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Hijacking description
Last updated: 11 December 2017
Status:
Date:Friday 23 May 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
Operator:Swissair
Registration: registration unknown
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Airplane damage: None
Location:Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD), United States of America
Destination airport:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH/LSZH), Switzerland
Flightnumber: 125
Narrative:
While passengers were boarding Swissair Flight 125, a DC-10 flying from Chicago-O'Hare International Airport to Zürich, Switzerland, a man with a knife ran past the gate attendant, down the jetway, and onto the aircraft where he grabbed a female passenger and held the knife to her throat. The hijacker was not ticketed on the flight and the knife was later determined to be a pocket-knife. He shouted in broken English that he wanted to go to Switzerland and, in later interviews, said that he wanted to seek help there in having his films produced. After approximately 25 minutes of negotiations, the hijacker released the female passenger he was holding hostage and surrendered his knife to the police. He was arrested and charged with air piracy. The hostage was injured in the incident.

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 Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL to Zürich-Kloten Airport as the crow flies is 7081 km (4426 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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