An “unprecedented” number of aircraft went missing from air control radar over Austria on two separate occasions this month, and investigators are scrambling to determine what caused the planes to vanish.
The incidents took place on June 5 and June 10th, according to The Independent. According to Marcus Pohanka of Austro Control, the data readouts showing controllers the height, identities, and location of the aircraft vanished suddenly from screens. In both instances, the aircraft data vanished for about 25 minutes. Pohanka said that emergency measures were immediately instated, with extra air traffic controllers being called to their posts. Controllers then established voice contact with the affected aircraft, and widened flight corridors, flying the aircraft “blind” — by voice only — until the flight data could be re-established.
Pohanka went on to explain that air traffic controllers in other European countries were afflicted with the same problem. Reports indicate that aircraft vanished from their tracking systems in the same manner. While Pohanka declined to reveal what aircraft or airlines were involved in the disappearances, Vienna’s Kurier reported that Munich and Karlsruhe in Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Bratislava in Slovakia were the control stations that also lost the aircraft. The Kurier also quoted unnamed experts in explaining that the link between ground control and the aircraft’s transponders were to blame for the issues. Although Pohanka did say that the planes were never in any danger, he also added that based in the altitudes of some of the aircraft, it was likely that some of those afflicted were long-distance passenger aircraft.
The incidents bear a striking resemblance the the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which made international headlines earlier this year when it vanished an hour into a trip from Kuala Lampur to Beijing, China. The aircraft, which has still not been found months later, vanished from air controller’s radar and also stopped transmitting data from its transponder. The incidents which saw the 13 planes vanishing over Austria are raising speculations that the equipment failures could be similar to the circumstances that befell MH370. As The Inquisitr has previously reported, updated tracking technologies are already being integrated into aircraft in hopes of a avoiding another disappearance.
As for the 13 aircraft that vanished from radar over Austria, Epoch Times reports that the relevant EU authorities, which are Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency, were already being asked to investigate the matter.