He Was Instructing an Intern, Triggered Hijack Alert

Pilot causes mass chaos by inadvertently sending the alarm code
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2019 6:41 AM CST
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 being built for Spain-based Air Europa takes off for a test flight April 10, 2019, at Boeing Field in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – On the bright side, an Air Europa intern will surely always know the alarm code for a hijacking should one occur. But the reason for that caused quite a bit of chaos at a major Amsterdam airport on Wednesday, reports Bloomberg. It seems that a pilot was showing the intern the ropes aboard a passenger jet before departure to Madrid—including all the various codes used in the cockpit—when he inadvertently sent out a "hostage alert" indicating that a hijacking was underway, per Business Insider. Police stormed Schiphol airport before realizing it was all a false alarm.

"The send button was ... accidentally pressed," according to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, cited by the American outlets. All 27 passengers were taken off the plane and much of the airport was evacuated in the immediate aftermath of the scare. "We made a mistake in the cockpit," the pilot says in video obtained by the Dutch newspaper. "We have created a hijack alarm. ... I'm so sorry." The Spanish-based airline later apologized as well. (This flight snafu may be stranger: toilet trouble on a plane packed with plumbers.)

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