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Last updated: 17 September 2020
Status:
Date:Friday 18 January 1980
Type:Silhouette image of generic B720 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 720
Operator:Middle East Airlines - MEA
Registration: registration unknown
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: None
Location:Beirut International Airport (BEY) (   Lebanon)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Beirut International Airport (BEY/OLBA), Lebanon
Destination airport:Larnaca Airport (LCA/LCLK), Cyprus
Narrative:
Brandishing a pistol the hijacker took over the aircraft about 7 minutes after takeoff. He indicated the hijacking was an attempt
to determine the fate of Musa al-Sadr, a Lebanese-Iranian philosopher and Shi'a religious leader, who disappeared while on a trip to Libya in August, 1978. He demanded the aircraft be flown to Iran but agreed to return to Beirut when told additional fuel was required at Beirut. He agreed to release the passengers and crew. He then surrendered and was allowed to hold a press conference which he had de manded as a condition of his surrender.

Classification:
Hijack


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Map
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 Beirut International Airport to Larnaca Airport as the crow flies is 206 km (129 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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