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Hikack Attempt Foiled

March 9, 1987

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A Cuban seeking to return to his homeland tried to hijack a jet bound from Seattle to Anchorage, but was subdued by the flight crew and tied up with neckties, seatbelts and twine, officials said.

Juan Tapanes, 30, was to be arraigned today on a charge of air piracy in the incident Saturday aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing 727, said FAA spokesman Paul Steucke.

According to Steucke, Flight 93 left Seattle at 10:43 a.m., and the pilot radioed at 12:30 p.m. that a hijacking was in progress. The plane, with 109 people aboard, landed here at 1:45 p.m.

″The hijacker was subdued and tied up by the time the plane landed,″ Steucke said.

Passenger Andy Henis, a pilot for World Airways, said the would-be hijacker apparently displayed something that looked like a weapon. But other passengers and Steucke said it appeared the man merely pointed his finger from beneath his clothes.

The man’s threats gained him access to the cockpit, where he was subdued by the co-pilot and flight engineer, Steucke said. The man was tied up with neckties, seatbelts and twine from a parcel carried on board by one of the travelers, passengers said.

Steucke said the FBI determined Tapanes left New York City and flew to Los Angeles on Friday. He took another Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle earlier Saturday, Steucke said.

Tapanes told the FBI he has been living in the United States for seven years, Steucke said.

The flight originated in Palm Springs and stopped in San Francisco before landing in Seattle.

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