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Last updated: 24 September 2021
Status:
Date:Thursday 5 March 1981
Type:Boeing 727
Operator:Continental Air Lines
Registration: registration unknown
MSN:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 92
Aircraft damage: None
Location:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Destination airport:Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ (PHX/KPHX), United States of America
Flightnumber:CO72
Narrative:
After the passengers boarded, the hijacker who did have a ticket boarded holding a pistol in one hand and a briefcase in the other. He took five passengers and two flight attendants hostage. One of these flight attendants escaped shortly thereafter.
The cockpit crew escaped via a cockpit window. The rest of the passengers and flight attendants escaped via the rear stairs. Two FBI agents boarded and negotiations began. The hijacker claimed to have a bomb in his briefcase and demanded three million dollars. Over eleven hours the hijacker was persuaded to allow the five passengers to deplane. A plan to distract the hijacker was implemented and the remaining hostage flight attendant escaped. The FBI agents then left the aircraft when the hijacker again threatened to blow up the aircraft. Shortly thereafter the hijacker surrendered.
Sentenced to life imprisonment for air piracy, which was reduced to 20 years.

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 Los Angeles International Airport, CA to Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ as the crow flies is 591 km (369 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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