VIDEO: Greek F-16's take off for Lebanese Airbus that did not answer radio call

F-16 MEA

A pair of Greek F-16 jets were called to identify a passenger jet flight that was flying over Greece without responding to radio calls . The incident involved Middle East Airlines (MEA) flight ME242, an Airbus with 145 passengers, from Madrid to Beirut.

Although previously reported by Greek City Times, certain details and even a video have been provided since.

According to the @Intel_Sky Twitter account, which specialises in tracking civil and military aircraft, the incident occurred on August 10 and while the Lebanese aircraft was moving through the Greek Flight Information Region, normally, according to the flight plan.

However, the passenger's pilot, who is said to be Abed el-Hout, son of the chairman of the board of MEA (Middle East Airlines), neglected to adjust the radio frequency and was thus unable to respond to calls from air traffic controllers.

When repeated calls went unanswered, NATO authorities sounded the alarm (Code Renegade) and notified the Greek authorities. Two Greek F-16s then took off from Souda to locate and identify the aircraft.

They spotted it while it was flying over Argolis. There the operators looked into the cockpit and found that there was no problem. Then the pilot of the Lebanese aircraft regained access to the radio and assured that everything was fine.

Intel Sky even reported that residents of Argolis notified the Fire Department that they heard strange explosions.

In a written statement, Lebanon's Ministry of Public Works and Transport did not confirm or deny that el-Hout was piloting the plane. He also did not say why the fighter jets approached the MEA aircraft, which of course is not common without reason.

"The Lebanese plane contacted the competent aeronautical authorities in Greece twice when it entered Greek airspace, more than the usual frequency," the announcement stated.

Greek warplanes approached the MEA flight to ask if there was an emergency. "When the answer was negative, the captain of the Greek warplane saluted the Lebanese plane and the latter continued its normal course," the statement said.

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