United Airlines Flight 696

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United Airlines Flight 696
Hijack
Date March 13, 1978
Summary Aircraft hijacking
Site Oakland, California; Denver, Colorado
Aircraft
Aircraft type Boeing 727
Operator United Airlines
Flight origin San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California
1st stopover Oakland, California
Last stopover Denver, Colorado
Destination Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington
Injuries 3
Survivors All 75

United Airlines Flight 696 was a flight from San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, to Seattle, Washington, with 75 people in board. After takeoff from San Francisco, Clay Thomas hijacked the Boeing 727, demanding the plane land in Oakland, California, and fuel up for a flight to Cuba. The crew negotiated the release of all the passengers and cabin crew while on the ground in Oakland waiting for fuel. Panicked by the sight of police vehicles, Thomas cut the fueling short and demanded an immediate departure to Cuba. Once the plane was airborne, the pilot explained that the aircraft still did not have enough fuel to reach Cuba, and Thomas agreed to land in Denver, Colorado, for more fuel. About 90 minutes after landing, the three members of the cockpit crew all jumped to safety from the open cockpit windows, all suffering injuries in the 18-foot (5.5-meter) jump. Within five minutes of the escape and without hostages, Thomas meekly surrendered to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.[1] Thomas is currently[when?] incarcerated in a mental Institution in Colorado.[citation needed]


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