Code Renegade set Greek authorities on alert following a relevant signal by the NATO air control center in Spain (CAOC Torrejón), to intercept a non-responsive civil aircraft Airbuss A321 with 145 passengers onboard that had taken off from Madrid and was bound for Beirut.
There were reportedly several attempts to contact the aircraft but no response had been received over the radio, something that was particularly worrying.
Immediately, two F-16 fighters that were on standby took off from the 115th Fighter Wing in Souda and approached the civilian aircraft approximately over Argolida, in north-eastern Peloponnese.
The fighters immediately and to begin intercepting a civil aircraft - which includes visual identification, restoration of contact and communication, guidance and escort either along the originally intended course or outside the restricted zone – airspace, or at the airport of landing.
The two Greek fighter jets made a mid-air encounter with the unresponsive aircraft around 7:30 pm on Wednesday, 10 August. They re-established contact with the pilot and determined that there were no problems.
The incident was noticed by residents of the Argos area, who, according to reports, notified the fire department that they heard strange sounds like explosions.
It is thought that the pilot had forgotten to tune the instruments to the correct frequency, explaining why he could not answer any of the calls.