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Russian Airbus Hijacker Subdued By Passengers

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The Australian reported today, 28 December (it is 29 December down under), that a number of passengers on a Russian Aeroflot Airbus A-320 over power a man who was threatening to hijack the plane. The plane landed safely in Prague.  The person subdued by the passengers on the Moscow to Geneva flight said he had a bomb and demanded that the course of the plane be changed, according to Lev Koshlyakov, deputy general director of Aeroflot.

The Russian authorities said that there had been 168 people on board. According to a Czech police official, the suspect, Pavel Hantak, may have been drunk and may have been "a case of hooliganism."  He was subdued by the passengers, and no passengers had been hurt in the action.

By coincidence I watched United 93 last night. It was a far better, far more exciting, and less melodramatic movie than I had expected. The courage of the passengers, who had the weapon of knowledge that this was not a gentle hijacking (if any such thing has ever existed) but a suicide mission by Muslim crazies, rose up together to attempt a take-over.

The passengers on the Russian flight have obviously learned the lessons of history, as have we all. The cavalry will not board a plane in flight. There are times when action is necessary and these people took that action.

The plane landed in Prague, was sequestered away from the main terminal, buses evacuated the passengers to a "controlled area of the airport" and, The Australian reports, is being readied to continue on its flight to Geneva.

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