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Malaysian Airlines System 653

By Patrick Mondout

On December 4, 1977, a Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) 737 was hijacked en route between Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Witnesses saw the aircraft descend from an altitude of 21,000 feet to a few thousand feet before leveling off. The aircraft then plunged into a swamp 30 miles southwest of Johor Baharu, Malaysia. All 93 passengers and 7 crew were killed.

Investigators later determined that both pilots must have been shot.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report.

Malaysian Airlines System 653 at a Glance
AirlineMalaysian Airlines System
DateDecember 4, 1977
Flight number653
Registration Number9M-MBD
Crew Fatalities7 of 7
Passenger Fatalities93 of 93
Total Fatalities100 of 100

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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DISASTER DETAILS

A Malaysian 747 prepares for takeoff in Switzerland.

Image courtesy of AirNikon. Find more of his photos at Airliners.net

Airline: Malaysian Airlines System

Location: near Johor Baharu, Malaysia

Aircraft: Boeing 737-2H6

Date: December 4, 1977

Total Fatalities: 100 of 100



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