Pseudo air traffic controller arrested after faking radio orders to aircraft

Aubord Dulac /

A man was arrested in Berlin, Germany, due to allegations regarding multiple radio contacts with passenger and cargo aircraft, including the German police helicopter, while impersonating an aviation official and giving fake orders.

On the basis of urgent suspicions of illegal radio contact with a police helicopter, the Federal German Police and Special Forces searched the 32-year-old man’s apartment in Kopenick in Berlin, Germany on January 29, 2021. During the search, the authorities found two radios able to transmit appropriate frequencies to contact an aircraft. Both devices were confiscated as evidence of illegal communication with the aircraft crew. 

According to local media, over the past six months, the 32-year-old has allegedly made multiple contacts with flight crews of passenger and cargo planes, as well as a helicopter of Federal German police. While impersonating an aviation official, the man was allegedly giving potentially dangerous flight instructions which could lead to dangerous flight maneuvers.

However, the arrested man, whose identity has not been made public following German privacy law, did not disclose his purpose to contact aircraft. The man was caught after he contacted a police helicopter which was sent to a special operation in the neighborhood while expecting to uncover him.

The police told the Associated Press, that, fortunately, no accidents or other incidents were caused as a result of his actions. 


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