21 Feb: The First Hijack

Pan-Am pilot Byron Rickards was surrounded by soldiers and told he had become the prisoner of a revolutionary organisation shortly after landing in Arequipa, Peru on 21 February 1931 – the first recorded aircraft hijack in history.

Rickards refused to drop pro-rebel propaganda, leading to a stand-off – although, astonishingly, it wasn’t the only time in his career that his plane would be hijacked…

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why the 1960s created the perfect circumstances for a hijacking boom; reveal the most hijacked pilot of all time; and attempt to investigate the origins of the word ‘hijack’ – with mixed results…

Further Reading:

• ‘From the Bizarre to the Deadly: History’s Most Notorious Hijackings’ (History Hit): https://www.historyhit.com/from-the-bizarre-to-the-deadly-historys-most-notorious-hijackings/

• What is the origin of the word ‘hijack’? (The Guardian): https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-1420,00.html

• ‘The First Ever Flight Hijacking in History’ (Histographics, 2021):

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