Aircraft in 'hijack mode' lands safely in Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. - Pitkin County authorities said a private plane gave an indication it was in "hijack mode" shortly before it landed at Sardy Field Thursday afternoon.

The airport control tower attempted to contact the aircraft before it landed, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

Six Pitkin County deputies, an Airport Rescue Firefighting vehicle, and Aspen Airport Operations personnel were waiting when the Gulfstream aircraft touched down at about 1:30 p.m..

Three people were on board the aircraft: two pilots and a flight attendant.  A search of the aircraft yielded no other individuals on board.

The activation of the aircraft’s transponder in "hijack mode" was found to be accidental, the sheriff's office said.