Skip to comments.Swiss fighters grounded during hijacking as outside office hours
Posted on 02/17/2014 12:04:39 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Geneva No Swiss fighter jets were scrambled Monday when an Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot hijacked his own plane and forced it to land in Geneva, because it happened outside business hours, the Swiss airforce said.
When the co-pilot on flight ET-702 from Addis Ababa to Rome locked himself in the cockpit while the pilot went to the bathroom and announced a hijacking, Italian and French fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane through their respective airspaces.
But although the co-pilot-turned-hijacker quickly announced he wanted to land the plane in Switzerland, where he later said he aimed to seek asylum, Switzerland's fleet of F-18s and F-5 Tigers remained on the ground, Swiss airforce spokesman Laurent Savary told AFP.
This, he explained, was because the Swiss airforce is only available during office hours. These are reported to be from 8am until noon, then 1:30 to 5pm.
"Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend," he said, adding: "It's a question of budget and staffing."
Monday's hijacking, carried out by 31-year-old Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn, according to Addis Ababa, took place in the very early hours, with the aircraft and its 202 passengers and crew landing safely in Geneva at 6:02 am (0502 GMT).
That was just two minutes after the airport opened for business, and two hours before the Swiss airforce is operational.
Savary said Switzerland relies heavily on deals with its neighbours, especially France, to help police its airspace outside regular office hours.
He explained that French fighters can escort a suspicious aircraft into Swiss airspace, "but there is no question of shooting it down. It's a question of national sovereignty".
Swiss airspace is under constant electronic surveillance, he pointed out, adding that the wealthy Alpine nation is also studying the
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A F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft of the Swiss Air Force takes off on February 20, 2013 at Payerne airport (AFP/File, Fabrice Coffrini)
If the SWISS commander’s watch stops, do the planes remain grounded until it is fixed? Just asking.
So if you want to attack Switzerland, do it after hours or on a holiday.
If it’s a Swiss-made watch, it will rarely stop. Can’t beat the Swiss at watch-making.....
Even the Swiss air force works “banker’s hours”.
“Please leave a message and we’ll return fire during normal business hours. Thank you for choosing Switzerland for your conquest needs!”
So if you want to attack Switzerland, do it after hours, or on a holiday.
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living....................
He wants asylum?! Right, he should make a fine upstanding citizen!
You can’t attack Switzerland after hours or during a holiday.
Helloooooo.....didn’t you read the article?
“We are sorry, you are attempting to invade outside normal invasion hours. Please halt your invasion and try again when soldiers are available to kill you.”
“What if they gave a war and nobody came?”
The fighter pilots must have a darn good union.
the 35-hour work-week will end war on earth
Well, at least for 133 hours out of each week!
Si la invasión de México, o de otros países de habla española, marque "1"
Switzerland has F18s? Last I heard, their air force was made up of ME-109s and B17s that landed there by mistake.
This reminds me of an old Candid Camera where the show parked official cars at some lightly traveled New Jersey border, telling would be entrants into the state that “New Jersey was closed”.
*SOB* we only get 29. *sniffle* *sniffle*
A lady asked if New Jersey was open, and she was told that it was.
"Then I'll go to New Jersey," she said.
I don't see what the big deal was. The Ethiopian pilot was obviously skilled enough to fly so one can assume he can land too. considering he was from Ethiopia, my guess is he really wanted a good Swiss meatball dinner.......and was willing to go to prison for it.
Mighty nice of the co-pilot to squawk the hijacking code on the aircraft's transponder. I suppose he should be commended for rying to be helpful!
The amazes me.
Check this out!
I suspect the same stunt was pulled more than once. I wasn’t watching the show 50 years ago.
Swiss Air Force Office Hours 8am-12pm, 1:30 pm-5pm.
I sure hope the answering machine is able to take care of attacks after hours.
Surprised the swiss even broadcast the fact their defense forces are only active a few hours a day and there’s nothing they will do outside of those hours.
they are sluts. they do it for free. WHORES are the ones that do it for money.
Brilliant plan, won’t be surprised when the USA follow suit
German General: “Our army outnumbers yours five to one! What would you do if we invaded?”
Swiss General: “Our our people would fire five shots, then go home!”
German General: “ What if we attack after hours?”
Swiss General: “You would win with no losses!”
Reminds me of an episode of “Yes,Prime Minister”,an excellent BBC comedy from the 80’s.In it the Prime Minister is discussing the British military’s weaknesses with an aide.At one point the PM says to the aide something like “so,in essence,if the Russians attack us we’d rather that they do it sometime between Monday to Friday”.
you were thinking what i was. when you have to say what you are or aren’t, you know they’re the opposite.
Such is only allowed by appointment. If you want to leave a call back number, press 1.
:).....how about that ?