ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-44 ZS-SBE Blantyre-Chileka Airport (BLZ)
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Date:Wednesday 24 May 1972
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-44
Operator:South African Airways - SAA
Registration: ZS-SBE
MSN: 18896/184
First flight: 1976-09-10 (9 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 50
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 55
Aircraft damage: Unknown
Location:Blantyre-Chileka Airport (BLZ) (   Malawi)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Salisbury Airport (HRE/FVHA), Zimbabwe
Destination airport:Johannesburg International Airport (JNB/FAJS), South Africa
The aircraft was hijacked by two male passengers, carrying dynamite and a hand gun.
They were having a dispute over diamonds with Anglo American, a mining company and planned to hijack the aircraft that was supposed to be used by an Anglo American employee to fly back to Johannesburg. Since this person was not on board, they hijacked the flight to Blantyre, Malawi where they demanded a meeting with the Anglo American chairman.
During a stand-off during the night, Malawian troops had deflated the aircraft's tires and the majority of the passengers escaped with the help of the captain. They hijackers the surrendered.
They were jailed for two years on a charge of being in possession of an undeclared firearm on board an aircraft. After serving one year of their sentence, they were released.


» Exclusive: SA's first hijacker talks to us (Dispatch, 1-5-2009)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Salisbury Airport to Johannesburg International Airport as the crow flies is 955 km (597 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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