Monday, June 1, 2015

May 25, 2000: Augusto Lakandula Hijacked Philippine Airlines plane and Escaped Using A Homemade Parachute!

On May 25, 2000, a Filipino first identified as “Augusto Lakandula” based on his plane ticket (later identified as Reginald Chua), hijacked Philippine Airlines Flight 812 en route from Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, carrying 278 passengers and 13 crew members on board. After collecting the passengers’ money and other valuables, the suspect jumped at 6,000 feet from the plane’s rear door using a homemade parachute.

Body of Augusto Lakandula as photographed by morgue attendants in Manila 
The body of "Lakandula"/Chua was later recovered about 40 miles east of Manila by local officials in Real, Quezon nearly buried in mud with his belt bag containing cash and jewelry reportedly missing. The remains of his homemade parachute was recovered about a kilometer away from where his body was found.


There was a bit of a comical twist to the otherwise horrifying incident after Chua was able to secure his loot and was about to escape with it. The hijacker who appeared to be deranged, wearing a ski mask, swimming goggles and was armed with a grenade and pistol,  commanded the pilot to descend and depressurize the airplane so the door could be opened, allowing him to escape using a makeshift parachute.Just before his jump, the hijacker asked the crew to show him how to do it using a nylon parachute he brought with him. Seeing that the make shift parachute apparently had no rip cord, one of the pilots took a curtain sash and attached it to the homemade parachute. The hijacker finally jumped at 6,000 feet from the plane’s left rear door while the aircraft was circling 13 miles from Manila. A flight attendant pushed him out of the door so he could escape against the strong force of the air. He reportedly separated from the parachute in midair and plunged to his death somewhere on a mountain in Quezon.

Philippine Aiirlines Flight 812 hijacking
The plane landed with the door still open after the hijacker’s dramatic exit. 
With it’s rear door still opened, the plane finally landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. All passengers and crew members arrived safe.

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