Belarus has released a transcript of the conversation between Belarusian air traffic control operators and the Ryanair pilots of FR4978, claiming it provides definitive evidence that it did not force the plane to land in Minsk.
However, its contents vary from what was originally broadcast on Belarusian state TV and the transcript is thought to have been edited by Belarusian authorities.
FR4978 Transcript Between Air Traffic Control + Ryanair Pilots
The transcript was provided to Reuters, which edited it for clarity:
Pilot: Yes, go ahead.
ATC: For your information, we have information from special services that you have bomb on board and it can be activated over Vilnius.
Pilot: Ok, could you repeat the message?
ATC: I say again, we have information from special services that you have bomb on board. That bomb can be activated over Vilnius.
Pilot: Roger that, standby.
ATC: For security reason we recommend you to land at UMMS. [ICAO code for Minsk airport]
Pilot: Ok…that..it..understood give us alternate please.
Pilot: The bomb….direct message, where did it come from? Where did you have information about it from?
ATC: Standby please.
Pilot: Go ahead.
ATC: Airport security staff informed they received e-mail.
Pilot: Roger, Vilnius airport security staff or from Greece?
ATC: This e-mail was shared to several airports.
Pilot: Roger, standby.
Pilot: Again, this recommendation to divert to Minsk where did it come from? Where did it come from? Company? Did it come from departure airport authorities or arrival airport authorities?
ATC: This is our recommendations.
Pilot: Can you say again?
ATC: This is our recommendations.
Pilot: Did you say that your recommendation?
ATC: Advise your decision please.
Pilot: I need answer the question: what is the code of the (unreadable) green, yellow or amber, red.
ATC: They say code is red.
Pilot: Roger that, in that case we request holding at present position.
ATC: Roger, hold over your position, maintain FL390 turns at own discretion.
Pilot: Ok holding at our discretion at present position maintaining FL390.
Pilot: We are declaring an emergency MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY RYR 1TZ. Our intentions would be to divert to Minsk airport.
Something just doesn’t add up here. Even in this transcript, you can hear the skepticism of the pilots. Why divert to Minsk just as the plane was leaving Belarusian airspace and closer to Vilnius, which also happened to be the destination?
At the very least, you would think the Ryanair pilots would need time to consult with the company over diversion to another country under very questionable circumstances.
Belarus also says it dispatched a fighter jet to escort the plane to Minsk only after it agreed to land in Minsk. That remains to be seen and contradicts earlier reports.
While this transcript is not conclusive, it is at least worth exploring. Many unanswered questions remain.
> Read More: The Captain Made The Right Call In Ryanair Diversion To Belarus
Two things confuse me. First, that they so easily agreed to divert to Minsk which contradicts accounts. And second, wouldn’t this be a PAN PAN PAN and not a MAYDAY? I’m not sure, so asking as this is also suspect if the case.
@Stuart Pan-Pan is an urgency call when at that moment in time there is no threat to life or the aircraft. Whilst we nowknow there was no bomb onboard and that this transcript is likely edited, a terror threat to an aircraft warrants a Mayday call.
@EJC. Thank you
Has Ryanair released a Transcript?
Why should the transcript haven been edited? NATO has records of the unencrypted transmission and their radars know exactly when the MiG-29 took off (which was after the mayday call in accordance to standard protocol). Should anything be false it would be very easy for them to proof otherwise, which they did not.
Did everyone forget what pressure the US put on France and Spain to close their airspace to the Bolivian president’s aircraft returning from Moscow, suspecting Snowden on board? The president was forced to land in Vienna and had his plane searched. That’s an act of air piracy, not what happened in Belarus.
The story of how a MiG-29 forced a Ryanair jet to land in Minsk is a complete lie. The pilot diverted to Minsk because he wanted to. There’s rumor that Vilnius, Lemberg and Warsaw have denied the landing of the Ryanair jet at their airports and Minsk did everything right. Time for the Western countries to apologize!
Belorussia is nothing but a proxy for Putin’s Russia. The events of the last week reinforce that Putin’s Russia is a grave threat to U.S. and European security and needs to be dealt with harshly and mercilessly. If I were POTUS, we’d be undertaking targeted assassinations of Russia’s political leadership, up to and including Putin himself.
Well, as a citizen of 2 other countries that are not the USA, I am thankful Ryan that you are NOT POUTS as you would cause WWIII in about 20 minutes. How about we take a bit of a walk back from the cliff and see how this unfolds over the next couple of weeks from an actual vs what we know today. I’d like to say this is not intended to be a mean spirited attack on your thoughts rather an opposing view for consideration. As a Canadian if I offended you then I am sorry.. Eh !
Reading this it’s clearly incomplete. For example their were obviously more transmissions after they entered holding and in the descent to land.
I very much wonder why they elected to hold and the obvious answer is that they were contacting the company for instructions and/or verification. I would have certainly wanted to hear from the company on a suggested course of action if it was my airplane.
Don’t forget too that we are all looking at this from the perspective of hindsight where we know this was a sham bomb threat for the purpose of arresting a dissident. Also don’t forget that a bomb threat is something that you just don’t screw around with.
Finally I’m surprised that Belarus released this. It doesn’t clear them at all but rather only more fully implicates them in using a fake bomb threat to force the airplane to land in their territory. There isn’t a person on the planet who is going to truly believe that they were relaying an honest threat.
Scroll down for the full transcript in English: http://caa.gov.by/ru/news-ru/view/1-203/
It’s sick how Western countries treat Belarus like a criminal.
Where’s the audio?
@Ted Sanders did you get paid 5 RUB or 5 BYR to make that post?
Seriously, my thought as well.