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Hijacking description
Last updated: 22 October 2016
Date:Thursday 25 December 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-270C
Operator:Iraqi Airways
Registration: YI-AGJ
C/n / msn: 21183/446
First flight: 1976-01-15 (11 years)
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 15
Passengers:Fatalities: 60 / Occupants: 91
Total:Fatalities: 63 / Occupants: 106
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Arar (   Saudi Arabia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Baghdad-Saddam International Airport (SDA/ORBS), Iraq
Destination airport:Amman-Queen Alia International Airport (AMM/OJAI), Jordan
Flightnumber: 163
About 55 minutes into the flight from Baghdad to Amman, while flying at FL260 (8000 m), 4 hijackers tried to enter the cockpit. When Iraqi Airways security personnel tried to intervene, a hand grenade was thrown into the passenger cabin. An emergency descent was initiated immediately. Descending through FL160, a hand grenade in the cockpit exploded. Approaching Arar, control was lost and the aircraft crash-landed, broke in two and caught fire.

» Aviation Letter 243


photo of Boeing 737-270C YI-AGJ
photo of Boeing 737-270C YI-AGJ
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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 Baghdad-Saddam International Airport to Amman-Queen Alia International Airport as the crow flies is 786 km (491 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs 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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