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American Airlines Flight 444

American Airlines Flight 444
Boeing 727-223 of American Airlines Chicago O'Hare.jpg
N844AA, an American Airlines Boeing 727-223 identical to the one involved in the incident. This 727 was also involved in an incident in 2003
DateNovember 15, 1979
SummaryBombing (attempted)
Sitenear Washington Dulles International Airport
38°57′11″N 77°27′00″W / 38.953°N 77.450°W / 38.953; -77.450
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-223
OperatorAmerican Airlines
Flight originChicago O'Hare International Airport
DestinationWashington National Airport
Survivors78 (all)

American Airlines Flight 444 was a Boeing 727 flying from Chicago to Washington, D.C.'s National Airport, which, on November 15, 1979, was attacked by the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. The bomb planted in the cargo hold caused "a sucking explosion and a loss of pressure," which was then followed by large quantities of smoke filling the passenger cabin, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport.[1][2] Twelve passengers had to be treated afterward for smoke inhalation.[2] It was later determined that the bomb was powerful enough to have destroyed the aircraft if it had worked correctly.

This was not the first Unabomber attack, but it was the attack which led to the FBI investigation into the Unabomber, as airliner bombing is a federal crime.


  1. ^ "Bomb Jolts Jet". The Washington Post. 1979-11-16. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  2. ^ a b O'Brien, John (1986-03-04). "Federal, State Officials Team Up To Hunt Creator Of 11 Bombs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-12-12.

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