Oregon Air Guard F-15s Respond to Suspected Hijacking

F-15s of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland last week intercepted and escorted an allegedly hijacked airliner to a safe landing in Seattle. NORAD scrambled two F-15 fighters on Jan. 17 from Portland in response to an anonymous tip to the FBI that someone had hijacked Alaska Airlines Flight 819 heading to Seattle from Kona, Hawaii, reported the Associated Press. The airplane touched down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at approximately 7:00 p.m. Seattle time. Law enforcement officials questioned a passenger on the airplane, but the tip turned out to be “a hoax phone call,” said FBI Honolulu branch office spokesman Tom Simon, according to AP’s Jan. 18 report. “The FBI gets lots of hoax phone calls but something that rises to this level is not something that we’re going to take lightly,” he added. The passenger reportedly cooperated with law enforcement and was not arrested.