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Oopsy: Hijacking Scare On JetBlue Flight After Pilot Types In Wrong Code

A JetBlue pilot accidentally triggered a hijacking scare aboard a plane preparing to leave JFK last night around 7:30, resulting in a terrifying delay for passengers. The pilot of flight 1623, which was bound for Los Angeles, was trying to report a problem with the plane's radio equipment, but typed in the code for a hijacking by mistake, the NY Post reports. Since the radio was down and authorities could not confirm with the pilot, Port Authority Police, K-9 units, firefighters, and ambulances rushed to the scene.

"I’ve never been told to put my hands up on any plane, but this happened on our JetBlue plane back to LAX," passenger Daniel Cruz wrote on Twitter. "Super scary moment as the swat-like team came down the aisle, guns out."

As police circled the plane, the pilot held a piece of paper to the window with his cell phone number on it, in an attempt to communicate with first responders, sources told the Daily News.

Benjamin M. Branham, the Port Authority CCO, tweeted that the aircraft was cleared and there was no security threat.

“Shortly before departure, Flight 1623 from New York JFK to Los Angeles experienced a radio issue impacting the crew’s ability to communicate and a false alarm was sent to JFK tower,” said JetBlue spokeswoman Paula Acevedo said in a statement.

The flight finally departed for L.A. at 11:23 p.m., some five hours after its scheduled departure, which is a long delay but a great opportunity for networking and personal brand building.

And apparently JetBlue did its best to make up for the scary snafu, according to author and CEO of the Energy Project Tony Schwartz.


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