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1423. Destruction Of Aircraft -- 18 U.S.C. 32(a)

Jurisdiction over acts relating to the destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities extends to "any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States." The term "special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States" is defined in 49 U.S.C. § 46501(2) (formerly section 101(38) of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C.App. § 1301(38))). See this Manual at 1405.

It is implicit in the kind of conduct prohibited by paragraph (1) of section 32(a) (setting fire to, damaging, destroying or disabling any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction) that such acts are likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft. The acts described in paragraph (1) can have no other result. Because the acts prohibited by paragraphs (2) through (6) of § 32(a) might have other results, however, Congress believed it necessary to state explicitly that these paragraphs criminalize only that conduct that is likely to threaten the safety of the aircraft. Thus, paragraphs (2), (3), and (5) prohibit certain conduct that is "likely to endanger the safety of any such aircraft." Paragraph (4) requires that the defendant act "with the intent to damage, destroy, or disable" such aircraft. Paragraph (6), relating to the communication of false information, requires that the communication actually endanger the aircraft's safety. Paragraph (7) prohibits any attempt or conspiracy (as of April 24, 1996) to violate paragraphs (1) through (6).

[updated August 1999] [cited in JM 9-63.200]

Updated January 17, 2020