NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New information has come out about an incident on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International airport that triggered a huge police response Tuesday night.
Crews from the Port Authority Police Department surrounded a JetBlue plane with guns drawn after a communications glitch sparked a security scare.
Flight 1623 was departing JFK for Los Angeles when the Federal Aviation Administration says the aircraft experienced a radio equipment problem around 8 p.m.
The FAA said the pilots meant to send a code to the airport’s control tower that meant radio failure, but accidentally sent a code that signals a hijacking.
Turns out the signal was just a mistake.
The airline says officials responded to the aircraft “out of an abundance of caution.” The scene was cleared after about an hour, but not before passengers took to social media to voice their concerns.
“My worst nightmare,” Twitter user @Alexa_Curtis said. “Honestly thought we were going to die.”
CEO for The Energy Project Tony Schwartz says he was also aboard the flight.
“Created a security crisis,” Schwartz tweeted. “10 heavily armed cops boarded plane and just left. After 1.5 hours on runway being towed back to gate. Wow.”
The Airbus A320 returned to the gate for inspection, where passengers deboarded without incident.
The passengers later boarded a second plane and took off for Los Angeles without incident.