TDISH: A Dangerous Precedent

On July 16, 1948, a small commercial seaplane took off from Macau for a short trip to Hong Kong.  The plane, the Miss Macao, was a modified Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina and was making what should have been a routine run, transporting wealthy passengers from the Portuguese-held Macau to the British-owned Hong Kong.  Somewhere over the Pearl River estuary, four of the 23 passengers rushed the cockpit and, in what amounted to a smash-and-grab attempt, tried to rob the wealthy passengers of their valuables.  In the struggle ensued, both pilots were shot and killed, causing the plane to nosedive into the sea below.  The impact killed 25 of the 26 people on board, with the only survivor being Wong Yu, the confessed leader of the plot.  This tragedy marked the first time a commercial plane would ever be hijacked.  Unfortunately, it would certainly not be the last.

On This Day: First Commercial Flight Hijacked.” Finding Dulcinea. 16 July 2010.
Featured Image: “PBY-5 Catalina.” By U.S. Navy – Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-14896 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command, Public Domain.

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