Friday 24 November 2023

The hijacking of Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305,

D. B. Cooper is an unidentified man who hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, a Boeing 727 aircraft, in United States airspace on the 24th of November 1971. 
At 14:58, a man traveling under the name D.B. Cooper hijacked the aircraft which was travelling from Portland International Airport (PDX/KPDX) to Seattle (SEA/KSEA), with the threat of a bomb. 
The jet was taxiing on the ground in Portland, when Cooper, who was seated in the last row of the jet, handed a note to a flight attendant, which said, "I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked." Copper demanded $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,400,000 in 2023) and requested four parachutes upon landing in Seattle. By requesting two sets of parachutes, Cooper implied that he planned to take hostages with him, thereby discouraging authorities from supplying non-functional equipment.

The hijacker instructed the flight crew to refuel the aircraft and begin a second flight to Mexico City (MEX/MMMX), with a refueling stop in Reno, Nevada (RNO/KRNO). About 30 minutes after taking off from Seattle, the hijacker opened the aircraft's aft door, deployed the staircase, and parachuted into the night over southwestern Washington. 
The hijacker has never been found or conclusively identified.

In 1980, a small portion of the ransom money was found along the banks of the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington. The discovery of the money renewed public interest in the mystery but yielded no additional information about the hijacker's identity or fate, and the remaining money was never recovered. The hijacker identified himself as Dan Cooper, but a reporter confused his name with another suspect and the hijacker subsequently became known as "D. B. Cooper".

For 45 years after the hijacking, the Federal Bureau of Investigation maintained an active investigation and built an extensive case file, but ultimately did not reach any definitive conclusions. The crime remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in the history of commercial aviation. The FBI speculates Cooper did not survive his jump, for several reasons: the inclement weather on the night of the hijacking, Cooper's lack of proper skydiving equipment, the heavily wooded area into which he jumped, his apparent lack of detailed knowledge of his landing area, and the disappearance of the remaining ransom money, suggesting it was never spent. In July 2016, the FBI officially suspended active investigation of the NORJAK (Northwest hijacking) case, although reporters, enthusiasts, professional investigators, and amateur sleuths continue to pursue numerous theories for Cooper's identity, success, and fate.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Northwest Orient Airlines
Code: NW/NWA
Aircraft: Boeing 727-51
Registration: N467US
Serial Number: 18803
First Flew:09/04/1965. 
Age at accident: 6 Yrs. 8 Mts

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