Child's helium balloon knocks out Greece's main flight radar

Roshina Jowaheer
Child's helium balloon knocks out Greece's main flight radar
Child's helium balloon knocks out Greece's main flight radar

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A child's helium balloon has been blamed for causing a power failure that knocked out Greece's main flight radar and grounded planes for more than an hour.

Metro reports that the balloon, which was coated in aluminium, knocked out the heart of the Athens flight information region radar after causing the power cut.

Air traffic and electricity network bosses confirmed there was a problem but would not comment further.

Civil aviation authority YPA said the radar, which controls airspace in Athens and northern Macedonia, sustained a 'loss of image' at around noon on Saturday.

The disruption apparently lasted more than an hour due to an electrical failure and a source at electricity board DEDIE claimed the balloon caused a 13-minute power failure near the YPA headquarters in southern Athens about 40 minutes before the radar shutdown.

YPA said air safety was not threatened during the power failure, which caused delays to take-off and landings.

A civil aviation insider said: 'Traffic controllers here remained in radio communication with the aircraft and radar remained operational at Athens international airport and regional

A committee was formed to investigate the cause of the malfunction.

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