American Airlines Flight 444

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American Airlines Flight 444
Boeing 727-223 of American Airlines Chicago O'Hare.jpg
An American Airlines Boeing 727-223 identical to the one involved in the incident.
Date November 15, 1979
Summary Bombing (attempted)
Aircraft type Boeing 727-223
Operator American Airlines
Flight origin Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Destination Washington National Airport
Passengers 72
Crew 6
Fatalities 0
Injuries 12
Survivors 78 (all)

American Airlines Flight 444 was a Boeing 727 flying from Chicago to Washington, D.C.'s National Airport, which, on November 15, 1979, was attacked by the Unabomber. The bomb planted in the cargo hold caused "a sucking explosion and a loss of pressure," which was then followed by large quantities of smoke filling the passenger cabin, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport.[1][2] Twelve passengers had to be treated afterward for smoke inhalation.[2] It was later determined that the bomb was powerful enough to have destroyed the aircraft if it had worked correctly.

This was not the first Unabomber attack, but it was the attack which led to the FBI investigation into the Unabomber, as airliner bombing is a federal crime.


  1. ^ "Bomb Jolts Jet". The Washington Post. 1979-11-16. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  2. ^ a b O'Brien, John (1986-03-04). "Federal, State Officials Team Up To Hunt Creator Of 11 Bombs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 

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Coordinates: 38°57′11″N 77°27′00″W / 38.953°N 77.450°W / 38.953; -77.450