Unlawful Interference Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III , Friday 2 May 1986
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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
Owner/operator:Horizon Air
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 15
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Unlawful Interference
Location:Portland-Hillsboro Airport, OR (HIO) -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Medford-Jackson County Airport, OR (MFR/KMFR)
Destination airport:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX/KPDX)
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.


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

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