Hero of hijacked plane dies at 84
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 8:49 PM

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Ferruggio, an in-flight director on the plane, took control of the situation on the Pan American World Airways Flight 93, which was supposed to go from Amsterdam to New York, The Boston Globe reported.

The plane was the fourth New York-bound jet in a coordinated set of hijackings Sept. 6, 1970, by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The plane was diverted to Cairo, where, the hijackers told Ferruggio, it would explode minutes after landing.

"At no time was there any panic. We tried to make (the hijackers) feel relaxed. We joked and kidded and told them we wouldn't charge them for the extra fare to Beirut," Ferruggio said.

Ferruggio said he told the attendants: "Now hear this and hear it good. When this plane comes to a complete stop ... don't wait for me, don't wait for the captain, and don't wait for Jesus Christ. We are going to evacuate this plane, like right now.''

Everyone escaped the plane seconds before it exploded.

"John often talked about the possibility of being hijacked, but always flippantly. He would say, 'Oh, well, I'll go down to Cuba to get my cigars,'" said his wife, Susan.

Ferruggio is survived by his wife, three daughters and six grandchildren.

(Source: UPI )
 

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