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kearnet
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Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:40 am

While obeying the current quarantine rules for Covid-19, I started looking through all the entries on aviation-safety.net, a site I’ve been to many times for over a decade, but was usually looking up a specific incident.

As I was browsing through, I started to notice a mind bogglingly high number of hijackings to to Cuba. I knew there’d been some and considering the respective politics at the time, the ones from Central and South America didn’t surprise me too much. What really made my jaw drop was the sheer number from the US on US carriers.

They span from the May 1961 and stop in December 1984. During that time, there were a staggering 158 hijackings which ended up going to Cuba, 95 of them were from the US. Yet, I’ve only heard of a few and not with much detail.

I’ve compiled a list below, if you know of any I missed, let me know in the comments.

From said list, some really interesting facts and figures emerged (# and * indicate foot notes at the bottom):

Trivia

- It’s not surprising that they’d prefer a Miami based airline and poor Eastern made the list 28 times with National in second place with 17.
- 1969 was the worst year making the list 52 times.
- Every major US airline during the period made the list at least once (I’m taking Authors Liberty with US as it was created from Allegheny and Piedmont) # .
- Even west coast airlines PSA and Western made the list
- Southwest and Northern Air## were the only US compass-point-direction named airlines to not make the list.
- Every well known, for the period, aircraft from the DC-3 to the 747 made the list, with one very notable (shocking in fact) omission - leave a comment if you know which one. ###
- Aircraft that were relatively rare to the Americas such as the Sud Caravelle, Comet, and HS-748 made this list.
- The outright just super rare CV-990 (Only 37 were built) made this list.
- The hijackings were so prolific that on more than one occasion, two independent hijackings occurred on the same day. On August 16th, 1980 there were three!!!
- The 727 was the most hijacked on the list at 43 times, followed by the DC-8 at 25.


Number of hijackings to each US Airline:

Eastern = 28

National = 17

Delta = 15

Pan Am = 7

TWA = 5

American = 5

United = 4

Air Florida = 4

Contiental = 1

PSA = 1

Allegheny = 1

Mohawk = 1

Northwest Orient = 1

Western = 1

Marco Island = 1

Northeast =1

Southern =1

Southeast = 1


Questions:

Why aren’t all these hijackings better well known? Were they down played due to the Cold War? Most seem to be cited to reputable newspapers, so I don’t think they were exactly a secret.

How did Eastern and National not die under the weight of these hijackings so frequently? I would think that at a certain point, people would be too scared to fly them. I know Eastern had other issues that contributed to their demise, I wonder how much, if at all, this played into it.

I know these contributed to airport security being rolled out in the late ’60’s. There were other events like D.B. Cooper too. Why wasn’t the level of mandated security we have now, post 9/11, with secure cockpits, air marshals, full view cabins, etc. not done sooner? If they had been, would 9/11 might not have been as severe?

Why didn’t airlines beef up their own security or if they did, how?

I imagine most of these flights had to be refueled before returning home. I bewildered to think Cuba just gave all these flight fuel for free, but in the case of the US flights, I can’t image us giving them money (Or them accepting US currency). How was that brokered?

There are two gaps between 1962 to 1966 and 1975 to1977. The Cuban Missile Crisis and other political events during that time most likely explains the first, any idea what might have prompted the second?

Anyone here on a-net on one of these flights or know someone who was or worked one of the flights? Any details you can add?


Complete (as for as I know) List:


Date Airline Flt Aircraft

5/1/61 National 337 CV-440

7/24/61 Eastern 202 Electra

8/9/61 Pan Am 501 DC-8

*** None between 1962 and 1966 ***

8/6/67 Aerocondor n/a DC- 4

9/9/67 Avianca n/a DC-3

2/21/68 Delta 843 DC-8

3/5/68 Avianca n/a DC-4

3/12/68 National 28 DC-8

3/21/68 AVENSA n/a CV-440

6/29/68 Southeast 101 DC-3

7/17/68 National 1064 DC-8

9/20/68 Eastern 950 720

9/22/68 Avianca 101 727

9/22/68 Avianca 654 DC-4

10/6/68 Aeromaya n/a HS-748

11/18/68 Mexicana na DC-6

11/23/68 Eastern 73 727

11/24/68 Pan Am 281 707

11/30/68 Eastern 532 720

12/3/68 National 1439 727

12/11/68 TWA 496 727

12/19/68 Eastern 47 DC-8

1/2/69 Eastern 401 DC-8

1/7/69 Avianca 654 DC-4

1/9/69 Eastern 831 727

1/11/69 United 359 727

1/11/69 APSA n/a CV-990

1/19/69 Eastern 9 DC-8

1/19/69 Ecuariana n/a Electra

1/24/69 National 424 727

1/28/69 National 64 DC-8

1/28/96 Eastern 121 DC-8

2/3/69 National 44 DC-8

2/3/69 Eastern 7 727

2/5/69 SAM Columbia 601 DC-4

2/10/69 Eastern 950 DC-8

2/11/69 LAV n/a DC-9

2/25/69 Eastern 955 DC-8

3/5/69 National 97 727

3/16/69 Aerocondor 131 DC-6

3/17/69 Delta 518 DC-9

3/17/69 Faucett n/a 727

3/25/69 Delta 821 DC-8

4/11/69 *Unknown* n/a DC-6

4/13/69 Pan Am 460 727

4/14/69 SAM Columbia n/a DC-4

5/5/69 National 91 727

5/20/69 Avianca n/a 737

5/26/69 Northeast 6 727

6/17/69 TWA 154 707

6/20/69 Lineas Aereas 801 DC-3

6/22/69 Eastern 7 DC-8

6/26/69 United 14 DC-8

6/28/69 Eastern 173 727

7/26/69 Continental 156 DC-9

7/26/69 Mexicana 623 DC-6

7/31/69 TWA 79 727

8/4/69 Avianca n/a DC-4

8/14/69 Northeast 43 727

8/23/69 Avianca 675 HS-748

8/23/69 National 183 727

9/6/69 TAME Ecuador n/a DC-3

9/7/69 Eastern 925 DC-8

9/24/69 National 411 727

10/8/69 Aerolineas Argentina n/a 707

10/8/69 Cruzeiro do Sul n/a Caravelle

10/9/69 National 42 DC-8

10/21/69 Pan Am n/a 720

10/28/69 Aerotaxi n/a Beechcraft 65-B80

11/4/69 Varig 911 707

11/12/69 Cruzeiro do Sul n/a NAMC YS-11A

11/13/69 Avianca 637 DC-4

11/29/69 Varig 827 707

12/2/69 TWA 54 707

12/19/69 LAN Chile n/a 727

2/16/70 Eastern 1 727

3/11/70 Avianca n/a 727

3/11/70 United 361 727

3/12/70 Varig 921 707

3/24/70 Aerolineas Argentina n/a Comet

4/25/70 VASP n/a 737

5/1/70 BWIA 400 727

5/12/70 ALM n/a F-27

5/2570 American 206 727

5/25/70 Delta 199 CV-880

5/30/70 Avianca n/a HS-748

6/26/70 Avianca n/a 737

7/1/70 National 28 DC-8

7/25/70 Aeronaves de Mexico n/a DC-9

8/2/70 Pan Am 299 747

8/1970 Trans Caribbean 401 DC-8

8/20/70 Delta 435 DC-9

9/19/70 Allegheny 730 727

10/21/70 LACSA n/a C-46

10/30/70 National 43 DC-8

11/1/70 United 598 727

11/13/70 Eastern 257 DC-9

1/3/71 National 36 DC-8

1/22/71 Northwest Orient 433 727

2/4/71 Delta 379 DC-9

3/31/71 Eastern 939 DC-8

3/29/71 Pan Am 442 707

7/24/70 National 183 DC-8

10/9/71 Eastern 953 727

10/12/71 AVENSA n/a CV-580

10/20/71 SAETA n/a Viscount

10/25/71 American 98 747

11/27/71 TWA 196 727 *

12/26/71 Air Canada 932 DC-9

1/7/72 PSA 902 727

5/5/72 Western 407 737 **

8/25/72 Aerolineas TAO n/a Viscount

10/29/72 Eastern 496 727 ***

11/8/72 Mexicana n/a 727

11/10/72 Southern 49 DC-9

5/18/73 AVENSA n/a CV-580

7/4/73 Aerolineas Agentinas n/a 737

1/21/73 Aeropesca Colombia n/a Viscount

*** None in between 1975 to 1977 ***


1/18/78 SAETA n/a Sud Caravelle

6/11/79 Delta 1061 L1011

1/25/80 Delta 1116 L1011

4/9/80 American 348 727

7/22/80 Delta 1135 L1011

8/10/80 Air Florida 4 737

8/13/80 Air Florida 707 737

8/14/80 National 872 DC-10

8/16/80 Delta 1065 L1011

8/16/80 Republic 228 DC-9

8/16/80 Eastern 90 727

8/18/80 Eastern 348 DC-9

8/26/80 Eastern 401 L1011

9/8/80 Eastern 161 727

9/17/80 Delta 470 727

11/6/80 AVENSA n/a DC-9

12/13/80 Avianca n/a 727

7/10/81 Eastern 71 L1011

12/7/81 AVENSA n/a DC-9 ****

12/7/81 AVENSA n/a DC-9 ****

12/7/81 AVENSA n/a 727 ****

2/2/82 Air Florida 710 737

4/5/82 Delta 591 727 *****

4/28/82 ANHSA n/a DHC-7

7/22/82 Marco Island 39 Martin 4-0-4

5/1/83 Capital 236 DC-8

5/12/83 Capital 236 DC-8

5/19/83 Eastern 24 727

6/14/83 Eastern 414 A300

7/2/83 Pan Am 378 727

7/7/83 Air Florida 8 737

7/17/83 Delta 722 727

7/19/83 Eastern 1 L1011

8/4/83 Capital 236 DC-8

8/18/83 Delta 784 727

9/22/83 American 625 727

2/3/84 Cruzeiro do Sul 302 A300

3/27/84 Piedmont 451 737

3/28/84 Delta 357 727

12/31/84 American 626 DC-10




# Southwest wasn’t a major yet.

## Northern Air is a Alaskan Cargo airline founded in 1958

### Yes the 757, 767, and A310 were around in the early 80’s but I consider them to be too young at that point to be thought of as “well known”. Nor do I consider the F-28 “well known” over all.

* Hijackers originally wanted to go to Africa but crew talking them into going to Cuba instead.

** Hijacker originally wanted to go to North Vietnam

*** Most of the hijackings in this list happened after the flight took off, this one occurred on the ground. As a result, a ramp agent was injured and a ticket agent killed. This is the first death on this list.

**** 3 different planes hijacked by the same group. One DC-9 was CCS to PZO with 3 hijackers, the other DC-9 was CCS to BLA with 4 Hijackers, and the 727 was CCS to SVZ with 7 hijackers

***** Hijackers poured gasoline on the floor of the plane and injured an F/A splashing it in her face *WTF, even back then how the heck did they get gas on a plane and no one noticed the smell?!?!?!? * . This happened subsequent hijackings to Cuba too.
C402 9K | B1900D US | ATR72 AA | DHC8 US | CRJ2 US | E175 UA | E190 B6 | D93 US | M88 US/AA | 732 US | 733 US/WN | 734 US | 73G WN | B738 FJ/QF | B752 US/AA | B762 DL | B77W EK | F28 US | F100 US | A319 US | A320 B6 | A332 FJ | A380 EK
 
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Antaras
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:00 am

Political stuff. Cuba's and America's game to disturb each other.
I remember that at least 3 Air Vietnam (flag carrier of South Vietnam/Republic of Vietnam) airframes were hijacked and blown up by Northern people.
In the other hand, four nowadays-Vietnam Airlines were hijacked, luckily no crash.
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bennett123
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:09 am

I suspect there are two reasons why these incidents are so little known.

1. No Social Media/24 hr news
2. Few fatalities
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:49 am

kearnet wrote:
- Every well known, for the period, aircraft from the DC-3 to the 747 made the list, with one very notable (shocking in fact) omission - leave a comment if you know which one. ###
- Aircraft that were relatively rare to the Americas such as the Sud Caravelle, Comet, and HS-748 made this list.
- The outright just super rare CV-990 (Only 37 were built) made this list.

### Yes the 757, 767, and A310 were around in the early 80’s but I consider them to be too young at that point to be thought of as “well known”. Nor do I consider the F-28 “well known” over all.

A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
aeropix
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:48 am

SueD wrote:
not in the political interests of the Republican supporting US media to know that the US domestic airport security was virtually none existant prior to 9/11 even after being told numerous times by IATA and ICAO for decades


In addition to that, there was the benign, mostly harmless, and even comical nature of the hijackings. I say comical because they were so prolific that late-night talk show hosts and Saturday Night Live (popular weekend comedy sketch show in the US) poked fun at the bumbling clueless hijackers and constant demands to go to Cuba.

The security protocol of that era was one of humble compliance with the Hijackers demands, do what they say (to an extent) and nobody got hurt. Sure it encouraged copycat hijackers but as I said since nobody got hurt in just minor inconveniences they let it go like that for decades.

I think the main change of mood in this regard happened in the early 1980's with some famous hijackings in Europe most notable TWA 847 in Lebanon in 1985. I think this TWA incident which lasted 2 weeks and ended in several gruesome murders caused the USA to clamp down on this and hence why nothing happened after that year. In fact I was surprised to read that just last September (2019) they finally arrested the hijacker in Greece, so the US never really forgot about this even 35 years later!

"Greek police have arrested a suspect in the 1985 hijacking of an American flight that lasted 17 days — and saw a US sailor shot dead and dumped on the tarmac."
https://nypost.com/2019/09/22/lebanese- ... hijacking/
 
TonyBurr
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:20 am

These were very well known at the time. They were reported on TV and even had some live reporting on them. Very prominent at the time. There was no pre security at the time, you just walked up to the gate and boarded, even with family and friends. There was not the type of social media or internet, but for its day it was well reported.
 
Heinkel
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:21 am

aeropix wrote:
SueD wrote:
not in the political interests of the Republican supporting US media to know that the US domestic airport security was virtually none existant prior to 9/11 even after being told numerous times by IATA and ICAO for decades


In addition to that, there was the benign, mostly harmless, and even comical nature of the hijackings. I say comical because they were so prolific that late-night talk show hosts and Saturday Night Live (popular weekend comedy sketch show in the US) poked fun at the bumbling clueless hijackers and constant demands to go to Cuba.


I can remember these jokes about the frequent hijackings to Cuba even on German TV at that time.

One big question: What happend to the hijackers after the landing on Cuba?

Were they arrested and put in prison?
Were they sent back to the USA?
Or were they celebrated as heroes and fighters against the evil USA?
 
ZazuPIT
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:59 am

The TWA 496 was the inaugural flight BNA-MIA was hijacked to Cuba. Tex Ritter was onboard. It brought a letter from Charles Tillinghast.
https://library.nashville.org/blog/2018 ... d-holidays
Last edited by ZazuPIT on Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SueD
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:00 pm

Heinkel wrote:
aeropix wrote:
SueD wrote:
not in the political interests of the Republican supporting US media to know that the US domestic airport security was virtually none existant prior to 9/11 even after being told numerous times by IATA and ICAO for decades


In addition to that, there was the benign, mostly harmless, and even comical nature of the hijackings. I say comical because they were so prolific that late-night talk show hosts and Saturday Night Live (popular weekend comedy sketch show in the US) poked fun at the bumbling clueless hijackers and constant demands to go to Cuba.


I can remember these jokes about the frequent hijackings to Cuba even on German TV at that time.

One big question: What happend to the hijackers after the landing on Cuba?

Were they arrested and put in prison?
Were they sent back to the USA?
Or were they celebrated as heroes and fighters against the evil USA?


They were usually detained in Havana under house arrest and eventually traded with Washington in quiet spy/criminal swaps either via Canada/Mexico or Madrid . A few were lorded for their political leanings however these were a minority to be honest.
 
slcguy
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:23 pm

Yes I remember those days growing up when hijackings to Cuba were almost a daily occurence on the nightly news. This is what led to security screening at US airports in the early 1970's. This early screening resulted in a dramatic drop in hijackings to just a few for nearly 30 years. Then 9/11 happened, government over reacted and we got Homeland Security with the TSA bullshit. Doesn't seem to matter now, with the corona virus, nobody is flying anyway.

As for the planes hijacked to Cuba, Cuba would raise a stink for a few hours then release the planes and passengers back to the US after a visit to the Havana gift shop. Wonder if US customs allowed any of those cigars back into the country.

The hijackers didn't fair as well, Castro didn't want them, they mainly worked in cane fields until the Mariel boat lift in 1980 when Castro sent most of them back mixed in with the rest of the refugees.
Last edited by slcguy on Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:38 pm

I created this post about a week ago about the 3/17/1970 Hijacking of EA 1320. The co-pilot was shot and killed, the pilot was also shot and badly wounded but survived. This hijacking led to USA law and rules in the first steps of security for those boarding flights in the USA to reduce hijackings. Within a year of the new laws and rules, USA-Cuba hijackings saw a major drop off. This also has a link to a March 2020 article from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine with a lot of interesting info of that event, how the airline business was at the time including sexist marketing and behaviors, actions taken, follow up of the lives of the pilot, crew and others on the flight: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1443485&p=22114279#p22114279

I was alive as to many of the hijackings listed in the OP. News coverage faded as they became more common, likely airlines put pressure wanting to reduce encouraging further act and other newsworthy issues or foreign hijackings not involving USA flights took place.
 
slcguy
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:46 pm

ltbewr wrote:
I created this post about a week ago about the 3/17/1970 Hijacking of EA 1320. The co-pilot was shot and killed, the pilot was also shot and badly wounded but survived. This hijacking led to USA law and rules in the first steps of security for those boarding flights in the USA to reduce hijackings. Within a year of the new laws and rules, USA-Cuba hijackings saw a major drop off. This also has a link to a March 2020 article from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine with a lot of interesting info of that event, how the airline business was at the time including sexist marketing and behaviors, actions taken, follow up of the lives of the pilot, crew and others on the flight: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1443485&p=22114279#p22114279

I was alive as to many of the hijackings listed in the OP. News coverage faded as they became more common, likely airlines put pressure wanting to reduce encouraging further act and other newsworthy issues or foreign hijackings not involving USA flights took place.


Yes, EA 1320, the Cuba hijackings as well as DB Cooper all together led to the early security screening. Feeling at the time was enough is enough!
 
ikramerica
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:20 pm

How did that number compare to hijacking flights to Luton?

If you don’t get the joke, grab a hay bale, have a seat and look it up on the interweb.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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kearnet
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:33 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
kearnet wrote:
- Every well known, for the period, aircraft from the DC-3 to the 747 made the list, with one very notable (shocking in fact) omission - leave a comment if you know which one. ###
- Aircraft that were relatively rare to the Americas such as the Sud Caravelle, Comet, and HS-748 made this list.
- The outright just super rare CV-990 (Only 37 were built) made this list.

### Yes the 757, 767, and A310 were around in the early 80’s but I consider them to be too young at that point to be thought of as “well known”. Nor do I consider the F-28 “well known” over all.

A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F


They're all “too new”.

The one I’m thinking of had over 800 examples built.

Of the airlines on the list, Air Canada, Varig, Avianca, Eastern, National, Pan Am, TWA, and LAV were all first hand operators of the type.

Of the airlines on the list, American, Capital, Delta, Northwest Orient, and Western were all second hand operators of the type.

Curveball: Cubana was a first hand operator too.
C402 9K | B1900D US | ATR72 AA | DHC8 US | CRJ2 US | E175 UA | E190 B6 | D93 US | M88 US/AA | 732 US | 733 US/WN | 734 US | 73G WN | B738 FJ/QF | B752 US/AA | B762 DL | B77W EK | F28 US | F100 US | A319 US | A320 B6 | A332 FJ | A380 EK
 
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Seabear
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:48 pm

Lockheed Constellation?
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:49 pm

kearnet wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
kearnet wrote:
- Every well known, for the period, aircraft from the DC-3 to the 747 made the list, with one very notable (shocking in fact) omission - leave a comment if you know which one. ###
- Aircraft that were relatively rare to the Americas such as the Sud Caravelle, Comet, and HS-748 made this list.
- The outright just super rare CV-990 (Only 37 were built) made this list.

### Yes the 757, 767, and A310 were around in the early 80’s but I consider them to be too young at that point to be thought of as “well known”. Nor do I consider the F-28 “well known” over all.

A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F


They're all “too new”.

The one I’m thinking of had over 800 examples built.

Of the airlines on the list, Air Canada, Varig, Avianca, Eastern, National, Pan Am, TWA, and LAV were all first hand operators of the type.

Of the airlines on the list, American, Capital, Delta, Northwest Orient, and Western were all second hand operators of the type.

Curveball: Cubana was a first hand operator too.

The curveball gave it away. Connie.

I looked through the list where was the Mohawk highjacking?

Like others have said these were common news items back then. Widely reported and then forgotten. Fodder mostly for comics of the day.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:52 pm

kearnet wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
kearnet wrote:
- Every well known, for the period, aircraft from the DC-3 to the 747 made the list, with one very notable (shocking in fact) omission - leave a comment if you know which one. ###
- Aircraft that were relatively rare to the Americas such as the Sud Caravelle, Comet, and HS-748 made this list.
- The outright just super rare CV-990 (Only 37 were built) made this list.

### Yes the 757, 767, and A310 were around in the early 80’s but I consider them to be too young at that point to be thought of as “well known”. Nor do I consider the F-28 “well known” over all.

A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F


They're all “too new”.

The one I’m thinking of had over 800 examples built.

Of the airlines on the list, Air Canada, Varig, Avianca, Eastern, National, Pan Am, TWA, and LAV were all first hand operators of the type.

Of the airlines on the list, American, Capital, Delta, Northwest Orient, and Western were all second hand operators of the type.

Curveball: Cubana was a first hand operator too.

I would contest the newness of the types I listed - the DC-7 was from the 1950s, and the others all had their first flights in the 1960s. But if all of those are too new, perhaps the Lockheed Constellation is what you are looking for?

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:54 pm

aeropix wrote:
I think the main change of mood in this regard happened in the early 1980's with some famous hijackings in Europe most notable TWA 847 in Lebanon in 1985.

<cough> Not ten years earlier, at Dawson's Field? <cough>

Wikipedia wrote:
In September 1970, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked FOUR airliners bound for New York City and one for London. Three aircraft were forced to land at Dawson's Field, a remote desert airstrip near Zarqa, Jordan...

BOAC 775 (VC-10)
TWA 741 (B707)
Swissair 100 (DC-8)

In addition there were two more a/c involved
Pan Am 93 (B747)
El Al 219 (B707)

The three a/c blown up at Dawson's Field (two photos are of representative sister ships)


No photo available of the 747 blown up at Cairo (N750PA); this is a sister ship.


And this is the one that got away...


Finally, a rather grainy image of the moment the three a/c were blown up at Dawson's Field, Jordan
Image

Thx Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson%27 ... hijackings
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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kearnet
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:20 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
kearnet wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F


They're all “too new”.

The one I’m thinking of had over 800 examples built.

Of the airlines on the list, Air Canada, Varig, Avianca, Eastern, National, Pan Am, TWA, and LAV were all first hand operators of the type.

Of the airlines on the list, American, Capital, Delta, Northwest Orient, and Western were all second hand operators of the type.

Curveball: Cubana was a first hand operator too.

The curveball gave it away. Connie.

I looked through the list where was the Mohawk highjacking?

Like others have said these were common news items back then. Widely reported and then forgotten. Fodder mostly for comics of the day.


D’9h! I meant to type Piedmont there. “Right church, wrong pew” as my grandmother would say.
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kearnet
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:27 pm

Seabear wrote:
Lockheed Constellation?


Correct!
C402 9K | B1900D US | ATR72 AA | DHC8 US | CRJ2 US | E175 UA | E190 B6 | D93 US | M88 US/AA | 732 US | 733 US/WN | 734 US | 73G WN | B738 FJ/QF | B752 US/AA | B762 DL | B77W EK | F28 US | F100 US | A319 US | A320 B6 | A332 FJ | A380 EK
 
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cathay747
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:39 pm

What the hell was with all the Avianca aircraft hijacked???
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
crownvic
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:34 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
aeropix wrote:
I think the main change of mood in this regard happened in the early 1980's with some famous hijackings in Europe most notable TWA 847 in Lebanon in 1985.

<cough> Not ten years earlier, at Dawson's Field? <cough>

Wikipedia wrote:
In September 1970, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked FOUR airliners bound for New York City and one for London. Three aircraft were forced to land at Dawson's Field, a remote desert airstrip near Zarqa, Jordan...

BOAC 775 (VC-10)
TWA 741 (B707)
Swissair 100 (DC-8)

In addition there were two more a/c involved
Pan Am 93 (B747)
El Al 219 (B707)

The three a/c blown up at Dawson's Field (two photos are of representative sister ships)


No photo available of the 747 blown up at Cairo (N750PA); this is a sister ship.


And this is the one that got away...


Finally, a rather grainy image of the moment the three a/c were blown up at Dawson's Field, Jordan
Image

Thx Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson%27 ... hijackings


And the guy responsible for all this carnage wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Please spare me!
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:00 am

crownvic wrote:
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
aeropix wrote:
I think the main change of mood in this regard happened in the early 1980's with some famous hijackings in Europe most notable TWA 847 in Lebanon in 1985.

<cough> Not ten years earlier, at Dawson's Field? <cough>

Wikipedia wrote:
In September 1970, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked FOUR airliners bound for New York City and one for London. Three aircraft were forced to land at Dawson's Field, a remote desert airstrip near Zarqa, Jordan...

BOAC 775 (VC-10)
TWA 741 (B707)
Swissair 100 (DC-8)

In addition there were two more a/c involved
Pan Am 93 (B747)
El Al 219 (B707)

The three a/c blown up at Dawson's Field (two photos are of representative sister ships)


No photo available of the 747 blown up at Cairo (N750PA); this is a sister ship.


And this is the one that got away...


Finally, a rather grainy image of the moment the three a/c were blown up at Dawson's Field, Jordan
Image

Thx Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson%27 ... hijackings


And the guy responsible for all this carnage wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Please spare me!

George Habash didn't win a Nobel Peace Prize.

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
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cathay747
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:37 pm

crownvic wrote:
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
aeropix wrote:
I think the main change of mood in this regard happened in the early 1980's with some famous hijackings in Europe most notable TWA 847 in Lebanon in 1985.

<cough> Not ten years earlier, at Dawson's Field? <cough>

Wikipedia wrote:
In September 1970, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked FOUR airliners bound for New York City and one for London. Three aircraft were forced to land at Dawson's Field, a remote desert airstrip near Zarqa, Jordan...

BOAC 775 (VC-10)
TWA 741 (B707)
Swissair 100 (DC-8)

In addition there were two more a/c involved
Pan Am 93 (B747)
El Al 219 (B707)

The three a/c blown up at Dawson's Field (two photos are of representative sister ships)


No photo available of the 747 blown up at Cairo (N750PA); this is a sister ship.


And this is the one that got away...


Finally, a rather grainy image of the moment the three a/c were blown up at Dawson's Field, Jordan
Image

Thx Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson%27 ... hijackings


And the guy responsible for all this carnage wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Please spare me!


Your mixing up the PFLP with the PLO. Arafat was PLO, not PFLP.
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:49 pm

crownvic wrote:
And the guy responsible for all this carnage wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Please spare me!

cathay747 wrote:
Your mixing up the PFLP with the PLO. Arafat was PLO, not PFLP.

It's all so confusing.
Do you happen to know which one of those started out life as the People's Front of Judea, and which was the Judean Peoples's Front?
:duck:

Life of Brian

Image

{Fair use, plus thx to Wikipedia}
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:00 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
crownvic wrote:
And the guy responsible for all this carnage wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Please spare me!

cathay747 wrote:
Your mixing up the PFLP with the PLO. Arafat was PLO, not PFLP.

It's all so confusing.
Do you happen to know which one of those started out life as the People's Front of Judea, and which was the Judean Peoples's Front?
:duck:

Life of Brian

Image

{Fair use, plus thx to Wikipedia}

I’ll ask Loretta...
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Exrampieyyz
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:04 pm

Here's 2 AC failed hijackings.

Sep 11 1968 Viscount YSJ-YYZ
https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 19680911-1

I was 12 years old at the time and remember thinking a Viscount was not the plane to do that in! A little research goes a long way

Nov 14 1971 DC-8 YYC-YYZ
https://www.nytimes.com/1971/11/14/arch ... hours.html

Using the fire axe. That had to hurt!!!
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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:12 pm

I have GOT to get into my storage closet one of these days, because I have a book published in the early 1970's entitled "Skyjacked!", non-fiction, and one of the first books published after the Cuba hijacking trend ended in the early 1970's. Very well written from the introduction through to the end, and complete with a list of hijackings from the 1930's through to about 1971, I learned a LOT about the world of security through this book.

I can't remember exactly how many chapters there were, but the story it wove hit many of the same details as have been posted here - all excellent comments, by the way!! into a story-like narrative that explained the motivations not from a political point of view, but from the psychological perspective: what was this hijacking supposed to accomplish? What were the factors that drove the hijacker to this incident?

I'm trying to remember the order of events, but here are some of the high points I remember learning from this second-hand book I devoured in the mid-1970's:

* The first skyjackings, in the 1930's through the late 1950's, were isolated.
* The Cuban Revolution in 1959 and subsequent changes to U.S. - Cuban relations saw an initial wave of Cuban planes flying to Florida, which the U.S. government seized as "compensation to U.S. interests", who had lost $$ after nationalization of all industries and property by Castro.
* (I beleve) it was a National Airlines DC-6 that was the first American plane hijacked to Cuba. No one knew what to think, and the plane and passengers & crew left almost immediately.
* (I believe) the next plane was an Eastern Airlines Electra that was hijacked, but the plane was not returned. Passengers and crew were taken home on a chartered aircraft, but the Electra remained in Castro's hand.
* The 60's wave of skyjackings continued, some relaxed and fun, many ending up with an extra night stayover in Varadero before a chartered flight back to the U.S.
* Some skyjackings were violent with guns held at flight crews' heads. On one occasion, passengers were robbed by the skyjacker, but the money was returned.
* Cuba always claimed the "big jets" were too big to use Jose Marti airport, but in reality it was GREAT public relations for Cuba back in the U.S.. The flood of late-night TV talk-show jokes, as well as articles, gave the "do's and don'ts of being hijacked".
* One woman took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, announcing publicly that, "if the airline does not take me to my intended destination, I shall sue the airline and the government each for one million dollars". Covered by the press extensively, she was not hijacked.
* The anecdotal story is told that Fidel Castro came out to Jose Marti airport to see the first Pan Am 747 ever to land in Cuba (skyjacked, of course), and the pilot actually went out to talk to Castro. Apparently, Castro graciously refused a tour, saying, "I might scare the passengers".
* Other incidents are mentioned, as to how much publicity this could generate for the skyjackers. One incident mentioned was the Eritrean National People's Front (I'm not sure of their exact name) who skyjacked an Ethiopian Airways plane, mostly for the publicity for their drive for independence from Ethiopia. When Eritrea became independent decades later, I already knew about its location, thanks to this book!
* The narrative then moves to the Middle East, and the story of El Al's one and only hijacking, a 707 which I believe was flying intra-Europe. The 707 landed in Algiers, where Israeli citizens were held by the government while all others were released.
* Israel pushed diplomatically, firmly but politely, and eventually the plane, the crew, and all citizens were released. El Al and Israel vowed to NEVER have another hijacking again. And 50+ years later, they haven't.
* There were two assaults on El Al in Europe, and the Black September event is discussed, including the attempt to take an El Al flight at Amsterdam.
* The psychology of "terrorists" is explained, separate from "freedom fighters" with a specific objective. "Terrorism has no specific objective - it seeks only to change the mood, making people change their psyche, living in a permanent state of fear".
* The final story is of Rafael Minichiello , and the saga of his LAX-SFO TWA 707 skyjacking to Denver, JFK, Shannon, and finally Rome, and subsequent escape into the countryside.
* The book ends by pointing out that, in the current time of the early 1970's, how the trend seems to be declining, due to metal detectors and increased awareness. I know this book was published before the frightening skyjacking of Southern Airways DC-9 that took more than 24 hours, two trips to Cuba, and all over the eastern U.S. and Canada. After that incident, security got a lot more strict.

If I could find it online, I'd send a link, but I can't find one anywhere. Such is life. But thanks for the walk down memory lane!
 
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:03 pm

What might be surprising was that in the 1970's and 80's there were a number of hijacking within the USSR.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... viet_Union

You would think with all the state security and Militia everywhere, it would be much harder to do. Though it might well have been the case that that these largely internal flights were less secure.
(When looking to see if there were any prior to this, trawling through aviation accidents in the USSR from the 50s to the 80's, the most common seemed to involve agricultural aircraft (usually an AN-2) and the cause being intoxicated crew, often showing off sometimes with pax on board. There were dozens of these).

There were also Cuban airliners, usually IL-18's, hijacked in the hope of reaching the US.

The motivation for the USSR hijackings often seems to reflected internal nationalist tensions, which would have increased as stagnation increased these. Along with criminals and some dissidents.

Warsaw Pact nations not immune either, in the late 60's some LOT AN-24s kept getting hijacked, doubtless others in the Pact had similar.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:38 pm

The Contagiousness of Aircraft Hijacking
Does one successful hijacking lead to another? A skyjack virus?

Robert T Holden (Indiana University) examined this idea in an article, possibly dated 1985.

Here are some selected quotes [fair use, etc] most of which state the obvious, but with some attempt at scientific or mathematical justification. Enjoy!

He split hijackings into two main categories; transportation (take me to X), and extortion (give me $$$ or I blow the plane)

Robert Holden wrote:
I found that each successful transportation hijacking in the United States generated an average of 0.758 additional attempts, with a median delay of 60.6 days, and that that effect accounted for about 53% of the total rate of U.S. transportation hijacking attempts.

Each successful extortion hijacking in the United States generated an average of 2.014 additional attempts, with a median delay of 44.8 days. That effect explained about 85% of the total rate of U.S. extortion hijacking attempts.

Even though it was not possible to show statistically that media coverage was responsible for the stimulating effects, the results tend to support the common belief that hijacking spread as a result of publicity.


Although there have been hijackings from 1931 to the present, their peak period was 1968-72. During that period there were 326 hijacking attempts worldwide, or one every 5.6 days.
These included 137 attempts by individuals who boarded flights in the United States, or one such attempt every 13.3 days.


The Minichiello incident (1969) seems to have influenced subsequent hijackers' choices of destinations: every hijacker who preceded Minichiello in 1969 had sought Cuba, but two who followed soon after chose destinations in Europe.


https://web.archive.org/web/20150717042 ... cking.html
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
mga707
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:58 am

So common at the end of the '60s that being hijacked to Cuba even became a comedic plot point in the 1970 hit movie comedy 'The Out-of-Towners", starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. Never saw the horrible 1999 Steve Martin/Goldie Hawn remake, so I don't know if that plot point survived or not.
 
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:43 am

I've read that for the 8/2/70 Pan Am 299 hijacking Fidel came out to the airport to see the then new 747 as I think it was the type's first visit to Cuba.
Can't remember if he got to tour it or not but who was going to deny him if he wanted to see it on his own soil?
Apols if it had been mentioned already.
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:46 am

GDB wrote:
Warsaw Pact nations not immune either, in the late 60's some LOT AN-24s kept getting hijacked, doubtless others in the Pact had similar.


As I recall, a number of these where East Germans who hijacked flights from Poland to East Berlin for a 5-10 minute detour to West Berlin. It seems that the Polish Crews had some level of sympathy for the motives of the East German hijackers. Combined with the relatively uncomplicated return of the plane and those who didn't want to stay, it seems to have made LOT an easy target when compared to Interflug, which tended to feature more vetting and minders/security on board.

Unsurprisingly there were usually other East German passengers who weren't part of the hijackers but gladly stayed behind in West Berlin as well. Some Germans applied a new sobriquet to LOT: "Landet Ooch (in) Tempelhof" - translates to "Also lands (in) Tempelhof" which was the American airport in the divided city of Berlin, as opposed to SXF near Berlin, which was the airport in the Soviet-occupied zone.

One probably would have seen more hijackings on flights between Europe and Cuba had it not been for the fact that Interflug, Cubana and Aeroflot had a stopover in Gander that saw many defections. For Interflug, supposedly their purchase of the two A310s was done in part because it eliminated the stopover in Gander.

https://www.nytimes.com/1985/02/13/worl ... ctors.html
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SELMER40
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:28 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
.... the frightening skyjacking of Southern Airways DC-9 that took more than 24 hours, two trips to Cuba, and all over the eastern U.S. and Canada. After that incident, security got a lot more strict.

The book Odyssey Of Terror by Ed Blair and Captain Haas, 1977, covers this event in great detail and is available to buy online (my copy is not for sale). The Reader's Digest May 1973 has an article.
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:57 pm

SELMER40 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
.... the frightening skyjacking of Southern Airways DC-9 that took more than 24 hours, two trips to Cuba, and all over the eastern U.S. and Canada. After that incident, security got a lot more strict.

The book Odyssey Of Terror by Ed Blair and Captain Haas, 1977, covers this event in great detail and is available to buy online (my copy is not for sale). The Reader's Digest May 1973 has an article.


Thank you! I remember first learning of this skyjacking from the Reader's Digest magazine, and I believe the article was entitled, "We're Taking Over This Plane, So Let's Not Have Any Heroes!". I would take that one as the literal moment the U.S. REALLY got serious about airline security.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:40 am

Thanks for the great thread. I was surprised that even Viscount made the list.

In response to El Al, I was initially going to mention Entebbe, but that was Air France that was hijacked.

August 1980 seems particularly bad for hijackings to Cuba. Eight US airlines, basically within a couple weeks. Goodness.

And now it all seems more serious now. Many things in society are taken more seriously now. For good and bad, I suppose.
 
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rj968
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:12 am

kearnet wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
kearnet wrote:
- Every well known, for the period, aircraft from the DC-3 to the 747 made the list, with one very notable (shocking in fact) omission - leave a comment if you know which one. ###
- Aircraft that were relatively rare to the Americas such as the Sud Caravelle, Comet, and HS-748 made this list.
- The outright just super rare CV-990 (Only 37 were built) made this list.

### Yes the 757, 767, and A310 were around in the early 80’s but I consider them to be too young at that point to be thought of as “well known”. Nor do I consider the F-28 “well known” over all.

A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F


They're all “too new”.

The one I’m thinking of had over 800 examples built.

Of the airlines on the list, Air Canada, Varig, Avianca, Eastern, National, Pan Am, TWA, and LAV were all first hand operators of the type.

Of the airlines on the list, American, Capital, Delta, Northwest Orient, and Western were all second hand operators of the type.

Curveball: Cubana was a first hand operator too.

Fun read, i’m Old enough to clearly remember these times. One correction, Northwest got their L1049G’s new not second hand.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:22 am

Honestly, given the frequency of hijackings in the old days I'm surprised 9/11 didn't come sooner. It's not like suicide bombers are a fairly new invention.

In fact, I'm surprised that Osama faffed about with the Bojinka plot of blowing up planes instead of going ahead with the 9/11 attacks early in the 1990s.
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superjeff
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:42 am

One more: January 12, 1972: Braniff Flight 38, a Boeing 727, was hijacked as it departed Houston, Texas bound for Dallas, Texas. The lone armed hijacker, Billy Gene Hurst, Jr., allowed all 94 passengers to deplane after landing at Dallas Love Field but continued to hold the 7 crewmembers hostage, demanding to fly to South America and asking for US$2 million, parachutes , and jungle survival gear, amongst other items. I think they ended up in Lima, Peru.
 
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:18 am

[threeid][/threeid]
ikramerica wrote:
How did that number compare to hijacking flights to Luton?

If you don’t get the joke, grab a hay bale, have a seat and look it up on the interweb.


How on earth have I as a self professed MP fan never seen this sketch before??? I haven’t been this riled up since there were caribou nibbling the croquet hoops.
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mga707
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Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:40 am

rj968 wrote:
kearnet wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
A few come to mind but I don’t know if they’re what you’re after:

  • DC-7
  • BAC 1-11
  • BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde (but hardly shocking)
  • EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Swearingen Metro

Am I close?

V/F


They're all “too new”.

The one I’m thinking of had over 800 examples built.

Of the airlines on the list, Air Canada, Varig, Avianca, Eastern, National, Pan Am, TWA, and LAV were all first hand operators of the type.

Of the airlines on the list, American, Capital, Delta, Northwest Orient, and Western were all second hand operators of the type.

Curveball: Cubana was a first hand operator too.

Fun read, i’m Old enough to clearly remember these times. One correction, Northwest got their L1049G’s new not second hand.

Another correction: American was not a 'second hand operator of the type'. American itself never operated ANY Constellations. American Overseas operated some factory-fresh early-model Connies in the late '40s. They went to Pan Am in 1950 (along with Boeing Stratocruisers) when AA sold AOA to PAA.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8768
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:28 am

There is an absolutely fantastic book about 70s hijacking written just a few years ago called The Skies Belong To Us by Brendan I. Koerner. Can’t recommend highly enough.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
outbackair
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:01 pm

Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:58 pm

ClipperYankee wrote:
I've read that for the 8/2/70 Pan Am 299 hijacking Fidel came out to the airport to see the then new 747 as I think it was the type's first visit to Cuba.
Can't remember if he got to tour it or not but who was going to deny him if he wanted to see it on his own soil?
Apols if it had been mentioned already.



He got a great ramp tour but: Before leaving Havana, Captain Watkins said, he invited the Cuban Premier to board the plane to see how it looked from inside. “I would probably scare the passengers,” Premier Castro said, declining the invitation.

Maybe someone with a gun on a plane was not so scary in those days? “He pulled out a gun, pointed it at me and said, ‘Take me to the pilot because I want to go to Cuba',” Miss de la Fuente said. “I thought he was joking and replied, “No, let's go to Rio, it's a lot more fun there at this time of the year.”


https://www.nytimes.com/1970/08/03/arch ... a-747.html
 
PB26
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:09 am

Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:35 pm

Between November 1969 and March 1970, Varig's PP-VJX (B707) was hijacked three times, all of them with hijackers demanding to fly to Cuba.

First was 11/04, after the plane took off from EZE to SCL, the plane went to SCL and after refueling, made SCL-HAV. After, the plane made HAV-NAS-CCS-GIG. In Caracas Airport, the captain ordered four passengers to exit, because they wanted the plane to fly to final destination SCL and treat to hijack the plane!

The second was 22 days later, when the 707 took off from Orly to Rio and a sole passenger hijacked the plane, with a brief stop in SJU to get approaching charts of Havana Airport.

The last was in March, 1970, after the 707 took off from SCL to EZE. The hijackers demanded to fly non-stop to Havana. Without fuel to fly non-stop, the 707 returned to SCL and refueled to fly to HAV.

After all, the VJX gained the nickname "Cuban Express" inside of Varig.
Rio and all South America by Panair do Brasil’s jets.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6199
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Surprising history of hijackings to Cuba: Facts, Figures, & Questions

Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:06 pm

As stated above - it was very common news. Almost daily at times.

Heck, my current wife and I were married for almost five years before she mentioned "Yeah, my only overseas trip I guess was the time I went to sleep on my back to Fort Lauderdale and woke up in Cuba." (This was in 2001 as we made our first trip to Europe together).

Her father was dying and it was an emotional trip. No one saw the hijacker back in coach. The first anyone heard was some questions as the plane was slowing down on the runway, and the Captain came over the PA and said something like "Some of you may have noticed, this isn't Fort Lauderdale. Welcome to Cuba. Once the gentleman has departed the aircraft, I hope we will be able to return quickly to Fort Lauderdale. We do not need to take on additional fuel."

When she got back to Fort Lauderdale, she didn't even mention to her then husband and kids why her plane was almost three hours late. The next morning husband looked up from the morning paper and asked if it had been her flight.

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The only reason someone would not be aware of those is that recent history isn't taught in schools.

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Security, it wasn't violent most times. And technology was not up to the standards of the 1990s even. Hand held metal detectors ran into the tens of thousands of dollars each. Agents and flight attendants had some training in 'recognizing' suspicious types. Many people traveled with no luggage. A large sub-culture of young Americans were disenchanted with the nation, and alternative groups were rampant. Some airlines even offered 'protestor specials' for people to attend mass rallies in Washington DC and other places.

After 9/11 many cities and states fought against rebuilding airports to provide secure zones, limited access to pre-flight areas. The only time before that I remember something similar was in 1991 during the Gulf War, and it was not at all airports. Only one terminal at DFW was not allowing people to greet arrivals at the gate. Airports did not make substantial changes, just screened people at the doors for tickets. But if you said you had a reservation and were picking up the ticket at the counter, they let you through without question.

Go watch the 1970 movie airport. That is how open terminals were.

A substantial number of groups on college campuses in the late 60's and early 70's saw Cuba as an idealist paradise where everyone shared in great prosperity. Several hijackers returned to the US greatly disillusioned. The concept that the Cuban government actually expected them to work in the fields and earn access to food and shelter was a great culture shock to many.

Later in the 70's/80's, hijackings in Europe and related to terrorism were very violent and taken serious by many nations.

I was in the US Navy in 1983 when a detachment of six of us transited the Rome Airport enroute to Catania, Sicily where we caught a US military transport to Cyprus, then USMC helicopters to Beirut. The level of armed police/ military at the Rome airport was much higher than anything I had seen in the western Pacific, including the commercial terminal at Danang and Saigon in 1972.
Not all who wander are lost.

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