16.07.

1948: The First Hijacking of a Commercial Aircraft in History

1948: The First Hijacking of a Commercial Aircraft in History
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 16 July 1948
  • The leader of the hijacking was a Chinese man named Huang Yu and, interestingly enough, he was the sole survivor of the incident.

The first hijacking of a commercial aircraft in history was carried out on this day in 1948. It was the aircraft named Miss Macao, registered in Hong Kong.

Miss Macao was actually a seaplane, with two propeller engines and a wingspan of about 30 meters. The leader of the hijackers was a Chinese man named Huang Yu and, interestingly enough, he was the sole survivor of the incident.

Specifically, during the kidnapping the seaplane crashed in the area of the Pearl River Delta, roughly between Hong Kong and Macao (former Portuguese colonies). Huang Yu managed to jump out the emergency exit just before the plane crashed and thus save his own life.

In total, 25 people, of which 22 passengers and 3 crew members, were killed in the seaplane crash. The mentioned hijacker leader was caught by the Macao police.

From there, they wanted to extradite him to the British authorities in Hong Kong, where the aircraft was registered, but those felt that the case was under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government, because the plane crashed over Chinese territory.

Since, in the end, neither of the countries sought his extradition, Huang Yu was released from jail in Macao without trial, and then deported to China.

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