Narrative:Pan Am flight PA816 was hijacked at Sydney-Kingsford Smith Airport, NSW (SYD), Australia.
The hijacker took a female hostage at the screening point at the airport. Holding a knife to her throat, he forced his way past official and on to a nearby Pan American aircraft. He demanded to be flown to Moscow via Singapore and Rome. Italy, where he wanted interviews with the Pope and an Italian communist leader. During negotiations the hostage was forcefully rescued by police. Holding one of two beer cans with a protruding wick in one hand and a match in the other he threatened to blow up the aircraft. The police used a high pressure hose to throw the man off balance. The man ducked behind a seat still holding the match and beer can. The police then shot and fatally wounded the man. The beer cans contained gunpowder. A policeman was injured in the rescue attempt and the hostage received minor cuts on the throat.
» Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civil aviation : statistics and narrative reports / FAA
» The Age - Apr 5, 1979
» The Sydney Morning Herald - Apr 5, 1979
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 Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW to Auckland International Airport as the crow flies is 2153 km (1346 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.