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Skyjacker

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  1. Quoted Text:

    Date: January 20, 1972

    Flight Info: Hughes Airwest Flight 800 from Las Vegas to Reno.

    The Story: A former Army paratrooper, the 23-year-old LaPoint commandeered the DC-9 by claiming to have a bomb. He asked for and received a $50,000 ransom in Reno, as well as two parachutes and a crash helmet. He then directed the plane to fly over northeastern Colorado, where he bailed out. LaPoint’s great mistake was jumping in inflexible boots; upon hitting the frozen earth at 80 miles per hour, he sprained his ankle so badly that he was unable to move. FBI agents quickly located him in a wheat field thanks to a radio transmitter they had hidden on his parachute.

    The Upshot: Sentenced to 40 years in prison.

    Check out THE SKIES BELONG TO US

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