Two US fighter jets were scrambled on Thursday to escort an Alaska Airlines plane to Seattle after the FBI received an anonymous tip, apparently unfounded, that a hijacker was aboard, officials said.The plane, which originated in Hawaii, landed safely at about 7 pm local time at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where it was met by local law enforcement and FBI agents who interviewed the passenger in question, authorities said.The security scare appeared to be a false alarm, and possibly a hoax, said Tom Simon, an FBI special agent in Honolulu, where the anonymous call was received."The passenger did not do anything wrong on the flight. It was a totally benign, normal, trans-Pacific flight," he said.He said the passenger, identified by name by the individual who called the FBI, was cooperating with authorities. There were no immediate arrests."If he turns out to be a bad guy," the FBI in Seattle will pursue the case, Simon said. "If this turns out to be a prank phone call, the Honolulu FBI may choose to investigate that hoax phone call as a crime."He said the anonymous call came at about the time Alaska Airlines flight 819 was taking off from Kona airport on the Big Island of Hawaii en route to Seattle.As a precaution, the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), a joint US-Canadian operation, scrambled two F-15 fighters from the Oregon Air National Guard. The military jets encountered the Alaska Airlines plane over the Pacific just off the coast of Oregon, NORAD spokesman Al Blondin said.The fighter jets stayed with the airliner for the remainder of its flight, said Blondin. Source: Reuters
Gravity always wins!