A hijack message transmitted by the pilot of a JetBlue flight at the JFK Airport in New York created a panic situation and SWAT came to the scene. Flight 1623 was bound for Los Angeles and the pilot was having some problems with the radio transmission. This resulted in security carrying out a laid down drill which resulted in total disorder.

Daily Mail UK reports that while police and firefighters surrounded A320 Airbus, armed SWAT members stormed on board, asked the travelers to put up their hands and searched the aircraft.

Airlines are afraid of hijacks

The threat of hijack on the JetBlue flight to Los Angeles appeared to be a false alarm because the pilot had transmitted the wrong code to the controller on the ground. Shortly before departure from JFK Airport, the pilot had difficulties with the onboard radio equipment and wanted to pass on the message to the ground. He relayed the matter of a communication error to the controllers, but due to an oversight, he used the code assigned for a hijacking.

Immediately, the hijacking drill was initiated and the aircraft that was taxiing was stopped on the tarmac, surrounded by officials and it was prevented from proceeding to the terminal. A spokeswoman for JetBlue has described the incident as a "false alarm." According to investigations, it was discovered that there was no security threat and the aircraft was allowed to proceed to its destination.

Relevant authorities like the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Federal Aviation Administration have been kept in the picture.

Pilots must be careful with hijack code

In order to ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers from hijacking, strict security measures have been introduced. Possibilities of a hijack are remote and have also reduced considerably.

However, the incident at JFK Airport must have taken the authorities by surprise.

New York Daily News confirmed that many people on the flight were scared out of their wits. One woman tweeted that she thought she would not get out alive. The pilot even held up his phone number at once stage, hoping the police would call him so he could talk to them and tell them what had happened on the JetBlue flight headed for Los Angeles

It was a false alarm and all concerned took prompt action to handle the issue but there should be some double check procedure in place when such sensitive codes are used. To err is human and whenever the hijack code is used, there must be an audio or visual feedback to confirm that all is in order. That way, human error of this nature can be minimized.