A security alert was sparked at LHR after an intruder scaled a perimeter fence and locked himself inside the cockpit of a 747. Apparently, someone left the $350 million aircraft unlocked.
The man entered the BA engineering base at Hatton Cross where the empty 747 aircraft was parked, according to reports. He was spotted climbing into the aircraft and fled to the flight deck, slamming the high-security cockpit doors and locking himself into the pilots’ seating area.
“It was a very difficult and complex situation and in the end the fire brigade had to be called to the plane and carried out a long and very protracted operation to get into the cockpit,” an airport source said. “It is a terrifying situation when you think about it. Here is a man who not only has managed to go air-side at one of the world’s busiest airports but he has successfully got to a Boeing 747 jet liner and found it open and was able to climb aboard. Then he got on to the flight deck and barricaded himself in using the plane’s own anti-terrorist equipment.”
While BA declined to comment, police confirmed that there had been an incident on an aircraft but said that it was not believed to be terrorist-related. They said that a 38 yr. old man had been arrested and was being held in custody at a West London police station. He was expected to appear in court.
A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Individuals illegally entering the airside environment potentially endanger their own lives and those of others. We are working with police following [the] incident.”