JFK bomb threat proves to be hoax, but leaves one pilot steamed
Video here: http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/post/2012/09/hoax-call-threatens-american-airlines-finnair-flights-at-jfk/70000585/1
A anonymous call about a possible threat disrupted several flights Monday at New York's JFK Airport. The call eventually was determined to be a hoax, but not before leading to a terse exchange between an American Airlines pilot and air traffic control.
The incident began after the Port Authority that runs JFK received a call claiming explosives were onboard several flights bound for JFK. Two of those flights - American Airlines Flight 24 and Finnair Flight 5 - were among those mentioned in the call.
Once the flights landed at JFK, they were sent to an isolated part of the airfield and were immediately surrounded by emergency vehicles.
The exact threat was reported differently by various media outlets. The Associated Press says the caller indicated explosives were onboard while the New York Post and others reported armed hijackers were said to be onboard, possibly hiding somewhere in the planes. Fox 5 News and Newsday report other flights were apparently referenced as well.
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Regardless, the Post cites an anonymous source in writing that a "multi-agency mobilization" was organized to check out the planes. No threats were substantiated, and authorities labeled the call an apparent hoax.
But that wasn't before air traffic control engaged in a testy exchange with an AA pilot, who demanded to know why his plane was surrounded by emergency vehicles in the airport's quarantine area.
The pilot requests information from an air traffic controller for information, who suggests the pilot call AA's control center for information.
"Negative, they're not answering. What do you have?" the pilot responds, according to audio recordings quoted by NBC New York.
The exchange continued:
Controller: "I don't have a thing at this moment, except that you and the aircraft beside you need to wait in that area."
Pilot: "OK, we're surrounded by emergency vehicles. There's a reason for this. Somebody's got to give us the reason, or we're going to evacuate the aircraft. You got 60 seconds."
NBC New York says , "finally," the controller responded: "We have the information. Can you possibly call?"
That didn't appear to placate the pilot, who responded: "Negative. I would demand the information right now over a frequency."
CBS New York says "authorities then filled him in," but didn't specify on whose terms.