An aircraft in hijack mode landed at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on Thursday, prompting a search that found the aircraft’s transponder had been triggered accidentally.
Around 1:30 p.m., the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the situation, in which the airport tower was unable to contact the private Gulfstream aircraft by radio. During the search, county deputies found three people on board, two pilots and one flight attendant.
Along with six county deputies, Aspen Airport Operations personnel and one Airport Rescue Firefighting vehicle responded to the scene.
Activation of the aircraft’s transponder in hijack mode was found to be accidental, and all crews were cleared of the scene at approximately 2 p.m.