two F-16s from the Belgian Air Force intercepted a Russian airliner over French airspace.
The British Airways Airbus (BA 983) was on a non-stop flight from Berlin to London when it had to make a precautionary landing thursday afternoon at Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands.

The pilots of the airliner requested this because there had been a bomb alert. Someone recieved a call that there was a bomb on board of that specific airplane. Details as whom made that call and where exactly it came from are yet unknown.

The two Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcons escorted the plane from it's entry in the Dutch airspace all the way to it's unforeseen landing. The Dutch military police searched the airplane without finding any explosive device.

Earlier this week two Belgian F-16s intercepted an airliner over French airspace.

On September 27th, 2004, at around 18:30h, two F-16s on quick reaction alert (QRA) took off from Kleine Brogel AB, Belgium, to intercept an airliner originating from Moscou and on its way to a French airport. Air traffic control had lost radio contact for quite a while.

De F-16s took off from Kleine Brogel air base and went supersonic for two minutes to get to the Russian airliner. At 18:40h the airliner was within visual reach. Six minutes later, the civilain aircraft re-established radio contact.

Since September 1st, the Belgian F-16s have been brought to highest state of alert already 10 times. Only three times they actually had to take off.