The true story behind Netflix’s ‘The Hijacking of Flight 601’


The panorama

  • Medellín Aeronautical Society Flight 601 was hijacked shortly after taking off from Pereira, not Bogotá, by two males aiming for Cuba.
  • The hijackers of Flight 601 weren’t guerrillas however Paraguayans who hoped to succeed as soccer gamers.
  • The 60-hour ordeal ended when the hijackers deserted the aircraft in Buenos Aires after touchdown in a number of nations.

The golden age of airplane hijacking. That is the brand new Netflix collection, The hijacking of flight 601, describes the interval between 1968 and 1973. In a textual content that seems simply earlier than this system’s title card, whereas a Spanish model of “The Home of the Rising Solar” by Los Animales performs within the background, it’s defined that Throughout this time, 348 planes had been hijacked worldwide, with greater than half of the circumstances occurring in Latin America. Of those a whole bunch of kidnappings, seventeen occurred in Colombia. It’s on this context that the plot of The hijacking of flight 601 It’s established. Created by Prince CS and Pablo GonzalezThe six-episode miniseries goals to let you knowThe story of the longest of those kidnappings.that of its titular flight, which started on Could 30, 1973, within the Colombian metropolis of Pereira, and ended greater than two days later, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It’s a story with sturdy ties to the actual world: Prince and González didn’t devise their plot from scratch, however relatively primarily based it on The actual hijacking of flight 601 of the Medellín Aeronautical Society (SAM)an occasion that caught the eye of the Colombian public within the early 70s. With their due creative liberties, the 2 showrunners focus their story on a pair of stewardesses, Edilma (Monica Lopera) and Barbara (Angela Cano) who’re despatched to the hijacked aircraft to assist deal with the passengers who’ve turn out to be hostages. The collection additionally focuses on the pilot and co-pilot duo, Richard Wilches (Christian Tappan) and Guillermo Luis Lequerica (johan rivera), and concerning the supervisor of his fictitious airline firm Aerobolívar, Pirateque (Enrique Carriazo), in addition to, after all, concerning the two accountable for the crime, Borja (Valentin Villafañe) and Solano (Allan Deveta). With a unusual humorousness mixed with thrilling urgency, The hijacking of flight 601 It’s a charming collection. However what’s the actual story behind this system? What actually occurred within the hours following the takeoff of SAM Flight 601?

The Hijacking of Flight 601 Netflix Poster

The hijacking of flight 601 (2024)

Throughout a transatlantic flight, passengers and crew face a horrible state of affairs when armed hijackers take management of the aircraft. As negotiations unfold on the bottom, these on board should come collectively to formulate a plan, testing their braveness and endurance in an intense battle for survival.

Launch date
April 10, 2024

Mónica Lopera, Christian Tappan, Ángela Cano, Enrique Carriazo, Marcela Benjumea, Johan Rivera, Carlos Vesga, Ilena Antonini, Valentin Villafañe, Alián Devetac, Juan Pablo Raba

Fundamental style


Camilo Príncipe, Pablo González, Miguel Fajardo, Verónica Triana

Streaming service(s)

Camilo Príncipe and Pablo González

Camilo Príncipe and Pablo González

Flight 601 was hijacked shortly after takeoff

To start out, there are some issues that have to be clarified. In keeping with the BBC and the creator. Massimo Di Ricco, there weren’t a whole bunch of aircraft hijackings in Latin America between the late 60s and early 70s, however round 90. Moreover, the variety of folks on board flight 601 was not 43, however 84, counting passengers and crew members. Lastly, in contrast to what’s proven within the collection, Flight 601 didn’t depart from Bogotá, however from the aforementioned metropolis of Pereira. The aircraft, a Lockheed Electra HK-1274, entered a very new flight zone when two males rose from their seats with weapons drawn and their faces lined and introduced the hijacking. The plan, the pilot and co-pilot believed, was to take the aircraft to Cuba. Oh, and likewise to get about $200,000 and safe the liberty of a bunch of political prisoners.

Answerable for the e-book The Wretched of the Air (The Condened of the Air), which tells the story of Flight 601, Di Ricco said that the hijackers noticed Cuba as a sort of utopia through which they may reside in response to their communist beliefs. And, actually, in 1973, the island represented a protected haven for a lot of in Latin America. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, quite a few US-backed army dictatorships emerged throughout the continent. In 1973, for instance, Chile can be the sufferer of one of many bloodiest regimes of its variety. Now, together with these dictatorships, guerrilla teams additionally started to emerge all through South and Central America. guerrilla teams that had been usually those behind flight hijackings like SAM 601.

Colombia was not beneath a army dictatorship on the time of the kidnapping, nevertheless it had its justifiable share of rebel organizations. Certainly one of them was the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN). It was to this group that the 2 kidnappers informed the captain they belonged.. In keeping with Di Ricco, the ELN had been making the rounds within the Colombian media on the time because of the arrest of quite a few artists and college professors suspected of collaborating within the guerrilla. “They most likely mentioned, ‘Let’s use well-known political prisoners to divert their consideration,'” Di Ricco mentioned. “However they did not actually care about any of that.”

The hijackers of flight 601 had been probably not guerrillas

A stewardess, played by Mónica Lopera, talks nervously to a group of passengers in The Hijacking of Flight 601
Picture through Netflix

Di Ricco says this as a result of, when the id of the abductors was revealed, folks knew that they weren’t truly concerned with the ELN or every other political group. It seems that they had been truly two Paraguayans who had moved to Colombia hoping to make a reputation for themselves as footballers. Nonetheless, Francisco Solano López and Eusebio Borja quickly discovered themselves in a determined state of affairs, and hijacking a aircraft appeared one of the best ways out of their state of affairs. Solano was arrested by the Paraguayan police simply 5 days after the top of the kidnapping. Borja, for his half, was by no means discovered.

Through the 60 hours and greater than 13 thousand miles that Flight 601 spent within the air, Colombian authorities refused to barter with the hijackers. All of the exhausting work was left to the airline officers, who provided a $20,000 ransom to the abductors. Finally, The 2 events reached a settlement of $50,000which was delivered by new crew members who boarded the aircraft in Aruba because the pilot and co-pilot had been too drained to renew the flight.

In actuality, Aruba was the ultimate vacation spot desired by Borja and Solano, not Cuba, as Captain Jaime Lucena had guessed. And, for about ten hours, Flight 601 did stay stranded on the Oranjestad airport, on the Caribbean island. Throughout this time period, The abductors noticed match to launch all the ladies and youngsters. who had been among the many passengers, since circumstances had been starting to weigh on them. In keeping with Di Ricco, a bunch of motorcyclists was additionally launched.

The hijackers then tried to divert the aircraft to Lima, the capital of Peru, however the plane needed to return to Aruba as a result of technical difficulties. It was then that one other group of passengers bought off: Among the passengers merely opened the emergency door and jumped out of the aircraft. to the observe. Flight 601 would additionally land for the third time in Aruba as a result of lack of gas.

The hijacking of flight 601 ended 60 hours later, in Buenos Aires

That is when the brand new crew boarded the aircraft with the money. After this occasion, the aircraft left for Lima, the place one other group of passengers was launched. Solely the crew and hijackers remained on board when the aircraft landed in Mendoza, Argentina., after which in Resistencia, close to the border with Paraguay. Lastly, the aircraft made a short stopover in Asunción, the Paraguayan capital, after which headed to Ezeiza airport, in Buenos Aires.

Nonetheless, when flight 601 lastly arrived in Ezeiza, there have been not kidnappers on board. They’d left Asunción and Resistencia, every with half of the cash that the brand new crew had given them. In keeping with Di Ricco, they initially wished two of the flight attendants to accompany them as collateral, however they finally agreed to go alone. This led many on the time to suspect the aircraft crew themselves, however doubts had been quickly dispelled when Solano was arrested. As for Borja, effectively, Di Ricco wonders why he hasn’t turn out to be some sort of fable, one thing like DB Cooper. Who is aware of? Now {that a} TV present has been made about him, perhaps that is his probability.

The hijacking of flight 601 is out there to stream on Netflix within the US.

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