F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Airline intercepted by F-16s from Buckley AFB

August 29, 2015 (by Anthony Cornelius) - The F-16s from the 140th wing COANG were scrambled out of of Buckley AFB shortly after 18.00h Friday evening to intercept a flight in route from Las Vegas to Frankfurt Germany. The F-16s were scrambled to intercept Condor Flight 83 when the pilot declared an in flight emergency due to an unruly passenger.

An F-16 from the 120th FS at Buckley AFB takes off low and fast carrying live munitions during a simulated scramble sortie. [Photo by Anthony Cornelius]

The plane landed safely at Denver International Airport just after 18.40h while being closely shadowed by the F-16s.

Passengers were greeted at the gate by law enforcement officials from various agencies but no arrests were made despite the unruly passenger.

It is unclear at this time why the pilot chose to declare a a level 3 disturbance, which is considered a life threatening emergency. According to the FBI, the disturbance aboard the flight was deemed a customer service issue.

A female European model was on board the flight when she requested her pet that was being kept with the other animals. She claimed it was her “comfort cat” and wanted the animal brought to her.

One person on Twitter said the passenger had been punching one of the flight attendants.

Condor Flight 83 was sitting at the terminal in Denver until Saturday 20:00 before it left again en route to Frankfurt, Germany.

The 140th wing F-16s are on guard 24/7 with planes armed and ready to go when NORAD sends the orders to scramble and intercept. The F-16s regularly practice and simulate scrambles and intercepts to keep their skills in tune for the real alerts.

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