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Published on : Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The information was disclosed by the federal police on Monday, 7th November via a formal statement. According to the federal police of Australia, there was unlawful interference with air traffic control broadcasts over several weeks.
On 27th October around 5 pm local time, a Virgin Australia flight 740 had to abort landing while approaching the runway at the Melbourne Airport as a fake call transmitted instruction from an unfamiliar location to the pilot. The pilot had to change the altitude of the jet after the hoax call came. According to the flight data, the jet was almost within 275 feet of the Melbourne Airport Runway but due to the call, the jet had to climb 3,800 feet and circle the area above the north-western Melbourne.
Another fake mayday call was made to the Melbourne ATC, which said that a light plane experienced engine failure and was descending passing through 4,500 feet.
The federal police informed that at least 13 such hoax transmissions were made either to the Melbourne Air Traffic Services Centre or to an aircraft for a period of almost two weeks.
As per the federal police, the incidents created a ‘very considerable interference’, but the passengers of the jets were not in any immediate danger.
The police believe that the hoax caller might have found a way to sabotage the air traffic control frequency to communicate with the approaching flights and the control towers. None has been arrested by the police yet.