Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

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Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by sn26567 »

Ryanair flight FR4978 (Boeing 737-800 registered with Buzz as SP-RSM) from Athens to Vilnius is currently squawking 7700 and diverting to Minsk, Belarus.
Screenshot_20210523-121249_Flightradar24.jpg
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Re: Diversions from around the globe (medical, technical, ...) 2021

Post by sdbelgium »

sn26567 wrote: 23 May 2021, 12:12 Ryanair flight FR4978 (Boeing 737-800 registered with Buzz as SP-RSM) from Athens to Vilnius is currently squawking 7700 and diverting to Minsk, Belarus.
A bit puzzling at first sight, considering Minsk is not a destination, they were closer in direct distance to VNO (the aircraft’s base) and the weather is similar... There must be something we don’t know (only thing I can see is ILS U/S in VNO, but weather well above minimums).

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Re: Diversions from around the globe (medical, technical, ...) 2021

Post by Lux_avi »

sdbelgium wrote: 23 May 2021, 12:17 (only thing I can see is ILS U/S in VNO, but weather well above minimums).
Probably the least likely reason to squawk 7700 and divert, especially when the airport has other IFR approaches available & in such weather conditions.

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Re: Diversions from around the globe (medical, technical, ...) 2021

Post by sdbelgium »

Lux_avi wrote: 23 May 2021, 13:05 Probably the least likely reason to squawk 7700 and divert, especially when the airport has other IFR approaches available & in such weather conditions.
I was more thinking in ‘reasons to not continue to your planned destination/aircraft & maintenance base after squawking emergency’. As you rightly mentioned, the ILS U/S is only a minor decision factor in these weather conditions.

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Re: Diversions from around the globe (medical, technical, ...) 2021

Post by sn26567 »

sn26567 wrote: 23 May 2021, 12:12 Ryanair flight FR4978 (Boeing 737-800 registered with Buzz as SP-RSM) from Athens to Vilnius is currently squawking 7700 and diverting to Minsk, Belarus.
It looks like a political problem leading to the arrest of an opponent of the Belarus regime. From a Twitter thread by Media Solidarity:

What is known so far about #FR4978 emergency landing?
1. It was close to the Lithuania border when someone informed about 'explosive'.
2. Belarus authorities sent a Mig-29 fighter jet to intercept the plane and force landing in Minsk.
3. Former editor of @nexta_tv was on board.
4. Before the flight Raman Pratasevich (ex @nexta_tv ) wrote to his friend someone showed a suspicious interest in him at the registration in Athens airport.
5. A Russian-speaking man presumably attempted making a pic of Pratasevich's passport, then left the queue abruptly.
6. Currently Raman Pratasevich works as an editor-in-chief of Belarus Golovnogo Mozga web resource which is considered 'extremist' by authorities.
7. After document check-in #Minsk, he was detained.
8. Belarus authorities: Mig-29 will accompany #FR4978 to the border.
9. Ex presidential hopeful Tsihanouskaya condemns the emergency landing of Ryanair #FR4978 as an act of endangering people's lives for the sake of retaliation against the independent editor.
10. @euroradio reports that Belarus police confirm the arrest of Pratasevich.

More: https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/ryan ... -opponent/
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Re: Diversions from around the globe (medical, technical, ...) 2021

Post by Passenger »

sn26567 wrote: 23 May 2021, 14:36
sn26567 wrote: 23 May 2021, 12:12 Ryanair flight FR4978 (Boeing 737-800 registered with Buzz as SP-RSM) from Athens to Vilnius is currently squawking 7700 and diverting to Minsk, Belarus.
It looks like a political problem leading to the arrest of an opponent of the Belarus regime. From a Twitter thread by Media Solidarity:

What is known so far about #FR4978 emergency landing?
1. It was close to the Lithuania border when someone informed about 'explosive'.
2. Belarus authorities sent a Mig-29 fighter jet to intercept the plane and force landing in Minsk.
3. Former editor of @nexta_tv was on board.
4. Before the flight Raman Pratasevich (ex @nexta_tv ) wrote to his friend someone showed a suspicious interest in him at the registration in Athens airport.
5. A Russian-speaking man presumably attempted making a pic of Pratasevich's passport, then left the queue abruptly.
6. Currently Raman Pratasevich works as an editor-in-chief of Belarus Golovnogo Mozga web resource which is considered 'extremist' by authorities.
7. After document check-in #Minsk, he was detained.
8. Belarus authorities: Mig-29 will accompany #FR4978 to the border.
9. Ex presidential hopeful Tsihanouskaya condemns the emergency landing of Ryanair #FR4978 as an act of endangering people's lives for the sake of retaliation against the independent editor.
10. @euroradio reports that Belarus police confirm the arrest of Pratasevich.
https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/ryan ... -opponent/
Aside the fake/false/fabricated bomb alert: it wasn't clever from Pratasevich to take a flight that would lead him direct over Belarus. There was also the risk of a technical or medical diversion into Minks. He should have flown Greece-Germany-Lithuania.

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From a simple diversion to a diplomatic issue : FR4978 ATH-VNO

Post by TLspotting »

Well good evening.

What's supposed to be a simple incident has been transformed into a diplomatic issue. A Ryanair Sun / Buzz flew from Athens to Vilnius and was forced to divert to Minsk, Belarus.

https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/ryan ... -opponent/

A MiG-29 was deployed to attend the aircraft to its arrival at MSQ. Confused info at the moment. KGB was said to be part of a conflict in the skies while other sources are talking about a bomb threat. Both might be linked.

At the arrival at Minsk, someone was detained, no one else than Raman Pratasevich, ex editor-in-chief of NEXTA (opposition news). Belarus had "the right" to "intercept" the aircraft as it was flying in the Belarusian airspace.
Many politics have already reacted.

1 Belgian on board.
Someone on board :
Last edited by TLspotting on 23 May 2021, 18:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

Official answer of Ryanair.
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

Passenger on board (FR/NL, sorry no EN) :
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by sdbelgium »

The aircraft took off again as RYR497 to VNO, about 15 minutes ago at 2045LT.

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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

Reports say that the girlfriend of the journalist is detained.
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by sn26567 »

Official statement by Ryanair:
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by Homo Aeroportus »

According to FR24 they were still flying at FL390 when they started turning towards Minsk.

FR4978 diversion.png

At that point they were not more than 40NM from EYVI so I guess the FR crew must have been in a "conversation" with the Fulcrum for a while as their ToD should have been shortly after entering BY airspace.

Getting less than 15NM from the EY airspace the invitation to turn must have become a bit pressing. Kudos to the crew for having streched as much as possible only giving up to remain on the safe side.
FR4978 on 23MAY21.png

Just noticed that on two occasions last year, September 20 and 27, the same flight maintained a course clear of BY airspace.


FR4978 on 27SEP20.png
Can't help but wonder what would have happen if the flight today had also stayed out of BY's reach.
If as it has been reported 4 Belorussians and 2 Russians citizens didn't continue the flight they had booked to VNO, would they have insisted for the crew to kindly change heading?

Time for strong action towards these rulers.

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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

First airline to avoid Belarusian airspace, airBaltic.
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by TLspotting »

Many airlines have already started to avoid Belarusian airspace such as Austrian Airlines & Wizz Air. Ryanair doesn't c"air"...
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Re: Belarus forces diversion to Minsk of Ryanair flight carrying a dissident in order to arrest him

Post by sn26567 »

TLspotting wrote: 24 May 2021, 12:24
The initial statement of Ryanair, which did not mention the fact that two passengers were abducted, was very weak and caused an outrage among travellers and the press. This made Ryanair react (by fear of losing passengers who do not feel safe anymore on Ryanair flights) and finally condemn the air piracy of the Belarussian authorities.
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