The incredible true story of three pilots flying a routine Federal Express flight who must call on their inner courage, strength, and ability to stop a bitter, suicidal hijacker from killing them, and thousands of people below.
David Sanders, Jim Tucker, and Andy Peterson had taken off on a regular “out-and-back,” delivering and picking up packages for FedEx’s next-day service. They had one jumpseat passenger, an off-duty colleague who they assumed was simply taking advantage of the FedEx perk allowing virtually all employees to ride the company jets for free. The shock came twenty minutes later.
Before the plane had reached its normal cruising altitude, the lone passenger attacked the pilots with hammers and a spear gun. He’d had his diabolical plan in the works for months: by crashing the plane into the Federal Express Memphis hub, he’d ruin the company, which he felt had treated him unfairly. In a relentless and brutal assault, the passenger struck the pilots again and again.
What he didn’t count on was the skill and teamwork of the pilots. While Sanders and Peterson tried to stop the relentless battering, copilot Tucker swung the aircraft into dangerous flight maneuvers in an attempt to literally knock the man off his feet.
In Hijacked, Dave Hirschman vividly re-creates this hair-raising battle of wills, giving each pilot’s point of view and drawing on his own experiences as a pilot to take us inside that fateful day.
Dave Hirschman is an aviation writer for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assoc-iation. He previously covered FedEx as a business news reporter for the Commercial Appeal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He teaches aerobatic flying and lives in Frederick, Maryland, with his wife, Martha; his daughter, Kara; and his son, Nathan.