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Hijacked Air Vietnam 727 Crashes

By Patrick Mondout

On September 15, 1974, a regularly scheduled Air Vietnam flight from Danang to Saigon was hijacked by a man with a pair of grenades demanding to be flown to Hanoi.

The pilots chose to fly to the Phan Rang airport for reasons which are unclear and aborted their landing. The plane then plunged from approximately 1000 feet killing all aboard.

It has been speculated that the hijacker, incensed that the crew were trying to land at Phan Rang instead of Hanoi, caused the pilots to abort their landing and then set off his grenades, though we will never know for sure.

A picture of this aircraft is here.

Source: Gero, David. Flights of Terror: Aerial Hijack and Sabotage Since 1930. Haynes Publishing, 1997.

Air Viet Name at a Glance
AirlineAir Viet Name
DateSeptember 15, 1974
Registration NumberXV-NJC
Crew Fatalities8 of 8
Passenger Fatalities67 of 67
Total Fatalities75 of 75

Air Safety References:
Bartelski, Jan. Disasters in the Air: Mysterious Air Disasters Explained. Airlife Publishing: England, 2001.
Beaty, David. The Naked Pilot: The Human Factor in Aircraft Accidents. Airlife Publishing: England, 1996.
Cushing, Steven. Fatal Words: Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1997.
Faith, Nicholas. Black Box: The Air-Crash Detectives-Why Air Safety Is No Accident. Motorbooks International, 1997.
Gero, David. Aviation Disasters: The World's Major Civil Airliner Crashes Since 1950. Sutton, 2003.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 1). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1995.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 2). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1996.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 3). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1999.
Krause, Shari Stamford. Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses & Applications. McGraw Hill, New York, 1996.
Macpherson, Malcolm. The Black Box : All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts Of In-flight Accidents. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
Macpherson, Malcolm. On a Wing and a Prayer: Interviews with Airline Disaster Survivors. Perennial, 2002.
Owen, David. Air Accident Investigation, 2nd Edition. Motorbooks International, 2002.
Stewart, Stanley. Emergency! - Crisis on the Flight Deck, 2nd Edition. Airlife Publishing, England, 2003.
Walters, James M. Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000.
Wells, Alexander T. Commercial Aviation Safety, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.


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Airline: Air Viet Name

Location: Vietnam

Aircraft: Boeing 727-121C

Date: September 15, 1974

Total Fatalities: 75 of 75

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