F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Dutch F-16s intercept passenger jet

January 18, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Two Dutch F-16 fighters were scrambled from the air force base at Leeuwarden on Wednesday morning when radio contact could not be established with a Boeing 737 from Berlin.

RNlAF F-16AM #J-881 from 323 sqn is returning to Leeuwarden AB after a Frysian Flag mission on October 5th, 2005. [Photo by Mike Schoenmaker]

As they headed towards the Boeing aircraft, the fighter jets broke the sound barrier in Dutch airspace while travelling between Heerenveen and Zwolle.

The unidentified passenger plane managed to re-establish radio contact only moments after crossing from German into Dutch airspace and the F-16s returned to their air base. The Boeing continued on its journey to Amsterdam and the F-16s returned to base.

It was not immediately known what caused the loss of radio contact nor did aviation officials identify the name of the airline company which owns the Boeing 737.