French Aircraft Crew Apologise For Disturbance

June 29, 2016

The French Navy Falcon crew have apologised for any “disturbance experienced by the general public as a result of the aircraft training activity of last Friday,” saying it was not “their intention to cause any disturbance”.

“We understand that some Bermuda residents and visitors, in particular some cruise ship passengers, may have been surprised or scared, and for this we sincerely apologise,” the Captain said, adding that their stay in Bermuda has been “pleasurable and we wish to thank the many Bermudians we have met for their warm welcome.”

Low Flying Aircraft

On Friday, June 24th, numerous locals reported seeing a low flying plane across the island, and the police said they “received several calls from concerned members of the public regarding aircraft flying at low altitude over the island.”

After the initial reports on Friday, the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation said they were French aircraft, and said “did not issue any permission to the operators of these jets to conduct any low flying high speed flights around the island”, adding that “this matter is being looked into by Civil Aviation.”

Fullscreen capture 29062016 74008 PM

As of this afternoon [June 29], the French Naval planes are still here, and they are pictured above at Bermuda’s airport.

The Government confirmed that the French naval aircraft “conducted a low altitude pass over the Island” and “made several low level passes alongside the departing Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship while still within Bermuda territorial waters.”

A video was subsequently posted on Youtube by someone who said he was a passenger on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship, with the video appearing to show a jet flying past the Norwegian Breakaway, and the video poster saying “it wasn’t normal” and people were “terrified.” A screenshot from the video is below.

Norwegian Breakaway Plane Screenshot (2)

Civil aviation matters are the responsibility of Government House, and the Governor confirmed he “asked for and received a report from the Department of Civil Aviation concerning the movements of the aircraft and is following this up in consultation with the Ministry of Defence in London.”

French Navy Falcon Crew Apologize For Any Disturbance Experienced

In a message communicated to Bernews via the Honorary Consul of France Nicole Haziza, the Captain, on behalf of the French Navy Falcon crew, apologized for “any disturbance experienced by the general public as a result of the aircraft training activity of last Friday.”

“We understand that some Bermuda residents and visitors, in particular some cruise ship passengers, may have been surprised or scared, and for this we sincerely apologise,” the Captain said.

“The two French Navy Falcons are conducting maritime operations in support of the French Navy ship FS Monge.

“The aircrafts are used in support of a range of maritime missions, including operations against piracy, trafficking and pollution, fisheries control and maritime search-and-rescue.

The Captain explains: “Flying low and close to the ship is necessary to assist seamen in distress by dropping lift rafts to the water.”

The crew said they “have apologised to Government House and to the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation for it was in no way their intention to cause any disturbance.”

“Our stay in Bermuda has been the most pleasurable and we wish to thank the many Bermudians we have met for their warm welcome,” the Captain added.

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Comments (65)

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  1. Doug says:

    what? It really wasn’t a drug drop as suggested in previous threads? well that’s downright shocking!

    • Onion Juice says:

      If you know ya History, the French and English never got along.

      • Goose says:

        Are the French still our allies in a post-Brexit world? Were these flybys a move meant to intimidate the local populace? Are ground troops coming to annex us?

        The Regiment should have mobilized, and fired a few rounds from the field guns at these planes. Now it’s clear that we’re ripe for the taking.

        We need to arrest these pilots immediately as POW’s, and set up internment camps on Long Island for all of the Frenchies currently living on our shores. We also have the Belgians taking our money and running. Which is significant as Belgians are nothing but confused Frenchies that decided to form an uneasy alliance with confused Dutchies to extend the autobahn all the way to Paris.

        Shots have been fired in the post-Brexit war, and we’re being nothing but spectators. Start buying shelf stable food in bulk and prepare for an extended naval blockade.

        • bermy says:

          Pass me your kool aid mate, she must be strong!

  2. Point boy says:

    The Breakaway didn’t arrive in Dockyard today. I hope it’s not a result of your irresponsible close encounter with it last Friday!

    • Doug says:

      the schedule for Breakaway shows it on charter heading back to NYC from Nova Scotia then off to the Carribean. Not back to Bermuda until the 7/10 sailing from NYC.

      • Point boy says:

        The Breakaway is (supposed to be) here every Wednesday morning. I can set my clock to it.

        • Doug says:

          I’m sorry but not this week according to the NYC port schedule, as I mentioned they are on a charter to NS

        • Hi says:

          A privat company has chartered it for the next 2 weeks

    • Jas says:

      No it wasn’t the breakaway is not on the schedule until next Friday as was prescheduled before the insident

  3. San George says:

    The video is the proof of what we have been saying. Where have they been (the French government)for nearly a week? Can’t hide anymore. What they did was not only disturbing, it was dangerous. They did a “Kamikazi” run at a cruise ship, buzzed our homes and generally taunted us. They are not sorry; they are caught.

    • The Boomvang says:

      SG your a idgeit

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      Well if this little exciting episode upsets your applecart…I don’t think you’ll make it through what is yet to come bruh!

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        Political Correctness is what just transpired…and HELL NO! they aint sorry.

    • HarryTuttle says:

      They are professional military pilots. This isn’t their first rodeo nor was it particularly challenging flying. They probably thought they were giving us a thrill seeing something unusual.

      Either that or they were farting in our general direction us silly English types…

      So much over nothing…

    • Fred says:

      Do you know the rules ?

    • John says:

      It is not dangerous, these guys are professionals… I’m pretty sure they do this everyday like Us Coast Guards are used to do it… No need to exagerate…!!

      • Family Man says:

        Taxi drivers are professionals too.

        Care to look at the results of a professional driver a few stories down the page?

      • Sandra says:

        First if the US Navy had done that when the base was there. The Commder of the base would have roped them a new butt! And even the Brits wouldn’t have done it. It was called respect!!

    • Kathy says:

      I would agree. They don’t fess up until they are forced to. It is disgusting!! If they were performing training sessions, the least they could have done would have been to inform the cruise ship and all of its passengers prior to their departure. If I saw a plane circling a few times around my cruise ship low like that I would be frightened too.

      They should be fined for violation of the Low Flying regulations. They did not have prior permission to do so and therefore broke Avaiation law.

      • Td2309 says:

        Could you please give everyone the reference of these regulations you are talking about… Are you sure they didn’t inform the captain of the ship before the flyby…?

  4. sage says:

    Only 5 days to formulate a statement, yet still don’t explain why they clearly violated some policy or law when they must know better, or the fact that they had no clearance or permission from the local authorities, oh well. Que sera sera.

    • Ted says:

      There is no rule preventing a military aircraft from flying by a ship at sea… This flyby can detect suspicious activities on a ship and then protect you guys… I dare you to find an official document saying this is not allowed!

      • sage says:

        Didn’t they fly around the island doing the same foolishness? A fly by can detect suspicious activity? The Civil Aviation dept. stated they gave no permission and flying below 500′ unless landing is “not allowed”. They buzzed the ship within our territorial waters.

  5. Truth is killin' me... says:

    They’re still going to lose on Sunday against Iceland!

    • Td2309 says:

      UK got out of euro (pe) first… Lol. No way you can give lessons to French on that…

  6. Really? says:

    Nothing but a bunch of lies. They just wanted to get some thrills in by doing this and they should be facing a judge for these actions.

  7. Hair says:

    Pssst, you lot need to get over it!! No one was killed….

    • sage says:

      ^ What a brainwashed, subservient sheep would say. A blue angels pilot died recently after crashing his jet, so if they slammed into the island killing people what then? Using your logic unless someone kills somebody you should be able to do whatever you feel like.

  8. tbt says:

    if this was good ol MERICA or any other country for that matter we woulda shot them outta the sky. But we will just brush our shoulders off and say MEEHHH.

  9. Point boy says:

    With all the ocean and space we have. Why the need for high speed maneuvers around a luxury cruise ship! Just dumb!

  10. DC says:

    It’s simple, you can’t be invited into someone’s house & think you can do as you please without consulting your host!!! Even if the house is not yours & permission to enter was given by the landlord, the tenant still has to know why you’re coming & what you’re doing!!!

  11. well played. says:

    Hypothetically if the French military had their radar vessel here and planes and say I dunno let’s see if we can detect a threat to one of our naval ships by an aircraft or missile flying below required flight level. only thing missing was another source of ship radar on the water as there was only the French ship …..but hold up let’s use the cruise ship which we can ping to simulate one of our ships and see if our radar vessel can detect the threat, especially since we’ve already been bombed by terrorist. Our rare radar ship may help detect these threats to France in the future. Hypothetically saying.

  12. Unbelievable says:

    Ugh…..Bermuda’s rection to this is so……provincial.

  13. Nigel Spider says:

    We shudda put the Bermuda Regument on dem. I mean de Royal Bermuda Regiment – dem byes would be any army.

  14. Nigel Spider says:

    Dem byes would beat any army.

  15. Second says:

    What is the matter with us Bermudians that we act like rugs and let anyone treat us the way they want? We need to demand more respect and insist on answers to our queries — Why did these persons think they could fly over our island like they did without getting prior permission or notifying us about their plans to do so?
    We still need answers about the loud bang in the west end weeks ago. We settle too easily!

  16. Question says:

    Why was there then an Air Craft Boaing 747 with Air France at the Airport on Sat ?

  17. Edwin says:

    I think they would blow my arse out of the sky if I did a similar maneuver over France.

  18. Bermie says:

    Sacré foutage de gueule! If someone had done the same thing in their country, there would have been serious repercussions. WTH…?

  19. Fluffy says:

    Apology after five days!! Serious?? And all is well?? Bull!! I still believe something is up. We have over the years many military planes fly in…. If there maneuversare to be low we find out in advance. Heck we park and watch. But these lot just come and scare everyone… Stay tuned for more….Smh.

  20. Truth is killin' me... says:

    First the Russians and their flying manoeuvers over American warships in the Mediterranean and now this LOL!!

  21. Sunfish says:

    Oh lighten up all of you. your a bunch of cry babies for HEAVEN SAKE!! It was an awesome site to see what we saw coming in from fishing last Friday. Buzzed right over the top of us AWESOME!!! Finally a mimi air show, VIVA LA FRANCE!! GIVE THEM AN AIRBASE HERE ALREADY! And good luck in the UERO`S!!!!

    • reddamtibi says:

      They are going to need it! To the amusement of many of my friends I root for France…

    • Say Whaat? says:

      Bet if they were from Kenya you wouldn’t say that.

  22. look on the bright side says:

    To all those scare mongers promoting negativity, from a positive point of view, U.S. television news broadcast the incident via video footage and commentary, giving the word “Bermuda” international exposure that no amount of advertising money could buy. Almost as good as the AC events.

    • sage says:

      If “scare mongers promoting negativity” didn’t say something then we would have no statements and no apology, and no media advertising would we. Demanding answers is not negativity, pretending everything is ok when it isn’t, is negative and stupid.

  23. UmJustSaying says:

    Brings back memories of the Thunder Birds and the Blue Angels visit..authorized
    fly byes..

  24. Joe says:

    should there be a large fine for that?

    • reddamtibi says:

      There should be but…you know. They are from overseas..we would not want to upset ou

      • Gero says:

        Fine based on what? Do you know an international law allowing you to make such allegations…?

  25. Jrsmith says:

    Foreigners come here and do what they want anyways so.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Shut it. You don’t even know any foreigners you can call friends.

      • JR Smith says:

        my mother is not Bermudian born, lol. dont get your knickers in a twist. Im just telling the truth…

    • reddamtibi says:

      Exactly. It is just the whore named Bermuda – who cares who spits in her face (or does even worse things)

  26. Bda bye says:

    Bermuda was no threat to them, nor they to us. I personally was upset that I didn’t get to see them. Now had they been French mirage fighters that would have been a different thrill all together. Calm down Bermuda, we have a lot bigger problems to deal with than this.

  27. Seriously? says:

    Funny how everyone is always so negative about expats coming here and working and contributing to the island and its people….. but when they come here and do something that could have totally gone wrong causing the death of hundred of people, and hurting our cruise industry we get a resounding.. “its ok!!!’…. “Oh hush people… they know what they are doing!!” SMDH…. Shouldn’t have been done with out reporting it first.. crew and passengers could have been made aware, to avoid any potential fear. Careless, any other country would have taken this as an act of aggression and there would be one less French plane!!

  28. ron,b says:

    is it all expat idiots commenting on this site now?
    i think so

    • reddamtibi says:

      If it were not for expat idiots this site would cease to exist and Bermuda too, for that matter – at least that is what they will have you believe…

  29. William F.G Bird says:


  30. just wondering says:

    “negative Ghostrider.. the pattern is full!”

  31. lol says:

    the amount of people who come on here to do nothing but complain about anything they can is laughable. What happened has no effect on your life whatsoever so find a new hobby