Drama over the UK: Fighters scramble to intercept Tel Aviv plane

Britain scrambles fighter jets to intercept former El Al plane heading from Tel Aviv to the US, after plane loses contact with control tower

Tags: Britain
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Typhoon aircraft
Typhoon aircraft
Flash 90

Britons living across the London metropolitan area received a rude awakening before dawn Sunday morning, when British Royal Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a former Israeli passenger plane flying out from Tel Aviv to the US.

The plane, a Boeing 767 which had recently been decommissioned by El Al and sold to a German corporation, was flying out from Tel Aviv to New Hampshire early Sunday morning, when it crossed into British airspace.

Just after 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, the aircraft lost communications with British air traffic control, apparently due to a technical malfunction.

Concerned by the aircraft’s failure to respond to the air traffic controllers attempts to contact the 767, two Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets were quickly scrambled from RAF Coningsby airbase.

As the Typhoons broke the sound barrier to reach the unresponsive 767, the intercepting aircraft set off a sonic boom heard across the London metropolitan area at 4:20 a.m. Emergency call lines were jammed shortly thereafter, with hundreds of residents reporting what they believed to be an explosion.