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Unusual diversion of Delta A330

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posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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Delta 099 from Paris to Detroit yesterday was forced to divert to Amsterdam after a mechanical problem with their flaps. The flight circled over Norwich burning off fuel and waiting for Amsterdam to clear them.

But at some point, things got a little odd. At least momentarily, the flight, which was in contact with ATC (radar and voice) the entire time, switched to a British military frequency, and transponder code. In a normal situation like this, switches are kept to a minimum to allow the crew to concentrate on their problem, and not worry about things like the radio and transponder.

One bit of speculation is that there was an American diplomat on the way back to the US after the embassy closures, and this somehow relates to the Al Qaeda threat. There were also apparently military aircraft in the area, including a French AWACS, so it may have been related to that. But this is very unusual, to say the least.


On Aug. 7, 2013, a Delta Airlines A.330-300, flying as DAL099 from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Detroit diverted to Amsterdam after experiencing an inflight problem.

The civil plane, N814NW had problems with flap extension/retraction so it circled over Norwich, UK, at FL250, to burn fuel and wait until Amsterdam was able to accept it for landing.

So far so good.

The aircraft eventually landed at Schipol airport and everyone safely disembarked the Airbus.

However, something weird happened as the Airbus burned off fuel to reduce its weight over southeast England: as airband monitors and aircraft enthusiasts noticed, the emergency sparked an unusual type of reaction by the British Air Traffic Control (ATC) agencies.

Indeed, Delta 099, that was already in positive radio and radar contact with the civil ATC, not only switched to a London Military ATC control frequency, but did also squawk a London Mil transponder code: in other words, it was momentarily handed over to a military ATC agency.

theaviationist.com...




posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Thanks for the thread Zaph


I always enjoying reading these threads, as aviation is something I am quite unfamiliar with.

May I ask, what benefit would switching to a military channel offer, if any, in a situation like this, even if there were military or diplomatic personnel on board? Would it just be procedure?



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 12:35 PM
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Hmmm...odd, and this seems oddly appropriate. From a pilot buddy of mine.




posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 

Could it have been simply that the local UK civil ATC passed it onto the corresponding military net as a means of freeing up a controller, given the A330's location, and the fact that it was circling the same area for an extended period it would most likely have been in the Lakenheath control area, I have heard of the (UK) military and civil ATC cooperating in this manner before.
I suppose that there is always the possibility, given the close proximity of so many military air bases,that it was automatically passed onto Lakenheath control whilst the nature of their emergency was verified.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by MDDoxs
 


If there was a threat to the aircraft, it would allow the military pilots intercepting the aircraft to talk to the pilots without having to change frequencies. It also would allow things to be said that wouldn't go out over a normal radio channel for anyone to hear.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by nake13
 


It's possible that since there were military aircraft in the area they wanted them on the same frequency to broadcast any avoidance warnings, or traffic separation warnings. I don't think I can recall ever hearing of a civilian flight not landing at a military base being put under control of a military controller, and going to a military transponder code.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 01:50 PM
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Could it also be that they switched to confirm with military ATC that the plane wasn't hi jacked and no threat to any possible targets in London. Just incase they ATC thought the circling over British air space was suspicious. Norwich being close to London last thing we need is a similar 'attack' like the 9/11 incident

You'll probably say I'm wrong but hey I like being corrected

On a side note thought I've started seeing military air bus planes using flight radar24 app. I tracked a Belgium airforce jet that took off from Brussels which landed at RAF brize norton a also tracked an RAF air bus flying into brize norton too. Pretty sweet to be honest



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by nake13
 


It's possible that since there were military aircraft in the area they wanted them on the same frequency to broadcast any avoidance warnings, or traffic separation warnings. I don't think I can recall ever hearing of a civilian flight not landing at a military base being put under control of a military controller, and going to a military transponder code.


Your source mentions exactly that, and there was apparently a French Military aircraft in the area, so could be plausible enough. Then there was the Plane from Ireland to Philadelphia bomb scare going on, perhaps that too.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by smurfy
 


This would be the first time I've heard of a civilian aircraft not on a military mission using a military transponder code. I've heard of then taking to military controllers during an intercept before but never a military transponder code, unless they were hauling for the military and going into a military base.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by ThePeaceMaker
 


That's actually what I was thinking, but the transponder code bugs me.

Yeah I've started seeing military planes pop up on my 7700 alerts the last month or two.


RAB

posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 05:06 PM
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Some type of security check day code?? double lock type thing.. if cool switch to? If life is pooh climb by 1K?



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


So I know nothing about transponders so forgive me lol but a little while ago I message you about a 767 (I think) that was flying out of Kuwait, which stopped off in Cork in Ireland to refuel. Momentarily the plane ID said USAF then switched to a civilian airline. Can you change the transponder code during flight? Also infound it odd that although being over Norwich to burn fuel, why didn't it land at say London stanstead airport or Luton or is it a case of its been given a dedicated airport and has to stick to it



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by ThePeaceMaker
 


Changing codes is about as easy as you can get. It's just a matter of dialing in the four numbers they give you, and setting the mode. When I'm on my laptop later I'll post a pic of the control panel in the cockpit, as well as the different modes.

As for why Amsterdam it may be that Delta has a maintenance facility, or a contract with someone there.
edit on 8/8/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 11:18 PM
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They could have flown to a MOA to either burn the gas or dump the fuel so they could land under weight. ATC changes your squawk all the time in flight, depending on where you are in the world. For those that don't know there are three squawks every pilot commits to memory. 7500 means hijacked, 7600 means no comm, and 7700 is for inflight emergencies.

Zaph did you catch the code they squawked? I can look it up
edit on 8-8-2013 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 11:41 PM
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I found it 6070. I do believe that the 6000 series codes are only military in Australia....


Military flights in Class G airspace (Australia)[16]
External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned)


Hmm. Is the aviationist that starving for stories that they don't check their work, or am I reading this wrong?



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 08:05 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by nake13
 


It's possible that since there were military aircraft in the area they wanted them on the same frequency to broadcast any avoidance warnings, or traffic separation warnings. I don't think I can recall ever hearing of a civilian flight not landing at a military base being put under control of a military controller, and going to a military transponder code.


Perhaps that's just what happened. There was a chance that the flight might have to make an emergency landing at a close military facility, so they they prepped for that to give the ground a heads-up, but after some more diagnosis of the problem, the pilots and ground decided it was OK to go to Schipol after all.



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