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February 22, 2002
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Flight from Miami Landed with Military Escort at Newark Airport

Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - An American Airlines flight from Miami landed at Newark International Airport Thursday night escorted by two F-16 fighter jets, police said.

The jets were scrambled after the captain inadvertently sent out a message that something was wrong aboard the plane. The signal came about an hour into the flight, said John Hotard, a spokesman for the airline in Fort Worth, Texas.

Airline officials contacted the captain, who confirmed that everything was fine. Hotard said the airline tried to contact the military, but believes the jets already were sent.

Once the plane was on the ground in Newark around 10 p.m., police boarded and confirmed nothing was wrong, said Dan Bledsoe, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

The Airbus A300, which was headed to Newark, had 236 passengers and nine crew members on board, Hotard said.

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