Over 50 people attended this fundraising event in aid of Riding for the Disabled on March 2 at Wivelrod Barns.
The talk was given by John Hussey, who was a 52 year old business passenger on a 747, Pan Am Flight 073, when it was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists while taking on passengers in Karachi [Pakistan] on Friday 5 Sept 1986. About 400 passengers and crew from many nations were already on board. The air-crew escaped and the plane was stranded on the ground, so for 15 hours the authorities and terrorists haggled over the next step, during which time token killing took place on board. Exhaustion of the fuel supply to the internal power and lighting resulted in systems failure, whereupon the hijackers panicked, suspecting an outside attack. They used their AK47 automatics and a supply of hand-grenades in an attempted massacre of the captive passengers. Once the ammunition ran out, the survivors escaped either by chutes or as in John’s case by leaping off the 747’s wing. Since then he has spent many years lecturing to the security forces and police, to business groups and social organisations, on this incident and the lessons to be learnt.