RAF fighter jets scambled to escort plane to Birmingham Airport

Flight from Bucharest lost contact with air traffic control

RAF fighter jets scambled to escort plane to Birmingham Airport

RAF fighter jets have been scrambled to escort a flight from Bucharest that lost contact with air traffic control.

The plane took off from Bucharest, in Romania, at around 1.30am on Tuesday morning and landed safely at Birmingham Airport at 7.30am.

See also: Flight escorted by fighter jets over passenger's cat

See also: Fighter jets intercept BA flight over Hungary

The flight was intercepted by Belgian F-16 fighter jets over the North Sea.

RAF Typhoon jets and a Voyager aircraft were also scrambled from Brize Norton to escort the aircraft to Birmingham, reports the Birmingham Mail.

The private freight-carrying plane was a Saab 340, which contained three crew and no passengers.

The runway at Birmingham Airport was closed for around half and hour while the aircraft landed. One plane from Dublin was diverted to East Midlands Airport as a result.

Witnesses pictured an RAF Typhoon and Voyager refuelling aircraft at one point over Milton Keynes.

Speaking to the Independent, a spokesperson for the RAF said: "The RAF can confirm that Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, were launched this morning by Quick Reaction Alert mission to intercept a civilian aircraft that had lost communications."

The Quick Reaction Alert system sees RAF planes deployed within minutes to intercept unidentified aircraft that may have lost communication with air traffic control, have no flight plan, or failed to submit a required surveillance radar code, according to the Mirror,

The Independent adds that "air battlespace controllers" at RAF Boulmerand RAF Scampton control jets kept ready for action at RAF Coningsby, RAF Lossiemouth and in the Falkland Islands.

Speaking to the Telegraph, a Birmingham Airport spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that a private Saab 340 aircraft inbound from Bucharest to Birmingham and carrying three crew encountered communication difficulties during a flight earlier today.

"In accordance with normal operating procedures the aircraft was intercepted by military jets on arrival into UK airspace and was escorted up to its scheduled arrival into Birmingham."

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell