Ham intervenes in May-Day from jetliner

When an Irish radio amateur Benny Young MI3JQD of Castlederg County Tyrone heard an unanswered May-Day during the recent Frankenstorm Sandy, he worked out how to get the message through.

The 29-year old potentially saved the lives of hundreds of airline passengers two week ago, all from his own radio shack.

Benny MI3JQD was turning the dial when he picked up a distress call from a United Airlines flight from Dublin to Boston.

The flight was having landing gear problems but could not contact Air Traffic Control in Boston, where the storm had caused a communication breakdown.

Benny MI3JQD said he heard two people talking about Hurricane Sandy and that made him stay on frequency, when soon after the May-Day was made by the stricken aircraft.

Picking up the microphone he responded to its call for help and passed the pilot's message onto an emergency network of US amateur radio enthusiasts, who in turn contacted Air Traffic Control.

By relaying messages from the flight via the US amateur radio network to Air Traffic Control, he was able to guide the plane to safely land at an airport in Buffalo.

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