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Hijacking description
Last updated: 14 December 2017
Status:
Date:Monday 23 February 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic RJ1H model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro RJ.100
Operator:THY Turkish Airlines
Registration: TC-THE
C/n / msn: E.3238
First flight: 1993
Engines: 4 Lycoming LF507-1F
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 63
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 68
Airplane damage: None
Location:Diyarbakir Airport (DIY) (   Turkey)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Adana Airport (ADA/LTAF), Turkey
Destination airport:Ankara (unknown airport), Turkey
Narrative:
A lone hijacker seized control of a Turkish Airlines (THY) Avro RJ100 aircraft with 63 passengers and five crew members shortly after takeoff from Adana. The plane was on a domestic flight en route to Ankara. The hijacker, a Turkish male, claimed to have an explosive device hidden in a toy panda bear and demanded to be taken to Tehran, Iran. The pilot told the hijacker that Tehran’s airport was closed and persuaded him to allow the plane to land at Diyarbakir Airport in Turkey for refueling. Shortly after the plane landed, 20 passengers were released by the hijacker, but Turkish officials refused to refuel the plane. The hijacker then demanded a separate plane to fly him and seven hostages--the pilot, copilot, and five passengers--to Tehran. As Turkish security forces were preparing to assault the plane, several passengers overpowered the hijacker and he was taken into custody. No explosives or weapons were found on the plane, and no one was injured. The hijacker’s motive is unknown, but he reportedly said that he was protesting the oppression of Muslims in Algeria. On December 15 the hijacker was sentenced to a prison term of eight years and four months.

This hijacking is considered a politically motivated incident.

Classification:
Hijack
Hijacker(s) overpowered by occupants

Sources:
» Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation 1998 / FAA, Office of Civil Aviation Security


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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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