We have just received confirmation of the mounting rumours that a Fischler Industries EJ2 helijet was hijacked in the early hours of yesterday morning. The helijet was en route from London heliport to the company’s research laboratory in southern France when contact was lost.
A spokesperson for Fischler Industries confirmed that the flight crew were recovered unharmed and verified their account of what happened. The flight was one of the regular courier runs, transporting equipment from London to Bordeaux. The journey began normally, with the crew of two boarding the helijet at the heliport after the cargo had been loaded. The EJ2 took off on schedule and followed its assigned flight path out over the channel and along the French coast.
As the aircraft passed through the airspace in the vicinity of La Rochelle, pilot David Webb noticed a warning light indicating failure of the starboard cargo restraints in the main hold. Co-pilot Robert Mitchell took the controls while Webb made his way to the hold to investigate.
Switching on the lights, Webb examined the cargo restraints securing the contents of the pallets to the starboard side of the bay. They appeared to be in good order and were secured as they should have been. He was just about to put the fault down to a glitch in the electrical system, when a voice from behind a pile of cargo crates ordered him not to move.
It was a woman’s voice, with a trace of an accent that Webb believes may have been Swiss. The stowaway revealed herself, pointing a pistol of unusual design at Webb’s incredulous face. She instructed him to turn around and move slowly back to the cockpit. If the vicious looking weapon wasn’t enough to convince him, the deadly tone in the woman’s voice did the trick.
Webb’s mind was racing. Who was the stowaway and what did she want? His mind drew blank after blank. He wondered what he could do to warn Mitchell of the danger, but he doubted that he’d get a chance before the woman could fire.
He approached the cockpit door and hesitated for a moment. The sharp prod of the gun at the base of his spine was enough to move his almost nerveless arm into action, reaching for the switch to open it.
The door slid to one side and Mitchell called over his shoulder to ask what had taken so long. Before Webb could reply, there was a soft phutting sound and he collapsed to the floor. Mitchell spun around, surprise turning to alarm as he saw the mysterious figure standing over his fallen colleague.
In the same deadly tone with which she had spoken to the pilot in the cargo bay, the woman instructed Mitchell to set the helijet on automatic pilot and move away from the controls. After a helpless look at Webb’s motionless body, he did so. As he moved towards the woman, there was another phutting sound and Mitchell’s world went dark.
The next thing he knew was a jarring crash. His body jerked in reflex as his eyes shot open and he gasped in surprise. He was hanging from the branches of a tree, perhaps 20 feet above the ground. The tangled chords of a parachute harness snaked upwards towards the torn remains of the canopy in the tree above. Webb was in a similar predicament, not more than 10 yards away.
The pair are in good health, though understandably shaken by their strange ordeal. However, the mysterious hijacking leaves a number of unanswered questions. Who was the hijacker? Why did she save the lives of the crew? And most importantly of all, what did she want with the helijet and its cargo? Stay tuned to A21 for the latest developments as they occur.