[Ed. – Luckily it was a false alarm.]
A communications failure sparked a hijacking scare on a JetBlue flight at JFK Airport on Tuesday, setting off a frenzy from first responders over what turned out to be a false alarm.
JetBlue Flight 1623, an Airbus 320 bound for Los Angeles, lost contact with the air traffic control tower while taxiing for takeoff at about 8 p.m. After five minutes passed, the pilot entered a hijack alert by mistake, sending in a Port Authority Police Emergency Services unit to board the plane, sources said.
At one point, the plane’s pilot held up a piece of paper with his cell phone number written on it, so police could call him and find out what happened, sources said.
Passengers on the plane tweeted that “heavy armed” police boarded the plane to investigate. The passengers disembarked the plane and were transferred to another flight, sources said.
“There was a false alarm sent to tower as a result of a radio communications failure,” Port Authority spokeswoman Lenis Rodrigues said Tuesday night. “(The) aircraft was inspected and cleared with no security threat.”