Narrative:A FedEx employee was due to be fired for lying on his résumé about his previous flying experience with the United States Navy. He took a jump seat on a regular flight from Memphis (MEM) to San Jose (SJC). He was intending to murder the flight crew with hammers and then to use the aircraft for a kamikaze attack on FedEx Headquarters in Memphis. He attacked just minutes after takeoff, brutally wounded the flight crew with hammers and fractured the skull of the first officer. A lengthy struggle ensued with the flight engineer and captain. The first officer managed to control the plane as the three others struggled in the cockpit.
By means of extreme aerial manoeuvres meant to keep the attacker off balance, the flight crew eventually succeeded in restraining him. The DC-10 landed safely at Memphis International Airport despite the plane's being loaded with fuel and too heavy to land under normal circumstances.
Hijacker(s) overpowered by occupants
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 Memphis International Airport, TN to San Jose Municipal Airport, CA as the crow flies is 2846 km (1779 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.