This is a true story, printed in the Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2000.
WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, MICH. — All someone said was “Hi, Jack!” but at a suburban Detroit airport, that was enough to create a crisis.
A microphone happened to be on Monday when someone greeted the co-pilot aboard a corporate jet, and the tower heard “hijack,” police Lieutendant Rick Crigger said.
Oakland International Airport tower officials called the Waterford police.
They in turn called in a whole extra shift of police, the Oakland County Sheriff’s department SWAT team, the FBI and other federal authorities.
The plane was told to return to the tower, and the pilot’s identification was checked.
“I like false alarms like that,” Police Chief John Dean said. “They are good for training purposes. Nobody was hurt and they were just delayed a few minutes.”
Once the alarm was over, the law officers could laugh about it.
“They’ll probably pass a rule that no one named Jack can ever be hired in aviation again,” said Waterford Captain Chuck Jehle.