Just three days after the full-moon, the 25th of July, on a clear warm summer evening in Cologne, Germany, a 24 year old man reportedly got into an argument with his girlfriend and walked out of the house with a few ecstasy pills and a bag of marijuana. The man, named Volkan T. (henceforth “Mr. T.” ) in Federal Police documents, proceed to military controlled section of Cologne Bonn Airport, where the Ministry of Defense’s Special Mission Wing is located and gained access to the base telling the security checkpoint he had been invited to a wedding reception at the Officers Quarters on the base.
Once “Mr. T.” gained access to the base he proceeded to scale the perimeter barbed wire fence surrounding the apron, walk across the open ramp and climb up the aircraft’s left wing and enter the cabin through an open over-wing emergency exit to a German Air Force Airbus A319/CJ. The aircraft is regularly used by the Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and President, Joachim Gauck.
Once inside the Airbus A319/CJ, loaded with 8-tons of fuel, reserved for use by Germany’s top political leaders, “Mr. T.” proceeded to enter the non-secured cockpit flipping switches and adjusting aspects of the aircraft’s avionics. Had the intruder known how to start and fly the aircraft, the range of the A319/CJ with 8-tons of fuel would have allowed him to fly roughly 1,700 miles … or … well into Libya, Algeria, Greenaland, Georgia, Cyprus, or just get disoriented and crash into the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles out to sea.
Once “Mr. T” was finished in the cockpit he reportedly removed his clothing, and proceeded take in the comforts of the V.I.P. aircraft cabin from the comfort his just his underwear, emptying a foam fire extinguisher, dancing openly on the wing of the aircraft beside the open emergency exit he entered from and deployed one of the aircraft’s emergency inflatable slides … all unchallenged by any of the airport’s security staff, military personnel or law enforcement.
The beginning of the party’s end was set in motion when “Mr. T” triggered an alarm in the cabin at 20:40hrs, although the party did not end until 00:16hrs. How is that possible you ask, especially in a secure location such as an airport on board the aircraft used by the country’s highest elected official? Well that is an answer that is not so easy to provide.
From the time the alarm was triggered regarding an intruder on board the aircraft at 20:40hrs, the military base did not raise its threat alert level from Three to One until 21:54hrs and the Military Police were not on-site until 22:16hrs. The German Air Force Airbus A319/CJ, and “Mr. T.” inside of it, were quickly surrounded by the Military Police upon their arrival but no attempt was made to communicate with “Mr. T.,” or enter the aircraft, until 23:23hrs when air-stairs where brought to the aircraft and a police officer attempted to make contact with the seemingly unaware intruder, having the time of his life partying inside the aircraft.
“Mr. T”s” fun night out came to an abrupt end at 00:16hrs when a police canine unit finally arrived at the aircraft and was sent into the cabin. Seven minutes after the canine was sent on board, “Mr. T” was arrested … with two dog bites to his leg.
The total repair bill for the damage caused to the aircraft because of the airport’s total lack of security? €100,000 and the aircraft being out of service for three weeks.
While “Mr. T.” remains in a psychiatric hospital, the security forces responsible for Cologne Bonn Airport and the insane errors in airport security are hard to overlook. This incident highlights a total security failure by private security, law enforcement and military details.
There is an upside to all of this … Germany’s Chancellor now has new carpet in her executive jet aircraft.