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Hijacking description
Last updated: 16 October 2017
Status:
Date:Thursday 20 January 1972
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Operator:Hughes Airwest
Registration: N9333
C/n / msn: 47246/292
First flight: 1968
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 52
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 56
Airplane damage: None
Location:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS), United States of America
Destination airport:Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV (RNO/KRNO), United States of America
Flightnumber: 800
Narrative:
A 23 year old male passenger hijacked Hughes Airwest flight 800 shortly before it was to take off from Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS). He demanded $50,000, two parachutes and a crash helmet. In exchange, he freed two cabin crew members and all 51 passengers.
The flight crew were then forced to take off with the hijacker on board. The tail door was opened at an altitude of 12,000 feet while over Colorado's wheat covered flatlands. The hijacker jumped and landed about 80 miles from Denver. He sprained his ankle and his wrist. The FBI was able to track the hijacker using a homing device which had been secretly installed in a parachute.
The unarmed hijacker was arrested.

Classification:
Hijack

Sources:
» The Bryan Times - Jan 21, 1972


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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 Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV to Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV as the crow flies is 552 km (345 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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