The Swiss Air Force: Armed and Dangerous……..But Only During Office Hours

There’s almost something too civilized about a country whose fighter jets stick to office hours. Note to terrorists: They also stop for an hour and a half lunch, and there’s no service on the weekends. Ethiopian Airlines learned that the hard way. On Feb. 17, 2014, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702 was scheduled to fly from Addis Ababa to Milan via Rome. However, during the flight, the co-pilot locked himself in the cockpit and seized control of the plane. After one of the engines experienced a flame-out, he flew to the closest airport — Geneva International Airport in Switzerland. The co-pilot circled the airport several times, trying to communicate with the Swiss Air Force, but they didn't respond because the incident occurred outside normal office hours. Switzerland relies on neighboring countries to police its airspace outside of regular business hours. Consequently, French and Italian jet pilots escorted the plane safely to Geneva International Airport, where the co-pilot was promptly arrested. It was later determined that the co-pilot had experienced a mental breakdown and was in the throes of paranoia. He was sentenced to undergo mental health treatment. None of the 143 passengers or cabin crew was harmed.