F-15 fighter jets escort Alaska Airlines plane to Seattle after security scare (possibly) originated by crank call

On Jan. 17, NORAD (North America Air Defense) Command scrambled two F-15C fighter jets belonging to the Oregon Air National Guard, to intercept and escort to Seattle, an Alaska Airlines flight allegedly carrying a hijacker.

Shadowed by the two 142nd Fighter Wing‘s F-15s on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert), the civilian plane, a Boeing 737-800, landed safely at Seattle around 7.00 pm local time, where local agents found that the security scare was actually a false alarm.

The decision to intercept the airliner came after the FBI received an anonymous call, that the commercial flight was the potential target of a hijacking.

F-15 Portland

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

According to the early information from FBI the security scare was probably originated by a crank call, and the man named as the potential hijacker was possibly the victim of a hoax.

Enhanced by Zemanta
About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.