By Pat Flynn
It has emerged that fighter jets from two countries were scrambled to intercept a Ryanair flight on Saturday after communications were lost with the aircraft.
Ryanair FR-9525 from Lublin (Poland) to Stansted Airport in England suffered a radio communications failure over The Netherlands on Saturday night.
It is understood that there had been no contact from the aircraft for more than 30 minutes and efforts were made to call the flight on a number of radio frequencies including the international aviation radio distress channel.
When controllers were unable to make contact with the crew, two Belgian Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft were dispatched to intercept the aircraft. It’s understood the jets were operating in the airspace on behalf of Belgian and Dutch military airspace at the time.
NEWS @BeAirForce - Last night 2 #F16 on Quick reaction Alert took off from Kleine-Brogel Air Base for a civilian airliner that had lost all contact with air traffic control. Once radio contact was re-established, jets returned to homebase around midnight. Protecting your security pic.twitter.com/9CdhDmwvKg— Belgian Air Force🇧🇪 (@BeAirForce) February 11, 2018
In the meantime, an RAF Typhoon fighter jet were scrambled from a UK air base so they could intercept the plane when it entered British airspace.
When the Belgian fighter jets intercepted the flight near Rotterdam radio contact was re-established.
The fighter aircraft were stood down while the Ryanair flight continued to Stansted for a safe.
Ryanair would only say: “This flight from Lublin landed normally at Stansted airport.”
The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport here confirmed it was notified of the incident and said loss of communications incidents are a matter for the military/security services.
“As this event occurred in UK airspace it is a matter for the security services of the UK. As such the AAIU is not investigating this occurrence,” the AAIU said.