Video of JFK Hijack Threat: No One Told the Pilot
A pilot got fed up at JFK controllers who were told a terrorist might attack and told him to park his incoming plane – without telling him why.
The recorded exchange between the American Airlines pilot and the controller, not knowing why his plane was surrounded with emergency vehicles, reached the point where he told the control tower, “Somebody's got to give us the reason or we're going to evacuate the aircraft. You got 60 seconds."
The reported threats turned out to be false alarms.
The controller had told the pilot to park his plane on the runway instead of guiding the craft to the terminal, to which the pilot responded, "Yeah, well, they need to get off the phone and give me some information now. OK. I'm the captain of this airliner and I need information pronto."
After the pilot threatened to let the passengers off right away, the controller replied, "We have the information, can you possibly call [number blocked out]?" The pilot said he could he could not do so and angrily said, “I demand the information right now over a frequency.”
The controller caved in and divulged the information that someone reported there was a terrorist threat on board the flight from San Francisco and on a Finnish plane. One report was of a bomb and the other of several terrorists having hid in the plane’s wheel housings.
Eventually, both threats proved to be false after the planes were thoroughly inspected.
"There was a little bit of nerves around in the plane, but the flight attendants and everyone just kept it quiet," American Airlines passenger Ben Rosamond told WABC.