Flight KQ118 is a regularly scheduled service between Nairobi (Kenya) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). Operated by a Boeing 787-8, the September 20th flight of this service had lost communications with air traffic controllers over Germany, prompting two fighter jets to be dispatched.
Near the end of an eight-hour flight
Flight KQ118 had departed Nairobi seven minutes after midnight on September 20th. The flight is technically scheduled to depart at 11:59 on September 19th but took off slightly late.
Destined for Amsterdam, this flight will pass through several countries on its way to the Netherlands. After leaving Kenyan airspace, the aircraft will overfly countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, and a number of European nations. The last country to be overflown before entering Dutch airspace is Germany.
Supersonic wake-up call
The incident occurred in Germany when the Boeing 787-8, registered as 5Y-KZE, could not be contacted. Unable to be reached, The Aviation Herald reports that German forces dispatched two Eurofighter jets to intercept the airliner.
En-route at a typical cruising altitude of FL400 (approximately 40,000 feet), communication with the aircraft was lost. WIth the two Eurofighters dispatched to intercept the aircraft, the sonic booms caused by the supersonic fighter jets also acted as unintended “wake-up” calls to many German residents. The Aviation Herald notes that disruption was reported from Landshut to Frankfurt/Main.
Since flight tracking data from RadarBox.com has the aircraft as flying over Germany, between the two areas, from 04:06 to 04:26 UTC, we can assume that the incident took place within this window of time. With a two-hour time difference from UTC, we can see that sonic booms would have been experienced sometime between 06:00 and 06:30 local time on a Monday morning.
With the fighters able to intercept the 787 and get their attention, communication was restored. The Dreamliner then continued on to Amsterdam for a safe landing approximately 30 minutes later.