An intercept in Portuguese airspace was made on Saturday (8), when a Ryanair Boeing 737-8200 jet stopped responding to air traffic controllers.
The aircraft was flying from the UK to the Canary Islands and was in Portuguese Airspace, but did not respond to calls made by controllers. With that, the closest fighters were activated, which in this case were two Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons based at Air Base number 5 in Monte Real, Leira.
First, the fighters performed a so-called “cockpit check”, as reported by the newspaper Correio da Manhã. In it, Portuguese military pilots visually check if the cockpit of the Boeing 737 is occupied by the airline’s aviators and if there is any abnormality, such as the presence of strangers or a sick pilot.
Shortly after, it was seen that there was no abnormality and it became clear that it was just a radio failure, causing the fighters to leave the Boeing close and return to the air base. Meanwhile, Ryanair’s flight continued as normal to the Canary Islands.
The 737-8200 is the special version of the 737 MAX 8 that had the emergency exits and seats modified to carry “practically” 200 passengers (197 to be exact). Ryanair, of its own volition, adopted the name 737-8200 to get rid of the MAX’s accident history and also use it as a defense argument. marketing.