Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

18 February 2014

Ethiopia: Et's Flight Hijacked By Co-Pilot 10th in Aviation History

Photo: The Ethiopian
Ethiopian Airlines.

ET702 flight, hijacked by its own crew on February 17, 2014, and forced to land in Geneva, was the 10th in the world since 1951. The first such hijack in history was recorded on October 17, 1951, when two pilots had forced a Jugoslovenski Aerotransport (JAT) Flight 22 land in Zurich, Switzerland. The pilots had sought political asylum from Swiss authorities.

Sixty three years later, Hailemedihen Abera, a co-pilot in a flight bound to Rome from Addis Abeba, carrying 202 people, forced the plane to land in Geneva airport early in the morning of Monday. There was no injury to any of the passengers or crew. Indeed, there was only one incident of fatality when on October 29, 1960, a co-pilot forced the pilot, under a gunpoint, to divert a domestic Flight 34 of Cuban de Aviacion. During a shooting incident, an air marshall on board was killed, while nine people involved in the hijacking had sought asylum in the United States, according to Aviation Safety Network.

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