Dubai: A hijacker seized an EgyptAir plane on Tuesday and forced it to land on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Here are five times that plane cockpits were taken over by hijackers.
A man who became known as D. B. Cooper hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, a Boeing 727-100 aircraft flying from Portland to Seattle, receiving US$200,000 in ransom and parachuting from the plane the day before Thanksgiving, 1971. Like several other American men of his time, Cooper was dressed in a dark suit and a tie with a pearl tie pin, and a white shirt — with a dented hat and a briefcase. He went by Dan Cooper and behaved like a gentleman. But something was off. Just as the plane took off, Cooper gave a young stewardess a note that read “I have a bomb,” after which he showed her the inside of his briefcase.
On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77, United Airlines Flight 93, and United Airlines Flight 175 to perform suicide bombing missions. Of the four flights, three were used as cruise missile on buildings, making it the most deadly hijacking of aircraft history.
Near the end of 1999, Kashmiri militants from Pakistan hijacked an Indian Airlines aircraft and forced it to divert to Kandahar in Afghanistan. The motive behind the hijack was primarily to negotiate the release of 35 Islamic activists in Indian jails and seek $200 million in cash.
The longest recorded hijacking in aircraft history took place in Algiers when an El Al plan was seized by three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on July 23, 1968. Initially travelling from London to Rome, the plane was diverted to Algiers.
The case of EgyptAir Flight 648 will always provide a blueprint on how not to deal with terrorists. After three Palestinian members of the Abu Nidal Organisation took control of the plane travelling from Athens to Cairo on November 23, 1985, an Egyptian Security Service member opened fire and killed one of the hijackers. In return, he was shot and killed. As a result of the exchange of bullets, the fuselage of the plane was punctured, and the pilot was forced to descend.
—Joseph Gedeon, with inputs from agencies and BBC.com