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Sunday, February 18

Hijacking with a happy ending

"The hijacker ordered the pilot to fly to France, but the crew told him there was not enough fuel. Morocco denied a request for the plane to land in the city of Djala in the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, so the pilot headed for Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, the original destination.

"Speaking to the gunman during the hijacking, the pilot realized the man did not understand French. So he used the plane's public address system to warn the passengers in French of the ploy he was going to try: slam on the brakes upon landing, then accelerate abruptly. The idea was to catch the hijacker off balance, and have crew members and men sitting in the front rows of the plane jump on him, the Spanish official said.

"The pilot warned women and children to move to the back rows of the plane in preparation for the subterfuge, the official said.

"It worked. As the plane landed on Gran Canaria, the man was standing in the middle aisle when the pilot carried out his maneuver, and he fell to the floor, dropping one of his two 7mm pistols. Flight attendants then threw boiling water in his face and at his chest, and some 10 people jumped on the man and beat him, the Spanish official said." - The Independent
I have often wondered how 4 planes could have been hijacked by men wielding box cutters.

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