RAF Coningsby jets help ‘unresponsive’ Mexican passenger aircraft

RAF Coningsby Typhoon fighter jets were mobilised to escort a passenger jet that lost contact with air traffic controllers in Scotland. 

Photo by: SAC Chris Ellis UK MOD Crown Copyright PPP-160527-170359001

RAF Coningsby Typhoon fighter jets were mobilised to escort a passenger jet that lost contact with air traffic controllers in Scotland. Photo by: SAC Chris Ellis UK MOD Crown Copyright PPP-160527-170359001

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Fighter jets from RAF Coningsby were called into action to help a passenger plane in difficulties while flying from France to Iceland.

The emergency unfolded at about 2.40pm on Friday (yesterday) when RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth, on Scotland’s north-east coast, to assist an an Airbus 320 operated by Mexican airline Volaris.

Typhoon aircraft were launched (on Friday) from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft

An RAF spokesman

An RAF spokesman said the plane was forced into an emergency landing at Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport after the Typhoons were allowed to fly “at supersonic speed” to meet the “unresponsive civilian aircraft”, before escorting it to a safe landing.

Residents in northern Scotland reported hearing “sonic booms” as the fighter jets flew to meet the Airbus 320 which landed at Prestwick shortly before 4pm.

The spokesman said: “Typhoon aircraft were launched (on Friday) from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft.

“The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons and any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.

“Communications were re-established and the aircraft was safely escorted by the Lossiemouth aircraft to Glasgow Prestwick Airport.”