Narrative:A lone female attempted to hijack a Pan Am aircraft at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, OH (CLE). The hijacker proceeded through the deplaning lane of the security checkpoint as an unticketed passenger. Upon being challenged by security personnel, she drew a pistol and pointed it at one of the guards. She then proceeded down the concourse and entered the jetway for Pan Am Flight 558 which had just arrived from Cincinnati and was in the process of deplaning. At the door of the aircraft, the hijacker fired three shots, and wounded a ticket agent who was escorting a mother with a child. Two additional shots were fired and missed police officers as they attempted to board the aircraft. Some of the passengers on board were able to deplane through the rear ventral stairs, however, approximately eight passengers and one crew member were held on board as hostages. The hijacker's initial demand was to go to South America, with Brazil a possible destination. After one hour of negotiations, the hijacker was persuaded to release four of the hostages. After approximately five and one-half hours, an FBI SWAT team stormed the aircraft shooting and wounding the hijacker. In the process, the hijacker shot one member of the SWAT team in the chest, which richocheted off his bullet-proof vest. The remainder of the hostages were released unharmed.
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 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, OH as the crow flies is 353 km (221 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.