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Belarusian MIG forces down Ryanair flight to detain dissident.

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  • pandapilot
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    This is next level. A Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted over Belarus on the order of President Lukashenko. The crew was told of a 'security threat', escorted by MIG 29 and instructed to divert to Minsk despite being much closer to their intended destination of Vilnius.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/23/w...r-belarus.html

    So, what's the protocol here? This is essentially a hijacking. Does the crew have to follow the instruction? It's not as if Lukashenko was going to shoot it down. Interceptors are dispatched to protect against suicide attacks in the threatened nation and the flight was cruise level and about to leave Belarusian airspace. Any threat would be against Lithuanian targets. Couldn't they simply ignore the intercept and continue on their heading out of Belarusian airspace? The dissident journalist, Roman Protasevich, told his fellow pasengers that he would be arrested and face the death penalty if they diverted to Minsk.

    Is there some law in commercial aviation stating that a flight must obey an intercept within a country's airspace?

    If the intercept even threatened to fire upon them, that would be a huge, international incident that Lukashenko definitely doesn't need.
    Being a russian dissident I contacted a number of (temporary free) dissidents from Belarus. They say Lukashenko now doesn't even care about EU and US reaction (and any protocols), being sure Russia would support him. It all began gowing downhill after the "elections" last year followed by mass protests resulting in thousands being arrested, tortured, state-sanctioned murders. He would do anything to stay in power and if it means shooting down a plane full of civilians he would do it without hesitation. The situation is more than FUBAR there and honestly we don't know how it is going to end.

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  • Gabriel
    replied
    I just noted something odd in the AvHerald coverage:

    A Ryanair Sun Boeing 737-800, registration SP-RSM performing flight FR-4978 from Athens (Greece) to Vilnius (Lithuania), was enroute at FL390 about 45nm south of Vilnius

    Leave a comment:


  • TeeVee
    replied
    the crew was informed by belarusan atc that there was a bomb threat. so aside from the mig, the crew made a halfway decent decision, even if vilnius was a closer airport.

    belarus should be aviation blacklisted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gabriel
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    Is there some law in commercial aviation stating that a flight must obey an intercept within a country's airspace?
    Yes, there is. I think it is the Chicago convention.
    But I also think the same convention prevents from unduly interfering with a flight.

    If the intercept even threatened to fire upon them, that would be a huge, international incident that Lukashenko definitely doesn't need.
    This was hijacking of an airplane performed by a state. This should be more than enough to consider it a huge international incident. I doubt that anybody will do anything because nobody (including the EU and the USA) wants problems with Russia.

    Leave a comment:


  • Belarusian MIG forces down Ryanair flight to detain dissident.

    This is next level. A Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted over Belarus on the order of President Lukashenko. The crew was told of a 'security threat', escorted by MIG 29 and instructed to divert to Minsk despite being much closer to their intended destination of Vilnius.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/23/w...r-belarus.html

    So, what's the protocol here? This is essentially a hijacking. Does the crew have to follow the instruction? It's not as if Lukashenko was going to shoot it down. Interceptors are dispatched to protect against suicide attacks in the threatened nation and the flight was cruise level and about to leave Belarusian airspace. Any threat would be against Lithuanian targets. Couldn't they simply ignore the intercept and continue on their heading out of Belarusian airspace? The dissident journalist, Roman Protasevich, told his fellow pasengers that he would be arrested and face the death penalty if they diverted to Minsk.

    Is there some law in commercial aviation stating that a flight must obey an intercept within a country's airspace?

    If the intercept even threatened to fire upon them, that would be a huge, international incident that Lukashenko definitely doesn't need.
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