Narrative:A Salvadoran man claiming to have an explosive device around his waist hijacked a COPA Boeing 737 aircraft. Flight 317 was en route to Panama City, Panama, from Guatemala City, Guatemala, via Managua, Nicaragua. The hijacker demanded to be flown
to Mexico, but the pilot convinced him that the plane did not have sufficient fuel and landed the aircraft in Managua. Upon arrival, the hijacker released all 78 passengers. Nicaraguan law enforcement officers dressed in COPA uniforms boarded the aircraft and arrested the hijacker. No weapons or explosives were found. The hijacker allegedly was a former Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front guerrilla seeking political asylum.
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 Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport to Managua-Augusto C Sandino Airport as the crow flies is 541 km (338 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.