[Audio] I’m instructed by Her Majesty’s government of the United Kingdom to warn you if you do not respond you will be shot down

Oct 30 2014 - 26 Comments

“I’m instructed by Her Majesty’s government of the United Kingdom to warn you if you do not respond you will be shot down”

On Oct. 29, two RAF Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby airbase, and flew at supersonic speeds across the UK to intercept a Latvian Antonov An-26 cargo plane that took an unauthorized detour over London causing concern to civil air traffic control.

The two Eurofighter warplanes on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) reached the Soviet-designed cargo plane (registration YL-RAA) on its way to Birmingham airport and forced it to land at Stansted airport.

Interestingly, the pilot of the lead RAF Typhoon (radio callsign “L9T47”) which intercepted the Latvian plane (callsign MLA1605) radioed warning the three-man crew on board the foreign plane to listen to military instructions or risk being ‘shot down’.

Here’s the audio recorded on a VHF frequency.

You can clear hear the pilot say:

“MLA1605 from the L9T47, I’m instructed by Her Majesty’s government of the UK to warn you if you do not respond you will be shot down”

This is how real interceptions work.


  • Mick Hibbert

    why do you keep emphasizing ‘Russian built’ ? does this somehow make it more EEEEVIIIL ? The Aircraft in question was an Antonov , which , since 1952, happens to be a Ukrainian aircraft designed and built just outside of Kiev , but this doesn’t suit today’s anti Russian rhetoric , does it?
    If this aircraft had been a Boeing would it have been reported as American built ?

    • kusanagi no tsurugi

      Btw antonov is Ukrainian

    • tim robinson

      Okay then, it’s a Soviet design

    • David Jordan

      the problem here, mick, is people who think like you and don’t look at the true problem. it was violating sovereign airspace. it doesn’t matter who built it. it was who was operating it.you worry about “anti- russian “rhetoric. while the russians fly bear bombers near american airspace. although it may be a cargo plane, you don’t know what it is carrying. how about the fact that a cargo plane full of god knows what( maybe even explosives or chemical weapons)has just pierced sovereign airspace. i don’t care if it is made by mattel toy company. i would scramble on it. remember how many people were killed by passenger jets on 911? and, by the way, russia DOES use antonov aircraft. extensively.if memory serves me correctly, those call numbers are russian. so, if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck……IT’S A DUCK!!! telling it like it is is not rhetoric. it is fact.putin has been throwing his weight around a lot here lately because he knows we have a wuss for a commander in chief who will do absolutely nothing about it.but apologize to everybody. but don’t worry about it. you are liberal, so when putin starts dropping bombs on america, he will set the bombs not to hit your house because he knows you arer a liberal and a peace nik apologist……….NNNNNOOOOTTTTTTT!!!!

      • kusanagi no tsurugi

        No genius, it’s a fact of proper information…

    • Jessy

      Huh? It’s a Latvian aircraft. Who built it does not matter. But, If it were built in 1952, Russia has inherited the Soviet culture.

    • Evan Martin

      it said it once. cause its a russian built plane, news article always throw random facts in.

  • echomrg

    being a normal cargo flight veering off the standard course i think they knew exactly who they were dealing with.

    • Spencerhut

      “Normal” flights of any kind to not deviate from filed flight plans. Deviating a large plane over a populated area where it was not supposed to be should get this exact reaction.

      • echomrg

        i never said the reaction was unwarranted.

        i just said that being a normal, registered cargo they knew what plane it was, where it originated and where it was supposed to be going.

        of course they could have no idea about who was flying it at the moment and where it was actually going.

  • larryj8

    After 9/11, does the country of origin really matter? If a plane suddenly deviates from ATC instructions, it will be considered as potentially hostile.

    • No it doesn’t matter, I’m just wondering how much a pilot typically knows before going out there to meet it. Could be a pretty tense situation leading up to the encounter.

      • Bravo

        They know, ATC flight plans are usually are provided to them if there is time.

        • Tim

          It would depend on a lot of things, I’d imagine. Was the aircraft one with a formally filed flight plan that deviated? Is it running its transponder, declaring its identity? Was it reported by ATC as deviating or was it picked up by radar only as an unknown contact? I would imagine the variables would mean that an intercepting pilot would not take anything for granted until he has eyes on the aircraft.

  • andisoa

    The RAF pilot could have cared less which country the plane was from or made in, only this article’s writer seems to care. A plane flying in UK airspace, not responding to traffic control or common flight rules is duly intercepted and warned to respond….or else.

  • andyksj

    That’s a radio message you should probably respond to…

  • SandyLester

    That’s that the point, this is an unauthorized plane flying across the UK-either respond or be shot down.

    • Roland Lawrence

      Thats the thing though, even though its a very small percentage it happens from time to time, weather its a Lativian cargo plane or a TopGear presenter in a balloon flying near an airport. The normal procedure is to ascertain what is going on , divert other aircraft and then take appropriate measures – usually a fine, depending on why it occurred. This was clearly a provocation to the Russians.

      • David Jordan

        rowland, you are another one who forgets very easily that 911 was perpetrated by civilian passenger planes. so any aircraft that violates sovereign airspace is to be treated as hostile until it is proven they are not.that’s how it works. whether you think it is handled dreadfully or not.but i guess you were in your crib about the time of that attack. so you know little about it.

      • Tim

        Good grief, Roland, you need to get out more if you believe everything you see on an episode of Top Gear. That entire sequence was fake. I had no question to that from the moment I saw it and follow up articles prove it – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/6714162/Top-Gear-BBC-show-accused-of-faking-flying-caravan-stunt.html

        There’s just no way that the BBC would ever condone or allow for deliberate violations of aviation safety protocols.

        It simply cannot be a provocation to the Russians. Such ‘logic’ makes no sense as the aircraft involved wasn’t Russian. The only link to Russia in the incident was that made by the author of this article.

        Not sure how you can make a comment as to whether or not the RAF followed ‘normal procedure’ either – you literally have a 12 second audio clip after which you’re declaring your findings. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that was probably not the first attempt made by the Typhoon pilot or ATC to communicate with these guys.

        • Roland Lawrence

          Oh dear, well ive been corrected. Well sir with your vast amount of other knowledge im sure you can find some other instances where planes have been “silent” and causing a headache for traffic control. While im sure there are legitimate security concerns I was a bit shocked at the “lets blow them out of the sky” attitude from the MoD that was all.

  • David Jordan

    where it is from doesn’t matter. it violated airspace. period.

  • The Rose

    what a crappy article: Latvia is part of NAVO/NATO, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO. So I do not know what the pilot was smoking/drinking or the dude that wrote this article..get your facts straight!!

    • David

      Why does it matter if Latvia is part of NATO? that’s like saying no citizen of the united kingdom will commit a terrorist attack on it because it’s their own country

    • cencio4

      The procedure is the same regardless to whether the aircraft belongs to a NATO country or not. What if a civil plane was hijacked or a cargo plane from a NATO country was used to perform a terrorist attack?
      I always suggest people to read the story and get the facts straight before commenting.

  • baguio23

    This is half of a story.