RAF dispatches fighter jets to intercept AA flight


Two Royal Air Force fighter jets were dispatched after reports a passenger was trying to get into the cockpit of an American Airlines jet bound for Heathrow Airport, airline and military officials said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Defense said the Typhoon fighters were scrambled from the RAF Coningsby base in central England on Tuesday morning. They were recalled to the base after the incident was found not to be terrorism-related.

Police say the Boeing 767 jet — AA Flight 78 from Dallas/Fort Worth — carrying 161 passengers and 12 crew members landed safely at about 11 a.m. (1100 GMT) and a woman was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft.

American Airlines said the woman “became distressed during the flight and reportedly attempted to gain access to the flight deck.”

“She was calmed by flight attendants but, as a precaution, a priority approach to London was requested and police were asked to meet the aircraft,” the airline said in a statement.

The woman’s age, nationality and name were not released.