Fighter Jets Escort Plane Into Cambridge

30 August 2011, 06:26 | Updated: 30 August 2011, 12:08

RAF Typhoon Fighter jets were scrambled to escort a plane into Cambridge Airport.

It happened on Saturday evening when the radio failed on board the Hercules aircraft [pictured - right], which is from the Nigerian Air Force.

The broken radio meant that pilots lost contact with Air Traffic Control when they were over France.

Two RAF Typhoon fighter jets were sent to escort it once it entered UK airspace.

It was escorted into land at Cambridge Airport, where it is spending time for maintenance work.

It landed in Cambridge at around 7:30pm on Saturday.

An MOD Spokesperson said: "Quick Reaction Alert aircraft are launched to intercept aircraft which cannot be identified by any other means i.e. the aircraft is not talking to civilian or military Air Traffic Control, has not filed a flight plan and is not transmitting a recognisable secondary surveillance radar code.

The RAF’s air defence capability to detect and deter aircraft approaching UK sovereign airspace is just one layer of a multi-layered approach that the UK Government takes to protect UK and NATO-monitored airspace."

Terry Holloway, Group Support Executive for The Marshall Group of Companies, said: "The crew of the aeroplane took the right actions in continuing their flight to Cambridge, which was the destination on their flight plan, and by notifying ground stations using the transponder in the aircraft cockpit.

The aircraft is with Marshall Aerospace for major servicing and will be in Cambridge for a number of months before returning to Nigeria."