RAF fighters scrambled in jet passenger alert

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The Independent Online

Two RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft were scrambled today after reports of a disruptive passenger on board a Heathrow-bound transatlantic flight

The Typhoons, from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, went to assist an American Airlines Boeing 767 heading for London from Dallas/Forth Worth in Texas following reports of a woman passenger trying to get on to the flight deck.

The Typhoons returned to base when it was realised the incident was not terrorism-related.

The plane, with 161 passengers and 12 crew on board, landed safely at Heathrow at 10.50am and a woman was arrested.

An American Airlines spokesman said: "Our flight 078 from Dallas/Fort Worth was met on arrival at Heathrow by police.

"A female passenger became distressed during the flight and reportedly attempted to gain access to the flight deck. She was calmed by flight attendants but, as a precaution, a priority approach to London was requested and police were asked to meet the aircraft."

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "We boarded a flight inbound from Dallas at Heathrow shortly after 11am and arrested a woman on suspicion of endangering an aircraft. She was taken to Heathrow police station, where she remains in custody."

It is understood the woman was upset by a recent illness in the family.