Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Uli Derickson, Hero Of TWA 847 Dies  
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4224 times:

I found this article. It's several months old, from Feb 24th. But I didn't find anything in the A.net archives so I thought I'd post it........Does anybody know why she switched to Delta in the early 90s? Did she continue to work for TWA after the hijacking?

Uli Derickson, the Trans World Airlines flight attendant honored for saving passengers' lives in 1985 by both confronting and mollifying terrorist hijackers, died on Friday at her home in Tucson. She was 60.

Ms. Derickson was still working as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines when she received a diagnosis of cancer in 2003, her son, Matthew Derickson, said in announcing her death.

On June 14, 1985, when a pair of Lebanese gunmen commandeered a T.W.A. flight from Athens to Rome, Ms. Derickson took the lead in protecting the 152 passengers and crew members.

Though the two hijackers spoke almost no English, Ms. Derickson was able to speak with one of them in German and occasionally calm him by singing a German ballad he requested. She won the hijackers' pity for one passenger by explaining that his daughter had been delivered by a Lebanese doctor.

She also intervened during beatings, often putting herself in harm's way.

''Don't you hit that person,'' she would shout, a passenger later told The New York Times. ''Why do you have to hit those people?''

When a ground crew in Algiers refused to refuel the plane without payment, even when faced with the terrorists' threat to kill passengers, it occurred to Ms. Derickson to offer her Shell credit card. The ground crew charged about $5,500 for 6,000 gallons of fuel.

The most terrifying moment for her, she later told Glamour Magazine, was when the crueler of the two hijackers asked her to marry him.

At one point they asked Ms. Derickson to sort through the passengers' passports to single out people with Jewish-sounding names. Although various news organizations initially reported that she had followed their orders, she in fact hid the passports, her son said. ''Everybody looked to her for courage and guidance,'' Tom Cullins, an architect in Burlington, Vt., who was a hostage on the plane, said in an interview yesterday. ''She was clearly in control. She even made demands of the hijackers.''

Mr. Cullins added, ''We have nothing but the utmost respect for her and a debt of gratitude for really heroic acts.''

After about 36 hours, the terrorists released a second wave of hostages, including Ms. Derickson and 65 others, in Algiers. They had already killed a Navy diver, Robert D. Stethem, but his was to be the only death. The hijackers released other hostages over the next 15 days, with the ordeal ending for the last 39 on June 30. It ended after Israel's release of 31 Lebanese prisoners, a fraction of the 766 the hijackers had demanded.

Ms. Derickson became the first woman to receive the Silver Cross for Valor, awarded by the Legion of Valor, a veterans organization. ''The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story,'' a 1988 movie that appeared on NBC and featured Lindsay Wagner as Ms. Derickson, received five Emmy nominations.

Ulrike Patzelt was born on Aug. 8, 1944, in Aussig an der Elbe, Czechoslovakia, near the German border, and was raised in Bavaria. She worked as an au pair in Britain and Switzerland before immigrating to Connecticut in 1967.

She began working for T.W.A. a few years later and joined Delta in the early 1990's.

Her husband, Russell G. Derickson, a former pilot, died in 2003. She is survived by her son, of San Diego, and her mother, Marianne Patzelt of Nuremberg, Germany.

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4197 times:

This has been posted recently, but interesting nonetheless.

User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4163 times:


User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4116 times:

Thanks for the link OttoPylit. Does anybody know why she switched to Delta?

Also, the movie "The Delta Force" is based on TWA 847.

User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3954 times:

I was under the belief that she switched to DL due to TW's rocky past, especially in the late 80's, early 90's after the Carl Icahn days. Maybe she knew what would eventually happen to the airline. Maybe she also knew that with her language skills, it is a good chance to get an international line at another airline. She had not been employed by Delta for too long before she was flying a CVG-FRA line once a week, and deadheading back and forth to her home in Pheonix. Delta also used her story as part of the Ground Security Coordinator training in Atlanta, which nothing can be discussed about.

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Here's a little more direct link to the previous thread:

Uli Derickson Dies (by AeroWesty Feb 24 2005 in Civil Aviation)

Long live the spirit of Uli.  Smile

International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4444 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3905 times:

Wow what a brave woman. May she rest in peace. Down with cancer!

Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
An Interesting Website: TWA 847 And Uli Derickson posted Tue Sep 25 2007 06:05:13 by Aleksandar
The Taking Of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story posted Thu Jun 30 2005 04:34:39 by Jetpixx
Hero Of British Airways Flight Dies posted Tue Sep 4 2007 16:04:43 by Rev3oh2
Any Stunning Night Photos Of TWA JFK Terminal? posted Tue Oct 11 2011 10:41:36 by washingtonian
TWA 847 - 25 Years Later posted Fri Jun 11 2010 07:02:36 by TWA1985
Crew Of TWA 843 - Video Interview posted Sun Mar 7 2010 17:51:20 by TUNisia
Suing Carl Icahn On Behalf Of TWA Employees? posted Tue Jan 29 2008 02:07:16 by NorthstarBoy
In Memory Of Paul B. MacCready: Hero Of The World posted Thu Aug 30 2007 23:51:10 by Planemaker
Wonderful Tribute To FA Uli Derickson posted Sat Aug 11 2007 04:41:44 by L1011Lover
My Memories Of TWA At JFK posted Fri Feb 23 2007 23:00:34 by SmithAir747