News

2 Planes Isolated At JFK Airport After Phone Threat Given All Clear

JFK Plane Scare Sept. 17 (credit: CBS 2)

JFK Plane Scare Sept. 17 (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nothing threatening was found aboard a pair of planes involved in a security scare at John F. Kennedy Airport on Monday afternoon.

The two planes were moved to an isolated section of the airport while the Port Authority and federal agents probed the situation.

American Airlines Flight 524 from San Francisco and Finnair Flight 55 from Helsinki each landed at about 3:45 p.m. and were given the all-clear around 4:40 p.m.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports

The pilot of the American Airlines flight demanded to know why his aircraft was isolated.

Pilot: “What do you have?

Traffic Control: “I don’t have a thing at this moment except that you and the aircraft beside you need to wait in that area.”

Pilot: “Okay we are surrounded by emergency vehicles. There’s a reason for this. Somebody’s got to give us the reason or we are going to evacuate the aircraft (pause) … you got 60 seconds.”

Authorities then filled him in.

JFK Airport received a telephone threat about explosives or hijackers on both flights, Joe Biermann reported from Chopper 2 HD. Similar phone calls were placed to two other airports, CBS 2’s Biermann reported.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith With More On The Story

“We heard they had an announcement that they had an anonymous tip and they were checking it out to see if it was bogus or not,” Patricia Bello of San Francisco told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan.

Passengers said most people were calm, even if they had children in tow.

“We noticed two air marshals on the plane. They got up, secured everything and did what was needed to make sure everyone was safe,” said Brian Teitelbaum of East Meadow.

The Port Authority determined the threat was a hoax. Both planes were taxied back to the gate later Monday afternoon.

“When we got to the gate, everyone clapped,” said Timy Skelly of Santa Rosa, Calif.

The FBI said it was operating under an abundance of caution. Passengers praised the airlines for keeping things running smoothly.

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