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Turkey and Greece clash over Helios emergency code

Flight International online news 14:00GMT: Turkish and Greek aviation authorities are disputing whether the Helios Airways Boeing 737 that crashed three days ago issued an emergency transponder broadcast.

Helios crash_Big

Flight’s sister publication Air Transport Intelligence reported on Monday that Turkish radar did detect the aircraft broadcasting the 7700 international distress code at around 10:30.

That would require manual operation of the system and would be the first indication that the crew realised they might have a serious emergency to confront.

Greek authorities have since told newspapers in Greece that they received no such broadcast.

But today, the Turkish CAA and national airport authority DHMI confirmed to Flight that the signal was detected by military radars and the controllers alerted the Izmir regional ATC centre, which in turn passed on the details to Bodrum-Milas Airport – the Turkish ATC unit closest to the aircraft’s location.

It was determined that the aircraft was not in Turkish-controlled airspace and no further action was taken.

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