F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Dutch F-16's scramble to intercept Spanish Airbus

August 29, 2012 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Dutch Defence Ministry sent two F-16 fighters to intercept a Spanish airplane thought to be carrying hostages on board. The plane which took of from Malaga was bound for Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

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A fully armed RNLAF F-16AM pull's up besides a Spanish B-737. Due to a loss of radiocontact, the airliner was intercepted in August 2004.

It was an Airbus A320 of the Spanish airline Vueling which entered Dutch airspace without radio contact.

The two RNlAF F-16s scrambled from Volkel airbase to intercept the plane. The jets had permission to break through the sound barrier.

There were 183 passengers aboard the plane when it was surrounded by security forces. Telephone contact with some passengers learned that there was absolutely no hostage.

A spokesperson for Spain's Vueling airline said the reports that the plane had been hijacked were due to mis-communication between the pilot and the control tower.




Additional images:

RNlAF F-16AM #J-062 from 313 sqn is spotted taking off at Volkel AB during the Tiger Meet 2010 on October 12th, 2010. [Photo by Erik Frikke]

RNlAF F-16AM #J-014 from 313 sqn is spotted taking off at Volkel AB during the Tiger Meet 2010 on October 12th, 2010. [Photo by Erik Frikke]

RNlAF F-16AM #J-637 from 312 sqn in take off during the Tigermeet at Volkel AB on October 13th, 2010. [Photo by Maurits Even]