Why more than 14,000 people dropped everything to follow NZ air force jet online

The Royal Australian Air Force’s first P-8A Poseidon fly’s down the St Vincent Gulf coastline near Adelaide in South Australia.

An inadvertent activation of the emergency squawk code 7700 onboard an Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft had thousands of people grabbing their phones and jumping online this morning.

The code, which is sent by aircraft in an emergency situation, can be monitored online with many websites and phone apps sending notifications whenever an aircraft activates the code.

This was the case this morning when more than 14,000 people monitored the movement of an RNZAF P-8A Poseidon after it acitivated its 7700 code.

Nothing to see here. (FlightRadar24.com)

The aircraft was on the ground at Ohakea Air Base in New Zealand at the time.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Defence Force confirmed to Travel Weekly Australia it was unaware of what caused the activation, but it was not aware of any emergency involving the aircraft.

“At the time the squawk code sounded, the crew was on the ground completing pre-flight checks. The aircraft’s engines have since been started, indicating there was no emergency in this case,” they said in a statement.

“In the event of a fault serious enough to declare an emergency prior to starting the engine, this would be picked up and the flight would be cancelled.

“We are unable to confirm at this stage what caused the squawk code to sound.”

At the time, the aircraft was the most followed in the world on website FlightRadar24.com

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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