Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961: the pilot is forced to ditch his plane into the ocean after being hijacked and running out of fuel.




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Episode credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Horace Abel ...
Michael Oddenyo
Flight Attendant
Matthew G. Brown ...
Hijacker #1 (as Matthew Brown)
Robel Ambaye ...
Hijacker #2
Khareme Lambie ...
Hijacker #3
Captain Abate
Air Traffic Controller
Syd Haque ...
Mo Amin
Edgar George ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leul Abate ...
Himself - Airplane Captain
Mo Amin ...
Himself (archive footage)
Michael Buerk ...
Himself - BBC Correspondent
Gregory Feith ...
Himself - National Transportation Safety Board Investigator
Clint Van Zandt ...
Himself - FBI Hostage Negotiator


Armed with an axe and a fire extinguisher, three men hijack Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 on November 23, 1996 - killing 125. Through first-person accounts from the 52 survivors, Air Emergency recreates this horrific and terrifying flight that crashes into the ocean off the coast of Africa. NGC shows you how the pilot tricks the hijackers by unsuspectingly changing the flight route demanded and recounts his heroic emergency landing attempt. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

hijack | airplane crash | mayday | See All (3) »





Release Date:

10 July 2006 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

19 February 2017 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

1990s. An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet takes off from North Africa with enough fuel to reach its next stop, where it will refuel for its next run. It's a common practice to carry no more fuel than is necessary because it improves efficiency. The pilots are experienced. There is nothing wrong with the airplane. The day is bright and sunny.

Three men, recently escaped from prison and of no ideological affiliation, burst into the cabin with the fire ax, clobber the co-pilot, and demand to be flown to Australia. Australia is eleven hours away and the plane has fuel for two hours of flight. The hijackers don't believe it. They produce a little brochure boasting that this jet can fly for eleven hours. True, says the captain, but they aren't carrying a full load of fuel. They insist on Australia or death.

The clever captain fools them for a time but runs out of fuel off the shores of the Commoros Islands, a popular resort. The crash is captured on film. It's skillful enough, given the clunky airframe but most of the passengers panic and drown.

It's not a detective story but rather a dramatic tale of three nuts and one talented pilot. Two of the survivors and the pilot himself provide the details of the event. It happened before the 9/11 attacks so the cabin doors were open. They've since been sealed off from the passenger cabin.

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