Infamous hijackings

Updated 2:15 PM ET, Wed November 6, 2019
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This FBI sketch shows one of America's most famous skyjackers, a man called "D.B. Cooper" who bailed out of a Boeing 727 in 1971 and vanished with $200,000 in ransom. He was never caught and the FBI announced in 2016 it was closing the case after 45 years. handout/ap
EgyptAir Flight 181 en route to Cairo from Alexandria was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus in 2016. Here, some passengers disembark on the tarmac at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus. All the passengers eventually were released and the hijacker arrested, according to the airline and Cypriot authorities. GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images
A Swissair plane was hijacked in September 1970 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The group hijacked four planes. -/AFP/Getty Images
In 1971, a hijacker, tentatively identified as Richard Oberfell of Passaic, New Jersey, forced a Chicago-bound plane to land at New York's LaGuardia Airport. He then took two hostages in a maintenance truck on a nine-mile ride to JFK International Airport. There, FBI agents climbed a protective wall as they hunted down the hijacker, who demanded a plane to take him to Italy. FBI agent Kenneth Lovin, dressed in a striped shirt, fired fatal shots that killed the hijacker. AP
Charlie Hill is accused of killing a New Mexico State police officer and hijacking a plane to Havana in 1971. Patrick Oppmann/CNN
In this July 1972 photo, FBI agents in Miami, wearing only swim trunks, per a hijacker's instructions, prepare to deliver a case containing a $1 million ransom to a hijacked Delta DC-8 jet. James Kerlin/AP
Southern Airways co-pilot Billy Johnson of College City, Arkansas, was wounded in his right shoulder during a hijacking at Miami International Airport in November 1972. Anonymous/AP
An Israeli hostage is greeted on her return to Israel after Operation Entebbe in July 1976, in which Israeli special forces rescued 100 hostages held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine following its hijacking of Air France Flight 139. Yonatan Netanyahu, the brother of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was the only Israel Defense Forces' fatality during the operation. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 lasted 17 days. One passenger, a member of the U.S. Navy, was killed. JOEL ROBINE/AFP/Getty Images
In 1985, Palestinian terrorists hijacked EgyptAir Flight 648 en route from Greece to Egypt. Hijackers allowed pilots to land the Boeing 737 in Malta for refueling -- which began a long standoff with authorities. Eventually, Egyptian forces stormed the jet. When it was all over, 59 passengers and crew were dead including two hijackers. The remaining hijacker, Omar Rezaq, eventually served seven years in a Malta prison and was released. PARDI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
After Rezaq's release from prison in Malta, he lived in Africa, until 1993, when US authorities flew to Nigeria and took him into custody. He was flown to the United States, convicted of air piracy and is now serving a life sentence in federal prison. Robert F. Clifford
Twenty people were killed when Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked on September 5, 1986, at Karachi airport in Pakistan by four armed men of the Abu Nidal Organization. In this photo injured victims are evacuated to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on September 6, 1986, after a 16-hour siege. One hijacker is still wanted by the FBI. KRAIPIT PHANVUT/AFP/Getty Images
An Airbus A-300 was held by Islamic extremists of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) at the Marignane airport in Marseille, southern France. Members of the elite French troops GIGN (Intervention Group of the National Gendarmerie) staged a spectacular assault on the hijacked Air France airbus on December 26, 1994, killing four hostage-takers and ending a three-day drama which began in Algiers, where two passengers were shot and killed. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images
A Taliban security official receives a paper on which the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 have put their demands at Kandahar Airport in this photo, taken on December 27, 1999. The New Delhi-bound flight with 157 people on board was hijacked to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar by five men after it took off from Kathmandu, Nepal, on December 24. One person was killed. SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi forces storm a hijacked Russian airliner at Medina airport in March 2001. Two people, including a flight attendant, and a hijacker were killed during the raid to liberate the aircraft, which was commandeered by three Chechen hijackers. AFP PHOTO/SAUDI TV/Getty Images
Terrorists hijacked four airliners on September 11, 2001, including two that the attackers flew into the World Trade Center towers in New York. The third hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. ALEX FUCHS/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Unidentified men stand by a hijacked Turkish airplane Atlasjet during the surrender of its two hijackers at Antalya Airport in August 2007. The two men who hijacked the Turkish airplane and forced it to land in southern Turkey surrendered, a Turkish official said. OKAN OZER/AFP/Getty Images
Police evacuate passengers on February 17, 2014 from the Ethiopian Airlines flight en route to Rome, which was hijacked and forced to land in Geneva, where the hijacker was arrested, police said. Richard Juilliart/AFP/Getty Images