ET 702 Co-pilot Arrested [updated]

In many books and films, the “villain” is the most obvious character. It seems in today’s Ethiopian Airlines hijacking emergency, the perpetrator was the plane’s co pilot.


Just after 9am CET on 17 Feb (8am GMT, 3am US EST), Reuters reported that the co-pilot of the hijacked Ethiopian Airlines 767 that was forced to land at Geneva Airport just after 6am CET, surrendered to police and asked for asylum in Switzerland. Police said the co-pilot was not armed. They said he felt threatened in his country.

The co-pilot hijacked the 767 after the pilot went to the lavatory whilst the plane was flying over Sudan. The 30 year old advised Egyptian air traffic controllers that the plane had been hijacked but he did not seek to land in Egypt. He landed the plane at Geneva airport, after it circled the airport many times. Upon landing on runway 05, he then left the plane on a rope out of a cockpit window.

The aircraft was reportedly escorted by two Eurofighter Typhoons as it circled Geneva before landing at the airport’s 05 runway. No passengers were harmed.

Why didn’t the pilot upon landing the plane in Milano (it’s ultimate destination) not hop on a train or plane to Bern or Zurich and asked for asylum? Or taken the train back to Rome during his layover and walked into the Swiss embassy and requested help?

This method, put the lives of almost 200 people at risk, scrambled Swiss airspace and shut down Geneva airport. I think even more than mechanical issues or hijackers, I fear out of control pilots!

This co- pilot may get to stay a long time in Switzerland – albeit in a prison.


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