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The Forgotten History Of Air Crimes  
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Posted (5 years 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10086 times:

I meant to post this on Friday, the anniversary of September 11th, but I was en route from Africa at the time. So here goes....

Despite what many young Americans seem to think, aircraft sabotage did not begin with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has been with us for decades. Here is a list of some of the worst air-related terrorist acts of the '70s, '80s and '90s. Remembering these incidents helps us maintain a healthier perspective, I think.....


1970: A Pan Am 747 bound for New York is skyjacked after takeoff from Amsterdam. The flight is diverted to Cairo, where all of the 170 occupants are released. Radicals then blow up the plane.


1970: In the so-called "Black September" hijackings, five jets, including ones belonging to TWA, Pan Am and Israel's El Al, are commandeered over Europe over a three-day span by a group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Three of the five planes are diverted to a remote airstrip in Jordan, rigged with explosives and blown up. A fourth is flown to Egypt and destroyed there. All passengers had been freed before the aircraft were demolished.

1971: A man using the name D.B. Cooper skyjacks and threatens to blow up a Northwest Orient (Northwest Airlines nowadays) 727. He parachutes out the back of the plane with a hefty ransom and is never seen again, dead or alive.

1972: A JAT (Yugoslav Airlines) DC-9 en route from Copenhagen to Zagreb explodes at 33,000 feet, killing 27 people. The Ustashe, aka Croatian National Movement, admits to the bombing.

1972: Explosion aboard a Cathay Pacific jet flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong kills 81 people. A Thai police lieutenant is accused of hiding the bomb in order to murder his fiancée.

1972: In the arrivals lounge of the Lod airport near Tel Aviv, three men from the Japanese Red Army, recruited by the Palestinian PFLP, open fire with machine guns and grenades, killing 26 people and injuring 80.

1973: As passengers board a Pan Am 747 at the airport in Rome, terrorists spray the plane with gunfire and toss grenades into the cabin, killing 30.

1973: Eighty-one perish as an Aeroflot jet explodes over Siberia during an attempted skyjacking.

1974: A TWA 707 flying from Athens to Rome (part of Tel Aviv-New York service), falls into the sea near Greece, killing all 88 aboard, the result of an explosive device hidden in the aft cargo compartment.

1974: A man detonates two grenades aboard an Air Vietnam 727 when the crew refuses to fly him to Hanoi. Seventy-five people, including the bomber, are killed.

1976: A Cubana DC-8 crashes near Barbados, killing 73. An anti-Castro exile and three alleged accomplices are put on trial but acquitted for lack of evidence.

1977: Both pilots of a Malaysian Airline System (today called Malaysia Airlines) 737 are shot by a skyjacker. The plane crashes into a swamp. All 100 people aboard die.

1985: The Abu Nidal group kills 20 people in a pair of coordinated ticket-counter assaults at airports in Vienna and Rome.

1985: Shiite militiamen armed with grenades and pistols overtake TWA Flight 847 traveling (again) from Athens to Rome. The purloined 727 then embarks on a remarkable 17-day odyssey to Lebanon, Algeria and back again. At one point passengers are removed, split into groups and held captive in downtown Beirut. The sole casualty is a U.S. Navy diver who is shot in the temple and dumped on the tarmac. All remaining hostages are eventually released, but not before the Israeli government agrees to free more than 700 Shiite fighters captured in southern Lebanon. The photograph of TWA captain John Testrake, his head out the cockpit window, collared by a gun-wielding terrorist, was broadcast worldwide and became an unforgettable icon of the siege.

1985: An Air India 747 on a service between Toronto and Bombay is bombed over the North Atlantic by Sikh extremists. The 329 fatalities remain history's worst single-plane act of terrorism. A second bomb, intended for another Air India 747, detonates prematurely in Tokyo before being loaded.

1986: As TWA flight 840 descends through 10,000 feet toward Athens, a bomb goes off in the cabin. Four people die when they're ejected through a tear in the 727's fuselage.

1986: At Karachi international airport, a Pan Am 747 is preparing for departure when four heavily armed members of the Abu Nidal group seize the aircraft. When Pakistani forces storm the plane, the terrorists begin shooting and lobbing grenades. Twenty-two passengers are killed and 150 are wounded. Although all four terrorists are captured and sent to prison in Pakistan, they're released in 2001.

1987: A Korean Air Lines 707 explodes over the Andaman Sea en route from Baghdad to Seoul, killing all 115 aboard. One of two Koreans suspected of hiding a bomb commits suicide before he's arrested. His accomplice, a young woman, confesses to leaving the device -- fashioned from both plastic and liquid explosives -- in an overhead rack before disembarking during an intermediate stop. Although condemned to death, the woman is pardoned in 1990 by the president of South Korea.

1987: A recently fired employee, David Burke, sneaks a loaded gun past security in Los Angeles and boards a Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) jet on its way to San Francisco. During cruise, he gains access to the cockpit and shoots both pilots and himself, the latter after aiming the plane toward the ground in a vertical dive. All 43 people on board are killed.

1988: Pan Am Flight 103 to New York disintegrates about a half hour out of London. The majority of the wreckage falls onto the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on the plane and 11 more on the ground. **


1989: One hundred seventy people from 17 countries are killed when an explosive device goes off in the forward luggage hold of a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 on a flight from Brazzaville, Congo, to Paris on the French airline UTA. The wreckage fell into the Tenere region of the Sahara, in northern Niger, one of the planet's most remote areas. **

1989: In an attempt to kill police informants, members of a cocaine cartel blow up Avianca Flight 203 bound from Bogota to Cali. There are no survivors among the 110 crew and passengers.

1990: A young man claiming to have explosives strapped to his body forces his way into the cockpit of a Xiamen Airlines 737 and demands to be flown to Taiwan. Running out of fuel, the crew attempts a landing at Canton (Guangzhou), when a struggle erupts. The plane veers off the runway and collides with two stationary aircraft, killing 128 people.

1994: Riding along as an auxiliary crewmember, Auburn Calloway, an off-duty Federal Express pilot scheduled for termination, attacks the three-man crew of a DC-10 with a spear-gun and hammer, nearly killing all of them. His plan, before he's finally overtaken by the battered and bloodied pilots, is to crash the huge airliner into FedEx's Memphis headquarters.

1994: An Air France A300 is stormed by a foursome of extremist Muslims in Algeria. The plane is forced to Marseilles, where seven people die when French troops rush aboard for a rescue. An Air France pilot is seen hurling himself out of a cockpit window while an explosion flashes behind him.

1996: An Ethiopian Air Lines 767 is skyjacked over the Indian Ocean. The jet runs out of fuel and heads for a ditching off the Comoros Islands. Skyjackers wrestle with the pilots, and the plane breaks apart upon hitting the water, killing 125.

1999: Air Botswana captain Chris Phatswe steals an otherwise empty ATR commuter plane and slams it into two parked aircraft, killing himself and destroying virtually the entire fleet of his nation's tiny airline.


And not to forget, of course, what might have been. I'll remind you of Ramzi Yousef, al-Qaida conspirator linked to the 1993 World Trade Center prelude, and master mixer of hard-to-detect liquid explosives. Yousef's chemistry projects were part of so-called Project Bojinka ("Big Bang"), a plan to blow up a dozen jetliners simultaneously over the Pacific Ocean. Before he was apprehended in Pakistan in 1995, Yousef completed a test run on a Philippine Airlines 747, killing a Japanese businessman with a small under-seat bomb.



** In early December 1988, the U.S. embassy in Helsinki, Finland, received an anonymous tip claiming that a Pan American Airways flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to New York would be bombed in the coming weeks. Deciding not to publicize the threat, officials warned Pan Am and sent notice to embassies around Europe. All was quiet until Dec. 21, the winter solstice and just a few days before Christmas.

That morning, on the Mediterranean island of Malta, just south of Sicily, two men smuggle a brown Samsonite suitcase onto an Air Malta jet bound from the capital, Valletta, to Frankfurt. The men are later alleged to be Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah and Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi. Fhimah is the former head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines. Megrahi works as the airline's station manager at the Valletta airport. Prosecutors will argue the men are operatives acting on behalf of the JSO, the Libyan Intelligence Service. Inside the Samsonite, and wrapped in a wool sweater, is a Toshiba radio. Inside the radio, fitted with both a timer and a barometric trigger, is a Semtex-laden bomb.

Wearing forged tags, the deadly suitcase is transferred in Frankfurt to a Pan American 727 departing for London Heathrow, the first leg of Flight PA103. At Heathrow the bag is shuttled to another Pan Am craft, a much larger Boeing 747. The 747 is scheduled for an early evening departure to New York's Kennedy Airport, and the Samsonite is going with it.

The rest most people are familiar with. Pan Am 103 is carrying 259 people when it is blown to pieces about a half-hour out of London. The majority of the wreckage falls onto the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 more. Carried by the upper-level winds, pieces are spread over an 88-mile trail. The largest section, a flaming heap of wing and fuselage, drops onto the Sherwood Crescent area of Lockerbie, destroying 20 houses and plowing a crater 150 feet long and as deep as a three-story building. The concussion is so strong that Richter devices mark a 1.6 magnitude tremor.

Until you-know-what, eight years ago, the bombing of Flight 103 represented the worst-ever terrorist attack against a civilian U.S. target.

Gadhafi's government would also be held responsible for the destruction of UTA Flight 772 nine months later. Most Americans don't remember this incident, but it has never been forgotten in France. (UTA was a globe-spanning carrier based in Paris that was eventually absorbed by Air France.) One hundred and seventy people from 17 countries, including seven Americans, were killed when an explosive device went off in the forward luggage hold of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 on a flight from Congo. The wreckage fell into the Tenere region of the Sahara, in northern Niger, one of the planet's most remote areas.

Gadhafi eventually agreed to blood money settlements for Libya's hand in both attacks. The UTA agreement doled out a million dollars to each of the families of the 170 victims. More than $2.7 billion was allotted to the Lockerbie next of kin. This after a French court convicted six Libyans in absentia for the UTA murders, including Gadhafi's brother-in-law. As for Lockerbie, one of the most intensive criminal investigations in history found Megrahi and Fhimah on trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. Fhimah was acquitted. Megrahi was found guilty and sentenced to life.

Until two weeks ago, Megrahi, now terminally ill, was living out his sentence in a Scottish prison. But in a move that has startled the world, Scottish authorities struck a deal with the Libyan government, and he was allowed to go home, to be with his family in his final days.

Compassionate or crazy? Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran a highly interesting Op-Ed by Ali Aujali, the Libyan ambassador to Washington. Say what you want of his credibility, but Aujali reminds us that many people, including several families of the Lockerbie victims, believe that Megrahi has been innocent all along. Bolstering this claim are people like Hans Koechler, a United Nations observer at Megrahi's 2001 trial, who called the verdict "a spectacular miscarriage of justice." In 2007, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission said essentially the same thing. Questions about Megrahi's culpability are the likely driver behind his unexpected release, and his jubilant reception in Libya was not a hero's welcome for a terrorist, so much as the welcoming home of a fellow citizen believed to have been unjustly convicted. As Aujali points out, this perspective has been absent from the press and media's coverage.


Patrick Smith


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1917 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9888 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
1994: An Air France A300 is stormed by a foursome of extremist Muslims in Algeria. The plane is forced to Marseilles, where seven people die when French troops rush aboard for a rescue. An Air France pilot is seen hurling himself out of a cockpit window while an explosion flashes behind him.

One must be careful about inaccurate short-cuts.
The A300 was not really "stormed" in Algiers as the terrorists posed at first as Algerian policemen checking identity papers o/b.
The planed was not forced to Marseilles as the terrorists wanted to fly to Paris for a early 9.11 style crash. French authorities directed it to Marseilles.
When the French special forces rushed on board, only 4 people were killed, the terrorists.
The 3 others, passengers, had been executed in Algiers by the terrorists. One Algerian policeman, one Vietnamese diplomat and one French cook.


User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1385 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9853 times:

In 1977, Palestinian terrorists in collaboration with the German far-left terrorist group Red Army Faction hijacked a LH 737-200 to free imprisoned RAF terrorists. German commando GSG 9 stormed the aircraft at Mogadishu airport, freeing all hostages not previously killed by the terrorists and killing all four hijackers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lufthansa_Flight_181



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2352 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9803 times:

If you notice a majority of the hijackings that took place between the 70's and 80's departed ATH and FCO. Not sure why but these two airports seemed to have been the popular airports for hijackings.

There's also Egypt Air Flight 648 ATH-CAI :




ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineRidgid727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9806 times:

Don't forget the case of Richard Floyd McCoy that happened a few months after the D B Cooper incident. He was the Brigham Young University science major who commandered the United Airlines Flight, and got $500,000.00 and bailed out the rear airstairs of the 727 near Provo UT... Here is a link to the happenings that night in 1972

http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/mccoy/mccoy.htm


User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9737 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Pan Am Flight 103 to New York disintegrates about a half hour out of London.

It's at least an hour to the border of Scotland from London.

Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Megrahi, now terminally ill, was living out his sentence in a Scottish prison. But in a move that has startled the world, Scottish authorities struck a deal with the Libyan government, and he was allowed to go home, to be with his family in his final days.

Could we not see it of a fantastic example of how benevolent and forgiving the Christian faiths can be?


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 days ago) and read 9610 times:

Nice list. If you add hijackings and robberies in general, it gets much longer, and goes further back than 1970.

You might also add National 2511 in 1960, UA 629 in 1955, and a UA flight that was bombed in 1933. Yes, 1933.


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9521 times:

read your column. a TSA worker did not understand why he might want to be looking for bombs?

How did you not pull your hair out?


User currently offlineMaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1097 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9470 times:

It was strongly suspected that a bomb was the cause of the crash of National 967 into the Gulf of Mexico in 1959, but never proven.

[Edited 2009-09-15 08:54:12]

User currently offlineMaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1097 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9460 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 6):
You might also add National 2511 in 1960, UA 629 in 1955, and a UA flight that was bombed in 1933. Yes, 1933.

And Continental 11, which was the first jet to be sabotaged in 1962 (707.)


User currently offlineRidgid727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9188 times:

Another incident that deserves mention is Korean Airlines 007/ Sept 1st, 1983. While some might say that it wasn't criminal, but political in nature, it still is very much an Air Crime Against Humanity

http://en.allexperts.com/e/k/ko/korean_air_flight_007.htm


User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2803 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9145 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
1972: Explosion aboard a Cathay Pacific jet flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong kills 81 people. A Thai police lieutenant is accused of hiding the bomb in order to murder his fiancée.

Oh yeah, I remember reading about that... the last fatal incident related to Cathay Pacific. 37 years since then...


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4988 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8981 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 6):
Nice list. If you add hijackings and robberies in general, it gets much longer, and goes further back than 1970.

In Canada:

Quebecair DC-3 from Quebec City, May 7, 1949 ... 23 lost.
Canadian Pacific DC-6B on a BC District flight, July 8, 1965 ... 52 lost.

Both were on board bombs.

Another interesting link for reference:

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=23089264



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8945 times:

June 8, 1972.

An L-410A on route Marianske Lazne - Prague - Bratislava - Lucenec is skyjacked shortly after take-off from Marianske Lazne. Ten young people threaten the pilots with guns, and make pilots fly to Western Germany, wounding two passengers beforehand. They notice pilots trying to fool them and fly inland, and kill captain J. Micica. Copilot D. Chrobak brings the plane to Weiden airport, where hijackers are arrested by west-german police. Passengers are then carried back to Czechoslovakia by aerotaxis. The plane now stands in museum in Martin.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8931 times:

You should add the 1968 Israeli commando raid on Beirut Airport in which the Israelis blew up 14 civilian airliners. Lebanon's national carrier, Middle East Airlines (MEA), lost two thirds of its fleet, a brand new 707-320C, two Sud Aviation Caravelles, three de Havilland Comets, a Vickers Viscount, and a leased Vickers VC-10 (owned by Ghana Airways). Another Lebanese passenger carrier, Lebanese International Airways (LIA), lost its entire fleet of two Convair CV-990s and two Douglas DC-7s. As a result of the loss of its fleet, the airline went bankrupt and all its employees were transferred to MEA. Lebanese cargo carrier, Trans Mediterranean Airways (TMA), lost a Douglas DC-4 and a Douglas DC-6.

While LIA went bankrupt, MEA was able to rebound within a year replacing all lost aircraft. As a temporary measure, MEA leased six Convair CV-990s from American Airlines. TMA also quickly recovered adding numerous new destinations the following year.

Also worthy of mention is the 2001 Tamil Tiger rebel attack on Colombo Airport. A number of aircraft were destroyed, mainly military, but also one A320-200, two A330-200s, and one A340-300 belonging to SriLankan Airlines.

Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
1970: A Pan Am 747 bound for New York is skyjacked after takeoff from Amsterdam. The flight is diverted to Cairo, where all of the 170 occupants are released. Radicals then blow up the plane.


1970: In the so-called "Black September" hijackings, five jets, including ones belonging to TWA, Pan Am and Israel's El Al, are commandeered over Europe over a three-day span by a group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Three of the five planes are diverted to a remote airstrip in Jordan, rigged with explosives and blown up. A fourth is flown to Egypt and destroyed there. All passengers had been freed before the aircraft were demolished.

Both of these events were part of the same PFLP hijackings that occurred on September 6, 1970 during Black September. In the case of the Pan Am 747, it first went to Beirut before going to Cairo.

Quoting Ridgid727 (Reply 10):
Another incident that deserves mention is Korean Airlines 007/ Sept 1st, 1983. While some might say that it wasn't criminal, but political in nature, it still is very much an Air Crime Against Humanity

Same goes for the shooting down of Iran Air 655 over the Strait of Hormuz by the U.S. Navy on July 3, 1988.

[Edited 2009-09-16 10:14:10]


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineAuroraLives From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8915 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
1972: A JAT (Yugoslav Airlines) DC-9 en route from Copenhagen to Zagreb explodes at 33,000 feet, killing 27 people. The Ustashe, aka Croatian National Movement, admits to the bombing.

Honorable mention on this one should note that there were 27 killed, and 1 injury.

Vesna Vulović survived the fall from 33,000 feet, which to this day holds the record of longest fall without a parachute.


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8891 times:



Quoting AuroraLives (Reply 15):

Vesna Vulović survived the fall from 33,000 feet, which to this day holds the record of longest fall without a parachute.

As many times as I read about that event, I can never believe it. How can it be possible?

Anyway, I am happy to see that many people appreciate the OP's point: that airline sabotage has a long history, going back many decades.


User currently offlineBigPhilNYC From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4077 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8732 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Despite what many young Americans seem to think, aircraft sabotage did not begin with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

I don't think that most young people think that. Some of what you're referring to is that though there were some incidents elsewhere in the world in the late 1990s, as of 2001 most of the hijackings that took place in the US were years past already... it was not big in the media as of late back then. So 9/11 was the first time that members of the younger generation got to see a hijacking "first-hand" in the media.

Also, 9/11 was very different because the end result varied so greatly from years past. During hijackings, the idea used to be to let the hijackers have the plane and everyone will get home at the end of the day or whatever.

It was, if you will, a "revolution" for hijackings, and also the "most successful" from a terrorist perspective, as it actually touched off a war (two of them) as a result.



Phil Derner Jr.
User currently offlineUs330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3871 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8696 times:



Quoting SXDFC (Reply 3):
If you notice a majority of the hijackings that took place between the 70's and 80's departed ATH and FCO. Not sure why but these two airports seemed to have been the popular airports for hijackings.

I noticed that as well. Have there been any speculation as to why this was the case? Was it a matter of airport security at Athens and FCO being significantly worse than other comparable European airports? Was it because a fair number of TWA flights that were routed to Israel passed through those points? Was it easier for those who committed the crimes to get to those airports to begin with? Did they have a greater network or cell at those locales? Or is it just a matter of coincidence?

Also, Pan Am and TWA figure disproportionately. Why was this? Was it that they were simply the two U.S. carriers with the largest global presence, and thus, obvious targets, or was it that they had inferior security practices compared to other airlines?


User currently offlineCOEWR From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 273 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8678 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
1985: Shiite militiamen armed with grenades and pistols overtake TWA Flight 847 traveling (again) from Athens to Rome. The purloined 727 then embarks on a remarkable 17-day odyssey to Lebanon, Algeria and back again. At one point passengers are removed, split into groups and held captive in downtown Beirut. The sole casualty is a U.S. Navy diver who is shot in the temple and dumped on the tarmac. All remaining hostages are eventually released, but not before the Israeli government agrees to free more than 700 Shiite fighters captured in southern Lebanon. The photograph of TWA captain John Testrake, his head out the cockpit window, collared by a gun-wielding terrorist, was broadcast worldwide and became an unforgettable icon of the siege.

This sounds remarkably close to the events of the movie "Delta Force". They used a 707 (if I am remembering correctly) but it sounds almost identical to this...take control of the plane...unload people in Beirut...kill a guy in the Navy in the L1 Door and dump his body on the tarmac (during a failed rescue attempt)...plane was traveling from Athens to Rome...and the movie came out in 1986...The page doesn't say that it was based on a true story or anything, just seems kind of coincidental.


Delta Force on IMDB.com


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8636 times:



Quoting Us330 (Reply 18):
I noticed that as well. Have there been any speculation as to why this was the case? Was it a matter of airport security at Athens and FCO being significantly worse than other comparable European airports? Was it because a fair number of TWA flights that were routed to Israel passed through those points? Was it easier for those who committed the crimes to get to those airports to begin with? Did they have a greater network or cell at those locales? Or is it just a matter of coincidence?

Also, Pan Am and TWA figure disproportionately. Why was this? Was it that they were simply the two U.S. carriers with the largest global presence, and thus, obvious targets, or was it that they had inferior security practices compared to other airlines?

In your first paragraph, you ask many good questions that I'd also like to see answered.

As for PA and TW, your first thought is correct. Besides NW's Asian operation, really only PA and TW had global reach, and were the icons of the US industry.


User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8454 times:



Quoting BA (Reply 14):
You should add the 1968 Israeli commando raid on Beirut Airport

- utter nonsense. As if Israel did it because of nothing, amid peace and friendship and no "wipe out this dirty stain from our land... those who survive would let leave, but few would survive" was said just a year before.

OTOH, I was amazed not to see the Entebbe hijacking listed (ever heard of it, dear BA?).

Quoting Ridgid727 (Reply 10):
Another incident that deserves mention is Korean Airlines 007/ Sept 1st, 1983. While some might say that it wasn't criminal, but political in nature, it still is very much an Air Crime Against Humanity

- definitely deserve mentioning, but I'd refrain to make any conclusions, from "the Soviets brutally shot down civil aircraft that just lost its way" to "it was anti-human criminal provocation where Americans couldn't lose: either Soviets reveal their air defence activity to be closely monitored by American spy ships, aircraft, satellites and Space Shuttle crew, or the Soviets shoot it down and show to the whole world their true anti-human criminal face". It was a terrible tragic incident, and both sides are guilty in making it possible if not inevitable: I clearly remember whose ideas were "there are things more important than peace", or "let our enemy go to bed each night being scared not to wake up in the morning", or "local nuclear war", ...

Quoting BA (Reply 14):
Same goes for the shooting down of Iran Air 655 over the Strait of Hormuz by the U.S. Navy on July 3, 1988.

- yep, you are absolutely right here.

And, of course, nobody knows about An24 hijacked in 1971 in today's Georgia, former USSR, two criminals escaped and found safe heaven in the US - killing 19 years old stewardess...


User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 hours ago) and read 8212 times:



Quoting RIX (Reply 21):
OTOH, I was amazed not to see the Entebbe hijacking listed (ever heard of it, dear BA?).

What? I didn't mention Entebbe in that list?

If not, that was obviously a stupid oversight that I must apologize for.... one of the most famous hijackings of all time.


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineProfcalvin From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 hours ago) and read 8094 times:

How about Egypt Air flight 990? Does that deserve any consideration? It was quite a mess with the relief first officer plunging it into the Atlantic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EgyptAir_Flight_990

Nice list btw


User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 hours ago) and read 8043 times:

How about the shooting down of an Iran Air A300 by the US Navy, with the loss of all passengers and crew?

25 LTBEWR : One of the contributing factors that caused that shoot-down was the USA banning access to internationally recognzed transponders due to embargos on I
26 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : It was a 707 not a 747. Photo of the aircraft after that event. It was a Canadian Pacific DC-3, not Quebecair. http://www2.canada.com/pure+grandsta..
27 Isitsafenow : Kudos to you two. I'm surprised someone remembered those.... If the leased 707 would not have had the cracked windshield and scrubbed from the ILD-MI
28 MSYPI7185 : Are you comparing the USSR shooting down KAL007 to the US shooting down of TR655? Two completely different senarios, the USSR knew damn well they wer
29 Viscount724 : The A300 (and other Airbus models) have a significant percentage of U.S. content, the engines for one, and probably many of the electronic components
30 Bravo1six : This is correct. US export control restrictions would have prohibited any export of US sourced parts, directly or indirecty, to Iran.
31 MSYPI7185 : Point taken..I was assuming, maybe incorrectly, that there would have been electronic components available by a manufacturer other than US origin, es
32 Post contains links M404 : Got one for you. On March 8 1972 a bomb blew exploded on a TWA 707 parked and guarded by security at Las Vegas airport. It would have killed a mechani
33 RIX : - there is no evidence of USSR knowing shooting down civil airliner, period. There are plenty of "US knew they were shooting down a commercial airlin
34 Post contains links Vc10 : I believe the airlines involved at Dawson Field in Jordan were TWA, Swissair, and eventually BOAC They tried to hi-jack at the same time a El Al Flig
35 Tharanga : 'Mistake' is not a sufficient word. Gross incompetence is the kindest term I would use. Captain Rogers was rather reckless. No, it wasn't deliberate,
36 Breiz : Let's go back to historical facts, shall we? The A300s were delivered to Iran Air between 78 and 83. President Clinton declared total embargo to Iran
37 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : Two related news items on that incident. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,942499,00.html http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2005...ane-a
38 RIX : - yep, I'd say it same way. Soviet air defense reaction was a huge mess, MiG23s and Su15s were taking off too late and couldn't fly along the intrude
39 GDB : It is instructive to note that the French got wind of the real intention of the 1994 Airbus hijack, this proto 9/11, as a source they had within the t
40 Tharanga : Agreed: it was not a new concept. Intelligence was well aware of the idea. What 9/11 has changed is that the exact 9/11 blueprint should not work any
41 Bravo1six : But spares (and upgrades to original equipment) may have been subject to restriction and/or outright prohibition much earlier than 1995 as a result o
42 Viscount724 : If you want to discuss historical facts, why are you omitting to mention the complete US-Iran trade emgargo imposed by President Carter in April 1980
43 Us330 : Yep--as a further note, apparently the hijackers had some pretty badly forged passports/IDs (from some random African country, I believe it was Ghana
44 LoneStarMike : And yet 7 years later, Condoleeza Rice repeatedly told the American public that prior to 9/11 no one could have dreamed that someone would try to use
45 GDB : I had forgotten about that awful Fed Ex incident, which I suppose is somewhat a good thing since I would not have done had this man succeeded. Not a r
46 AirlineCritic : Appreciate may not be exactly the right word... but of course we do recognize the point. For me personally, the list is long and depressing. There ha
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