Seizing control of a moving vehicle by use of force, especially in order to reach an alternate destination is what hijacking is about, especially in the case of airplanes. Hijackings for hostages or securities have generally kept a pattern of dialogues between the hijackers and the powers that be. Those dialogues normally result in some type of an agreement which is not always meeting the hijackers’ initial demands, but never-the-less, it does turn out to be (as observed on an average) a mutual settlement. But there is always more to such happenings, as there between starts the storming of the aircraft by armed police or Special Forces to save the hostages; the spectacular part.
First Recorded Aircraft Hijack
The first to be traced episode of an airplane hijack of a commercial aircraft occurred on July 16, 1948. It was actually an unsuccessful attempt, of gaining control of a Cathay Pacific seaplane, which caused it to crash into the sea off Macau.
The airplane was on its routine flight from Macau to Hong Kong, when it was hijacked only a few minutes after its take off. Four men armed with guns, had a motive of robbery and ransom. But it all became confusion and hustle when one of the hijackers demanded the controls of airplane and the pilot refused to give in. The co-pilot also attacked one of the hijackers and it all led to the pilot shot dead, which further headed for an uncontrolled dive and crashing into the sea. The plane consisted of 26 people on board; out of which there was a sole survivor which later on confessed to be one of the hijackers.
The Famous D.B. Cooper plane hijack
Like several other American males of that day, he was dressed in a dark suit and a tie with a pearl tie pin, and a white shirt; he also wore a hat, with a dented top and slim frame and held a briefcase in his hand.
It was Dan Cooper, who behaved as a creditable gentleman. But something went odd, just when he gave the young stewardess a note immediately as the plane took off. The note said, “I have a bomb,” after which he even showed to her a glimpse of wires and what looked like dynamite. He further sent the message to the pilot to keep the plane aloft, and things he required be provided to him. His act had worked well, he had threatened and hijacked the airplane 727 with 21 pounds of $20 bills, (an amount of $200,000 he received as ransom) fasten with straps to his chest. A sole man had hijacked a Boeing 727.
He took the money, two backpacks and a parachute and dived from the rear of the plane. It has been more than three decades now, that the devil-in-disguise D.B. Cooper, a name which has never been proven to be his real name too, has only been pondered upon. For all his crimes, he has actually never been caught.
Indian Airline Flight 814
It was in December 1999 when an Indian Airline Flight 814, an Indian Airlines Airbus was hijacked, and a Pakistan-based terrorist group, was accused for it. The hijacking was performed by armed men, who shortly after the airplane was entering the Indian airspace threatened to blow up the plane with a bomb and ordered the Captain to “fly west”. Eventually, the hijackers forced the aircraft to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
It was perhaps the longest hijacking incident to have ever been recorded. The hijacking lasted for sever long days, with landings in Amritsar, Lahore, Dubai and Kandahar.
The hijackers primarily demanded the release of 35 Islamic activists in Indian jails with $200 million in cash but Indian delegates succeeded in persuading the hijackers in dropping their demand to the release of three prisoners.
The three militants landed in Kandahar, the hostages aboard the flight were freed. The freed hostages were sent back to India on a special plane. The hijackers released 27 of 176 passengers in Dubai but fatally stabbed one and wounded several others.
Atlas jet airline flight hijacking
An Atlas jet flight was hijacked on its way from Northern Cyprus to Istanbul. There were 6 crew members and 136 passengers on board when it left the airport in Northern Cyprus. 2 tall, dark skinned men forced their way into the plane’s cockpit stating that they were the members of the al-Qaeda, and demanded that plane be flown to Iran or Syria and that they had bomb. However the pilots made an excuse of refueling the plane and made an emergency landing in Antalya, the southern-Turkish city. One of the pilots claimed that the hijackers were Iranian, where as the passengers reported that they were Turkish.
On landing at Antalya, the plane was without delay enclosed by police. The hijackers in return threatened the blow up the plane. But the airport authorities convinced them to let the women and children off the plane. While this was being done, the two pilots climbed out of the plane window and other passengers hustled through the doors which created a chaotic situation, forcing the hijackers to surrender. No fatal harm but some injuries were recorded.
The Most Famous 9/11 Plane Hijackings
They are three most deadly of all aircraft hijackings. 19 terrorists hijacked four planes the American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77, United Airlines Flight 93, and United Airlines Flight 175; out of these four flights, three were used as cruise missile for suicide bombing on buildings.
In the fourth flight, which was to attack the White House building, was diverted by the crew and passengers by attacking the hijackers resulting in a crash but only the people in plane were killed. In all these four hijackings all together, about 3,000 people were killed.
The Pentagon, in common with the nearby White House, was one of the best-protected community buildings in the USA. Eye-witnesses and officials state that the hijacked plane first landed on the ground and then moved and hit straight into the building.
Within hours of the attacks, the FBI was able to determine the names and in many cases the individual details of the suspected pilots and hijackers
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