Pilot Causes Hijacking Scare in India After Squawking Distress Code

Nov 11, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

An Ariana Afghan Airlines flight was delayed more than two hours after the pilot in command accidentally squawked a distress code indicating that the flight had been hijacked. The flight was scheduled to depart Delhi (DEL) at 2:30pm local time bound for Kandahar, Afghanistan (KDH). As the flight made its way to the runway, authorities were alerted to the departing flight squawking 7500, a code that indicates a flight has been hijacked, as it made its way to the runway, causing local authorities to spring into action.

Upon transmitting the distress call, multiple anti-terror forces responded to the false alarm. The flight was kept on the ground in isolation for more than two hours until authorities could verify that the flight was secure. Upon deeming the security of the aircraft “satisfactory,” the plane continued on to its destination without incident.

The hijacking scare is reported to have occurred on November 10th. The flight, Ariana Afghan Airlines flight FG312, was operated by a Boeing 737-400 (registration YA-PID). There were 9 crew members and 125 passengers onboard the flight.

Ariana Afghan Airlines FG312 (Image via FlightRadar24)
Ariana Afghan Airlines FG312 (Image via FlightRadar24)

Local news outlets are publishing stories reporting that FG312 was delayed after the pilots “accidentally hit the hijacking button.” While there isn’t a dedicated hijacking button aboard an aircraft, there are ways for pilots to indicate that a flight has been hijacked. This is done through the use of the aircraft’s transponder and squawk codes. The international squawk code for a hijacking is 7500. Following the September 11th attacks, international standards were changed to prevent anyone from switching off the 7500 squawk code until authorities confirm a threat does not exist.

An Ariana Afghan Airlines Facebook Ad (Image via Ariana Afghan Airlines on Facebook)
An Ariana Afghan Airlines Facebook Ad (Image via Ariana Afghan Airlines on Facebook)

This is not the first incident for Ariana Afghan Airlines. The airline’s track record is so poor that it is not allowed to overfly or serve the European Union. Among some of the airline’s more recent accidents include two runway excursions, one in 2007 and again in 2014. The airline has not issued a statement regarding the incident.

This also isn’t the first time Kandahar International Airport has experienced a hijacking incident. In 1999, a Taliban boarded an Indian Airlines flight bound for Delhi and demanded the aircraft land at Kandahar Airport. The incident resulted in one fatality and 17 injuries.

H/T: NDTV

Featured image via Ariana Afghan Airlines on Facebook.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.