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11:51PM EDT


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Squawks & HeadlinesEthiopian Airlines 702 Hijacked and Flown to Geneva

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Ethiopian Airlines 702 Hijacked and Flown to Geneva

A plane has landed at Geneva after apparently being hijacked over Africa. A spokeswoman for the Federal Office of Civil Aviation confirmed Geneva airport had been closed. Flight ET702 from Addis Ababa to Rome landed in Geneva about 4.15pm. (www.smh.com.au) More...

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blueashflyer 5
How can they say pax did not know - and were unaware until plane landed? The pilot banging on the door demanding to be let back in would tip off a few in the front rows, I'd think.
sparkie624 3
Agreed... But there are a lot of people who can't see beyond their own nose...
Pilot was Italian. Why not simply go fly for another airline?
Strange indeed. Or how about simply get off the plane in Rome and go back to mama? There must be something more behind this.
Agree and you know it sent chills down the spines of every airline who will no doubt run a check on their pilots to identify other possible "problem" crew. It has always been a terrorist dream is put one of their own in the cockpit and achieve maximum effect.
preacher1 3
It's nice that 1 man can control and land it.
KingAirB200 3
Why would this pilot think that he can hijack a plane, fly it to Switzerland, get off, and have the authorities let him live in Switzerland! I think he forgot that some people get arrested for hijacking planes!
Kevin Brown 3
Audio recording of the co-pilot requesting asylum in Switzerland. According to latest reports the co-pilot took advantage of the Captains bathroom break to hijack the aircraft. He tried to escape via the cockpit window exit on landing.

Tim Duggan 2
preacher....I find that an odd thing to say, since you also are a retired pilot? Surely you know how easy it is??
The bathroom break technique is confirmed in this report (in French) in "La Presse", Montréal's French language paper.


Seems like the incident with Mozambique Air over Namibia inspired the co-pilot. Luckily this was no mass-murder suicide, only an asylum seeker. He could have simply applied for asylum in Rome though.
preacher1 2
Well, most every thing out there can be flown single pilot if it has to be but there are 2 up there for a reason; it definitely makes it nicer with 2, but let's don't tell nobody or they'll try them all single pilot. LOL
preacher1 1
and unless I am mistaken, he is the one that pushed the hijack button. As a pilot, why not just call for a diversion and go ahead on?
Tim Duggan 1
preacher!!!! Again, I am amazed at you!

WHY would you write something like "pushed the hijack button"?? YOU, of all people, know better...right?

Or, was that just a bad metaphor in your reply?
preacher1 1
Well, kind of a bad metaphor but in the story it says a "squawk 7500" was picked up from that flight, so somebody originated it.
Tim Duggan 1
And also (since I cannot edit to add to a previous post), squawking 7500 is(was) meant as a "covert" signal to ATC. Back when the "Common Strategy" concept was still viable....back when MOST hijackings were of a political or financial exploitation nature.
Tim Duggan 1
Yeah I know how to squawk 7500. But, you and I both know it isn't a simple "hijack button"!! THAT is the 'metaphor' that I referred to.

The "hijack button" meme comes from those silly "9/11 truther" nutters' claims, and hence I objected to that phrase, because it tends to perpetuate that myth, for the layperson.
preacher1 1
Picky, Picky, Picky. LOL, but like I said, somebody had to activate it for them to see it and scramble a couple of F16's. I do agree with the myth/claims though and understand where you are coming from. Looks like he held off on landing too until he got down to 15-20 minutes of fuel. I don't know how close Ethiopian runs their fuel but if that had been a 121 U.S. flight of some kind, he probably wouldn't have had enough to get to Sweden. LOL
PhotoFinish 1
The "hijack button" meme comes from those silly ...

I thought that meme was originated in the movies, like 'Airplane'.
Tim Duggan 3
Yup....the movie 'Airplane'...it reinforced a LOT of memes...like this one:


I still LAUGH OUT LOUD...can't help it...just "lolz and lolz and lolz", every damn time!!!
Really bad for the page... If you want aviation enthousiasts to feed the page with news with the Squawk system, Maybe the Squawks should be kept as first to post the info has the Squawk... Other duplicate posts are the ones that come afterwards in a comment way to the main post.
Not the other way around, No wonder how people get over 400 squawks,

step 1: wait for someone to have a good info,
step 2: wait for people to gain some interest,
step 3: use power to repost hours later with new title and make people think you are the legitimate poster of the info.

What's the point of having a member based newsfeed if you can steal the news that easy? I made the effort to find out the news when nothing was out yet, got lucky to see the situation on FR24. And all you have to do is come down and say : «Now THIS is mine! My posts, my awards, all on me! »

I know this is a storm in a glass, But yet something to think about. Why would I even make an effort to post something to get it stolen?
You are right Jaime, this seems to be getting worse. I know from experience that any new poster gets a message to check for duplicates, but too many people don't seem to do that.
UPDATE: News confirm that the aircraft is circling over Geneva airport with a military escort.

20 minutes of fuel remaining... The aircraft is holding over the airport at 7000 feet.
Jayden Laing 2
Geneva police have confirmed that a pilot has been arrested & is believed to be one of the hijackers
sparkie624 2
This is not good.. Now we have flight crews hijacking the aircraft... What next.

Anyone here know the Co-Pilot that did this! :)
Ed Berling 2
This is confusing - why go to Geneva, why not just land at Rome and turn yourself in there? I guess we should be happy that no one was injured, just some wasted fuel.
Friends, may I ask how a person aged 31 years can manage to be licenced to be 1st officer ( co-pilot ) on a B767 with a main line carrier? If the reports are correct ( and I always doubt anything a journalist produces in the name of reporting fact ) having such a juvenile on the flight deck is asking for trouble and it would seem that this is the perfect example why having seniors of age and experience is vital for aircrew on passenger flights.

By all means put 31 year olds on cargo flights in order to gain hours and experience for after all, many military transport aircraft are piloted by people often much younger.

Maybe this chap had a reason for his actions but my God, is Italy so bad a place to seek asylum? Is Switzerland such a bed of roses? I feel this chap had not thought it through or just had a momentary opportunity that presented itself and he did not even consider diverting until he decided to do so....this seems the best answer to something rather bizarre!
Possible engine flaming out // Fuel critical // Waiting for the answer from a Negociator on behalf of ''Asylum''

Airplane is on final approach and might be landing soon.
Daniel Baker 2
Tim Duggan 2
Ed...the reason is simple. Switzerland. The First Officer was seeking asylum. Italy isn't the best place to be arrested in, either!!
This may have been the reason that flight was chosen: "30 Egyptian military officers; among them were two Brigadiers-Generals, a Colonel, a Major, and four other air force officers. After the crash, newspapers in Cairo were prevented by censors from reporting the officers' presence on the flight."
preacher1 2
In typical fashion, Egypt ceded authority due to lack of resources; then when it started putting them in a bad light, they found resources.
preacher1 1
Sad part is, the Swiss didn't grant him asylum either. They arrested him. LOL
According to Elizabeth Robillard who replied a few lines down, the pilot was Italien. That makes it even more intriguing.
sparkie624 3
That is the Sad Part... I thought that was the funny part.
joel wiley 2
The airliner's second-in-command, named by Ethiopia as Hailemedhin Abera Tegegn, 31
Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't sound Italian-
Well, Eisenhower sounds quite German to me, just the Dwight D sounds American....
preacher1 1
It definitely ain't Baptist. LOL
Torsten Hoff 1
He did commit a crime, so of course he is going to be arrested. That doesn't mean that they won't grant him asylum at a later date.
Tim Duggan 1
31 years of age is perfectly normal. Minimum age for an ATP in the USA is 23.

And, 31 is a "juvenile"?? BTW, I was hired at a major U.S. airline at age 26, flying right seat in a B727 a few years later, then right seat in an A300-B4 (approximately similar size as the B767).

By age 26 I had nearly 6,000 hours total time, so more than enough experience.
I am so sorry Tim, I did not seek to offend with my remarks. I just reflect on the fact that I have yet to see a pilot of any rank without greying or general hair loss ( females excepted of course ) wearing a flight deck uniform for a passenger carrying commercial airline flight. I remark upon this based on hundreds of days of airport watching, airfield spotting and flying as a passenger..in other words I am an aviation addict. Sit in any land side terminal cafe or bar and watch the dozens of flight crew pass by per hour and you will see what I mean.

I did also note in my earlier remarks that many pilots of 'youth' were or remain in military service and fly the cargo routes but I seek to add that we Brits tend to trust the older pilots because they 'present' a measured air of trust and confidence to anyone that happens to see them on or boarding the aircraft.

I do not wish to be critical of you personally but does being in the right seat of a B727 compare with the current 'glass' cockpits and fly-by-wire technology that current line pilots need to have a full grasp of? Imagine if you can this renegade was co-pilot of a B787 such as in service with Ethiopian currently?

I commend your experience and apologise for any offense caused as it was not intentional to you or anyone else with your experience.
Michael Wendt 2
I have worked as a 727 Second Officer, a DC10 F/O and 747-200 (the classic, pre-glass 747) F/O and currently am captain on a glass 737-800. All this new technology makes these new planes easier to fly.

Also, it is not that uncommon to see a 767 with a 31-year-old captain. It all depends on training and experience.
Sir, It may be best on my part to cease further comment due to coming across you and having my argument being shot down with spectacular effect! I do hope at least some of my thinking had a measure of validity but fair enough it did not.

God bless you and best wishes in your continuing career.
Why is my Squawk taken off when I gave the info first? Really!?
Mark Duell 0
Neither of the other squawk links were working so I merged them in here to preserve the comments.
Funny how the link I posted still works since I've been following the news on that page since 2 hours and still works when refreshed.
Greg L 2
landed safely
Alex Ohde 2
Why aren't any news companies reporting on it?
Not as popular when no one gets hurt, dies or capture a spectacular plane crash (as a previous Ethiopian).
Or Mozambique Air crash in November....
I don't know why the info hasn't yet been covered by Local news. (Still looking for news to keep the Squawk updated.

Here is the last update:

Ethiopian Airlines Press Release:

Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.
Kevin Brown 1
Video from inside the a/c apparently taken in the moments prior to Swiss authorities entered the a/c.

preacher1 1
I was a thnkin' that after that Air Egypt deal a few years ago, that FAA/ICAO adopted a "NEVER ALONE"type policy in the cockpit.i.e. an FA or somebody had to come into the cockpit when one crewmember had to leave. Sounds like somebody didn't follow the rules.
Rohit Rathor 1
Can't wait to see the details unfold on this one...
Mark Schenk 1
I am supposed to be on that plane heading to ADD tonight. Wonder if they'll let the plane go in time? And who will fly it?
michadm1 1
Heck of a way to seek asylum. He really thought that one through.
mrbill767 1
Might be an even better idea to allow jumpseating pilots to relieve the pilot stepping out to use the bathroom......including retired pilots and FAA controllers. What a waste of resources to ban people from the cockpit that could really be of use if something goes wrong while one of the pilots is back using the bathroom. Think about it...what would be better?? A retired captain and a current pilot in the cockpit or a flight attendant and one lone pilot? And who would be in a better position to perhaps overcome a pilot with dubious intentions?? A 115 lb F/A or a 200 lb man? Just saying!!!!! Reminds me of the question I posed after 9/11. If we had to flights leaving with the same destination and formed two lines, one line for the flight with armed pilots and the other line for the flight with comletely unarmed sitting duck pilots, which line would be the longest???
preacher1 1
I have a sneaky feeling that we had heard all that is going to be hear.
joel wiley 1
What is with the oxygen mask deployment?
preacher1 1
IDK if they even got the pax out yet. At the very least they are short one crew member. As far as your plane, you'll probably be on that flight# but not that particular plane.
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Ethiopian Flight 702 ***SQUAWK 7500***

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300 has the Hijacking code set in his transponder. News are coming in by little and for the moment it is known to be heading toward Geneva where Fire Department trucks are already on Standby.

Plane can be followed on FR24:


Jan F 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Europe-bound Ethopian plane hijacked

The early hours of Monday morning were harrowing for hundreds of passengers on an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft that was hijacked. A widebody jet originally bound for Italy was taken over above Africa.

Raymond Raedy 0
Has the plane been released to ETH yet?
Jake Wythe 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Pilot in Hijacked Ethiopian Jet Reportedly Seeks Asylum in Switzerland, Geneva Airport Reopens

The dust has started to settle around an intense morning in Geneva where, around 6 a.m. local time, a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines plane landed. The flight was bound for Rome at the time and had originated in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The airliner was hijacked by its copilot, an employee of the airline.

Swiss authorities arrested the hijacker and no injuries were reported.

According to a statement given to the media by Robert Deillon, Director of Genève Aéroport and president of the Swiss International Airports Association, the co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit during a bathroom break. He then took control of the aircraft.

arne sletbak 2
Off course. This explains it all. And since we do not learn any more from this incident all Captains should bring they're own camping toilet and stay in cockpit during the entire flight.