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Mayday: Fight for Your Life (2005)
5 (1 vote)

Mayday: Fight for Your Life (2005)

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April 7, 1994: FedEx Flight 705 experiences an unsuccessful hijacking. The McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 was a cargo jet flying out of Memphis, Tennessee heading for San Jose, California. Auburn Calloway was then a 42-year-old FedEx flight engineer. He was a former Navy pilot and an alumnus of Stanford University. He was in danger of being terminated over irregularities in his reporting of flight hours.

Calloway hoped to disguise the hijacking as an accident so his family could receive $2.5 million in life insurance. He intended to murder the crew using blunt force and came aboard the plane with two claw hammers, two sledge hammers, and a spear gun hidden inside a guitar case. Just before the flight, Calloway transferred $54,000 in securities and cashier checks to his ex-wife. He also carried on his person a note written to her telling of his despair. He was permitted aboard as a deadheading passenger, a practice allowing members of the airline’s flight crew to travel without charge when they are not working.

He planned to disable the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) by tripping a circuit breaker but it was noticed during the pre-flight check and was reset before takeoff. If he had been able to kill the crew, all he would have needed to do was fly for 30 minutes to erase it since it worked on a 30 minute loop. About 20 minutes after takeoff, with the crew in the midst of casual conversation, Calloway entered the flight deck and began his attack. All three crewmembers were struck several times. Both Peterson and Tucker suffered fractured skulls and Peterson also had a severed temporal artery. The crew fought back while Tucker, also an ex-Navy pilot, performed extreme aerial maneuvers.

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FedEx Flight 705 @ Wikipedia