Pilot thought plane had been hijacked

A VIRGIN airlines pilot has told of the moment he thought his plane was being hijacked while on route to Bali earlier this year.

He said at the time he was also dealing with a medical emergency aboard the aircraft.

Tweed Heads man Matthew Christopher Lockley, 28, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to interfering with a crew member as a result of his actions on flight VA 41 on April 25.

Captain Neil Cooper said he was in the process of dealing with a medical emergency when a more serious threat emerged.

He said he was in the plane's cockpit when someone started banging on the door in an attempt get in.

"I received an emergency code from the inter-flight communication system," he said.

"The crew member told me someone was attempting to enter the cockpit and provided me with the security code for unlawful entry or hijacking.

"We immediately initiated our security procedure as a result."

Captain Cooper said he sent a "red code" alert to Indonesian air traffic controllers and asked for a direct approach into Bali.

He said he also sped up the aircraft and was given priority airspace.

"We landed at Denpasar and were told to park the aircraft at the far end of the runway," he said.

"We were then told to shut down our engines immediately.

"I could see a large number of armed Indonesian army and police officers approach the plane."

Captain Cooper said the officers then boarded the plane and arrested Lockley.

The trial continues


Topics:  air safety editors picks hijacking virgin australia

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