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RAF jet emergency as Hawk plane issues urgent 7700 ‘Squawk’ code over Wales

NewsRAF jet emergency as Hawk plane issues urgent 7700 ‘Squawk’ code over Wales

A British Aerospace Hawk T.2, tail registration ZK013, was flying over Wales on April 22. At 12:55pm, the British Aerospace Hawk T.2’s flight from Anglesey Airport, part of RAF Valley, began.

Twitter accounts reported the jet ‘squawked 7700’ at around 1:10pm.

According to Flightradar24, the jet then landed at 1:19pm, after a total flight time of 24 minutes.

The RAF jet reached an altitude of  24,650 ft according to website adsbexchange.com.

It is unclear what caused the British Aerospace Hawk T.2 to ‘squawk 7700’.

Just minutes earlier, an RAF E-3 Sentry aircraft has sounded an urgent 7700 ‘squawk’ from 7,000 feet in the air.

Less than a month ago an RAF military airbus transmitted the same signal while flying over Gloucester at an altitude of 5,000 feet.

The aircraft took off from RAF Brize Norton at 4.17pm on Thursday 27 March and made a series of circles around Cheltenham.

However, the RAF military airbus’ signal later turned out to be a pre-planned test signal.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “Today a wildcat helicopter was conducting a routine sortie over the Somerset levels by a qualified test pilot.

“During this pre-planned flight, a routine test of the transponder was conducted.”

Explaining the use of the 7700 signal, RAF Lossiemouth had previously said that the practice is “not uncommon”.

It explained that its use helps “ensure the safe recovery” of an aircraft.

RAF Lossiemouth’s official account posted to Twitter: “Setting a squawk of 7700 isn’t uncommon in these situations and is simply a precaution.

“The word ’emergency’ can sometimes worry those who are unfamiliar with aviation, but these procedures ensure the safe recovery of any aircraft with problems in the air.”

Writing for Flightradar24, Ken Hoke, a Boeing flight captain, explained “squawking” is a way of an aircraft declaring an emergency with traffic control, so they can receive on-the-ground assistance.

He said: “If a crew resets their transponder to the emergency code of 7700 (squawking 7700), all air traffic control facilities in the area are immediately alerted that the aircraft has an emergency situation.

“It’s up to the crew to let ATC know what the exact situation is. It may be an aircraft problem, medical issue, or something else.

“In some cases, a crew may not elect to change their transponder to 7700 (it’s not required). If I’m talking to Chicago Approach and have a problem, I’ll tell them the problem, declare an emergency over the radio and get vectors to land immediately.”

It comes after a Scandinavian airlines flight from Stockholm to Dublin has been forced to land in Edinburgh after emitting an emergency “squawk”.

The flight performed an abrupt turn towards Edinburgh instead of continuing on its journey to Dublin. 

Squawk Tracker via Twitter reported that the plan had emitted the emergency “7700” signal at 10:06am. 

It is not clear what has caused the diversion at this time, although a 7700 code typically refers to an engineering issue. 

The flight departed 15 minutes late at 9:35am, and was due to arrive in Dublin at 11:10am. 

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