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Hijacking description
Last updated: 21 March 2018
Date:Saturday 31 January 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic L410 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Let L-410
Operator:Atlantic Airlines (Nicaragua)
Registration: registration unknown
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 21
Airplane damage: None
Location:Puerto Limón Airport (LIO) (   Costa Rica)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bluefields Airport (BEF/MNBL), Nicaragua
Destination airport:Corn Island Airport (RNI/MNCI), Nicaragua
A Nicaraguan hijacked an Atlantic Airlines twin-engine aircraft with 21 persons on board shortly after takeoff from Bluefields Airport (BEF), Nicaragua. The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight to Corn Island Airport (RNI). Shortly after takeoff, the hijacker doused a passenger and a portion of the aircraft’s interior with gasoline and threatened to ignite it if the plane did not divert to San Andres Island, Colombia. The pilots told the hijacker they did not have sufficient fuel to reach San Andres and convinced him to go to Puerto Limón Airport (LIO), Costa Rica. According to local press reports, the hijacker was arrested without incident by Costa Rican authorities upon his arrival. There were no injuries to passengers or crew members during this incident. The hijacker reportedly is mentally unstable and is an unemployed drug addict.


» Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation 1998 / FAA, Office of Civil Aviation Security


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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 Bluefields Airport to Corn Island Airport as the crow flies is 81 km (50 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.
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