The first plane hijackings occurred shortly once international air became commonplace. In those days, most hijackers were seeking refuge or material resource, not slaughter or international attention for a radical cause.
Terrorist hijackings were a later development, however once reaching a grim apex on Sept. 11, 2001, they need dwindle and fewer common.
The motivations of the person inactive in Cyprus on Tuesday once he hijacked AN Egyptian aeroplane stay unclear. however once the foremost recent threats to business air have taken the shape of bombings, missile strikes or rascal pilots, a trial to hijack a flight whereas scotch the craft — and also the lives of everybody aboard — came as a surprise to several observers conditioned to expect disaster.
It was not therefore throughout the conflict, once hijackings were typically desperate tries at escape across the ideological barrier.
In 1953, for instance, Mira Slovak, a Czech airline pilot, was flying a DC-3 on a domestic route with twenty five passengers on board once he suddenly amused the plane to Frankfort and requested political asylum.
His daring escape was emulated by dozens of others through the first Nineteen Seventies, together with many that commandeered yankee flights to succeed in Cuba.
Jetliners conjointly became enticing targets for loose criminals, WHO used the planes and their passengers as leverage in ransom negotiations. typically they even got away with it.
In the most storied case, a person United Nations agency became called D. B. Cooper boarded a plane in Portland, Ore., in 1971, armed with a bomb. when forcing the flight to land in city, he free the passengers in exchange for $200,000 and a parachute, and ordered the crew to require off once more. Once within the air, he leapt from the plane along with his bag of money and was ne’er seen once more.
- By the mid-1970s, a minimum of a hundred and fifty planes had been “skyjacked” within the u. s. alone, and radical teams within the Middle East had turned to hijackings as the way to seize the spotlight.
- In 1968, hijackers taken over Associate in Nursing El Al flight to city from Rome and compelled it to land in Algiers.
- They control twenty two hostages. when over a month, the ultimate twelve were free, and solely when a boycott by international pilots.
- In 1970, Palestinian militants hijacked 5 planes — four certain for brand spanking new royal family, one for London — to demand the discharge of activists jailed by Israel.
- 3 of the planes were forced to land at Dawson’s Field, a former British Air Force base in a very remote space of Jordan, whereas a fourth was entertained to Egypt.
- The crew on the fifth plane — Associate in Nursing El Al flight to the big apple from Amsterdam — overcame the hijackers on board Associate in Nursing created an forced landing in London.
“That was the primary major terrorist hijacking try that captured the media’s attention,” aforementioned Norman Shanks, a adviser and former manager of airdrome security at Heathrow airdrome close to London.
“They weren’t dead set killing individuals. it absolutely was merely the way to urge message.”It wasn’t till Dawson’s Field, Mr. Shanks aforementioned, that the international aviation community began to require coordinated action to forestall hijackings.
And it absolutely was solely within the late Nineteen Seventies that the International Civil Aviation Organization, Associate in Nursing arm of the United Nations, began requiring that passengers taste metal detectors which luggage be X-rayed before boarding.
Those steps were meant in the main to prevent individuals from spiriting a metal weapon sort of a gun, knife or bomb on board, Mr. Shanks aforementioned, “but there was additionally a misguided belief that we have a tendency to may realize bombs this manner, too.”
After a bomb brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, airports began to introduce extra screening systems to observe explosives. Those security measures considerably reduced the quantity of hijackings however failed to eliminate the danger fully. And in several countries, the improved screening procedures were used just for international flights, exploit domestic flights additional vulnerable.
That weakness was exploited on Sept. 11, 2001, once four domestic u. s. flights were commandeered by members of Al Base wielding box cutters — that weren’t prohibited on flights within the country at the time.
The Sept. eleven attacks prompted a replacement wave of tighter precautions. airfield security and screening within the u. s. were centralized underneath the new Department of Office of Homeland Security.
Airlines trained their crews to be additional watchful concerning violent or unruly passengers and to wear down them additional effectively. Cockpit doors were strengthened and unbroken secured on the wing. Those steps et al. have created hijacking a higher-risk proposition over the past fifteen years, aforementioned Duke of Edinburgh Frank Baum, the administrator of inexperienced lightweight, associate degree aviation security consulting company in London, and therefore the author of a recently revealed history of craft hijackings and bombings.
“There has undoubtedly been a modification of mind-set,” Mr. Baum said.
“Since Sept. 11, they currently will expect that the response from air crew and passengers could be way more aggressive.”
Analysts say that enough doubt remains concerning the painstakingness of security at some airports that aircrews cannot with confidence decision a would-be hijacker’s bluff concerning having a weapon.“Today you’ll be able to hijack associate degree craft with simply words,” said Mr. Shanks, the previous Heathrow security manager. “All it takes is that uncertainty.”