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German Man Arrested for Impersonating Aviation Official and Directing Air Traffic Using Radio in Berlin

Police helicopter in Germany | Image for credit: AP

Police helicopter in Germany | Image for credit: AP

The 32-year-old was arrested Thursday night in Berlin's eastern Koepenick district after he was found making radio contact with a police helicopter's air traffic.

A man has been arrested in Berlin on allegations he made radio contact with air traffic, including police helicopters, and gave fake flight orders while impersonating an aviation official, German police said Friday.

The 32-year-old, whose identity wasn’t released in line with German privacy laws, was arrested Thursday night in the capital’s eastern Koepenick district, police said.

Police were able to swoop in on his apartment after he made contact with a police helicopter that was dispatched to the neighborhood in the hope of flushing him out.

During a search of his home, police found two radios that transmitted on the frequencies needed to make contact with aircraft.

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“For everyone who has been asking about our police helicopter operations in Koepenick, an unusual arrest,” Berlin police tweeted, with a link to more details.

The man is alleged to have made contact with pilots of passenger and transport aircraft, as well as state and federal police helicopters, over the past six months, giving “potentially dangerous” instructions and becoming increasingly professional with his communications.

No accidents or other incidents are known to have been caused by his actions, police said.

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first published:January 30, 2021, 10:53 IST