High alert after emergency 7700 ‘Squawk’ on passenger plane flying over Scotland

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The flight appears to have done an abrupt turn towards Edinburgh instead of continuing on its journey to Dublin. 

Squawk Tracker via Twitter reported that the plan had emitted the emergency “7700” signal at 10.06 this morning. 

It is not clear what has caused the diversion at this time, although a 7700 code typically refers to an engineering issue. 

The flight departed 15 minutes late at 9.35 this morning. 

It was due to arrive in Dublin at 11.10am. 

Writing for Flightradar24, Ken Hoke, a Boeing flight captain, explained “squawking” is a way of an aircraft declaring an emergency with traffic control, so they can receive on-the-ground assistance.

He said: “If a crew resets their transponder to the emergency code of 7700 (squawking 7700), all air traffic control facilities in the area are immediately alerted that the aircraft has an emergency situation.

“It’s up to the crew to let ATC know what the exact situation is. It may be an aircraft problem, medical issue, or something else.

“In some cases, a crew may not elect to change their transponder to 7700 (it’s not required). If I’m talking to Chicago Approach and have a problem, I’ll tell them the problem, declare an emergency over the radio and get vectors to land immediately.”

Last month a United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency u-turn after emitting the same 7700 signal. 

After reaching the UK’s airspace, the UA47 turned around and flew back to Europe over the North Sea.

In a statement given to Express.co.uk, United Airlines said: “United flight 47 from Frankfurt to Houston diverted back to Frankfurt Airport after experiencing a mechanical issue. 

“The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, safely returned to the gate at 4:47 p.m. 

“We are making arrangements to get customers to their final destination as soon as possible via other routes.”

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