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Hijacking description
Last updated: 16 October 2017
Status:
Date:Friday 2 May 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III
Operator:Horizon Air
Registration: registration unknown
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 15
Airplane damage: None
Location:Portland-Hillsboro Airport, OR (HIO) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Medford-Jackson County Airport, OR (MFR/KMFR), United States of America
Destination airport:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX/KPDX), United States of America
Flightnumber:2318
Narrative:
Horizon Air Flight 2318, a Swearingen Metro III commuter aircraft, was en route from Medford, Oregon, to Portland, Oregon, with 13 passengers and two crew when, approximately 10 minutes into the flight, a male passenger approached the pilot and pressed a hard object, later determined to be the neck of a wine bottle, into his back. He demanded that the aircraft be turned towards the south and said that he also had an incendiary device. The passenger had boarded the aircraft without a ticket and, without being challenged. He scaled a 4-foot fence around the general aviation area at the Medford Airport and walked the quarter of a mile to the aircraft. He agreed to let the aircraft land at the Portland-Hillsborough Airport to refuel and there he demanded water, four parachutes, and maps of the Phoenix, Arizona, area. During negotiations on the ground, he finally allowed all of the passengers and crew, except for the pilot, to deplane; however, the pilot was able to escape from the aircraft with the last of the deplaning passengers and the hijacker was left on board alone.
Approximately an hour later he surrendered to FBI agents, was arrested, and charged with air piracy and interference with a flight crew. No weapons or incendiary devices were found on the aircraft. On June 2, 1986, he committed suicide in his jail cell while awaiting trial. There were no injuries during the hijacking.

Classification:
Hijack

Sources:
» Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation 1986 / U.S. Department of Transport, FAA, Office of Civil Aviation Security


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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 Medford-Jackson County Airport, OR to Portland International Airport, OR as the crow flies is 356 km (222 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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