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[00:00:00]

It was an ordinary flight from Portland to Seattle, turned to extraordinary when a man in black registered as D.B. Cooper made a bomb threat. The infamous D.B. Cooper hijacking occurred in the fall of 1971 at the height of an epidemic. During the six year span between 1967 and 1972, more than 300 commercial airplanes were hijacked worldwide with over one hundred and thirty of those occurring in the United States alone. This was the golden age of skyjacking. But it's Cooper's hijacking that we remember because he provided the blueprint for how to pull it off and get away.

[00:00:49]

When I decided that I would skyjack a plane, I started to make preparations for which airport I would grab a plane from.

[00:00:58]

Six months after Cooper's legendary heist, a small time crook from Detroit would attempt his own bigger and bolder skyjacking score.

[00:01:08]

Just grab a weapon, grab a no, go on a plane and order all the stuff you need parachutes, money and bail out. This decision would set in motion one of the most epic American true crime sagas in history. I said, OK, this is it.

[00:01:33]

One involving multiple aircraft hijackings.

[00:01:36]

So he reached back and grabbed her gun. They started wrestling while they're doing that. The aircraft starts falling out of the sky.

[00:01:43]

And I do remember the fear. It was very scary.

[00:01:46]

Prison escapes were running at full speed. I'm thinking, Deb, that any moment here we could get shot in the back.

[00:01:53]

She had told him what the previous plan was for a prison break and she had a gun life risking heroics.

[00:01:59]

I jumped on top of him and tried to grab his hands because he had a bomb. He had to act on instinct. And coming from Vietnam, the battle in him just kicked in and sheer madness.

[00:02:11]

It took off toward that airplane. And it was very, very clear to all of us. It's going to crash into that plane. Oh, my God.

[00:02:18]

He's going to his. From Imperative Entertainment and Pedalo Pictures, this is American Skyjacker, the final flight of Martin McNelly. So he came in my soul and this is how would you like to leave here in a helicopter?