Hijacked Lufthansa Boeing 737 has returned to the nation (Germany) after 40 years.
40 years ago, on October 13, 1977, Lufthansa, Flight 181 was hijacked while flying tourists from Palma, Mallorca in Balearic Islands to Frankfurt, Germany.
Four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took control over the plane and demanded the Germany to release prisoners belonging to the allied Red Army Faction (West Germany’s own far-left group)
Hijackers lead by so-called Captain Mahmoud who ordered the Lufthansa captain to fly to Fiucimino airport in Rome, where the airliner was refueled. From Italy, the airliner flew to Cyprus and landed at Larnaca at 2038 by local time.
Here again, plane was refueled and took off without any target destination. The aircraft overflow various Middle East countries requesting permission to land. All among Beirut, Bahrain, Dubai and Oman denied permission and blocked the runways.
Since Aircraft ran out of fuel(with only 10 min of flight time left), it force landed at Aden Airport in Yemen.
On the ground, the lufthansa Captain was taken to the first class cabin and made to kneel on the floor and then Captain Mahmoud (PFLP) executed him with shot in the head, killing him instantly, for feeding information about the hijackers to authorities.
The next morning the co-pilot, Jurgen Vietor, took off and flew the airliner to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. There, German government spokesmen contacted the hijackers and said they were prepared to release 11 terrorists held in jail and fly them to Mogadishu.
At 0205 hours, just 40 minutes before the deadline, Somali troops lit a diversionary fire ahead of the aircraft. Two hijackers went to the cockpit to assess its significance, whereupon the tower contacted them by radio and started to discuss the conditions of the exchange.
At 0207 precisely the emergency doors over the aircraft wings were blown open, in the mean time members of the German GSG 9. with two British SAS men, had reached the aircraft and climbed onto the wings completely undetected; the hijackers (and the hostages) were taken by surprise. The GSG 9 rushed into the aircraft shouting to the hostages to keep down on the floor and opened fire on the hijackers.
The operations carried out by GSG 9 was ended at 0212 hours by local time, freed the 86 passengers and the four remaining crew., and it was one of most successful hostage rescue operations in history.
The Boeing 737-200 eventually went back into service, changed hands and ultimately flying for the Brazilian airline TAF Linhas. It was decommissioned in 2008, then abandoned at Fortaleza Airport in northeastern Brazil.
The German foreign ministry bought the plane in July for about $24,000 so that it could be restored and put on display as a symbol of a free society, undefeated by terror.