Moscow warplanes scrambled to intercept Nato 'trespasser' - before major blunder revealed

A major incident was declared on the Russian border with NATO country Estonia when the low-flying unidentified light aircraft failed to respond to radio messages. A Russian air force fighter and two other planes were scrambled to force the incoming aircraft to land, according to reports. “An unidentified airplane was spotted in Russia's airspace in the Novgorod region,” an informed source told Interfax.

“It was flying at a low altitude and was not responding to enquiries from the ground. 

“Given the characteristics of the flight, it was presumed that the plane had entered Russia's territory from a neighbouring Baltic state, violating the state border.”

The source said: "Several aircraft, including a fighter jet, were scrambled to intercept the trespasser.”

As a result, the plane was forced to land at the nearest airfield in the Pskov region, the source said.

The initial Interfax report said the pilot had been detained following the incident yesterday.

"His identity and citizenship and also the purpose of the flight are being established," the source said.

Later reports said one passenger had also been detained. 

Interfax  also stated that the aircraft was Russian. 

The plane was believed to have originated in the Russian Tver region and to have mistakenly crossed into Baltic airspace before crossing back into Russia, causing the emergency, according to TASS.

Two people were detained on suspicion of flying without relevant documentation. 

The pilot was reported by NTV to be a Russian citizen. 

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