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1408. Attempted Aircraft Piracy

The Anti-hijacking Act of 1974 (Pub. L. No. 93-366) amended the predecessor statute, i.e., former 49 U.S.C. App. §  1472(i), to specifically include a provision dealing with attempts to hijack aircraft not yet "in flight" in order to avoid the jurisdictional problem encountered in United States v. Pliskow, 480 F.2d 927 (6th Cir. 1973). Thus, an attempt to seize control of an aircraft is punishable whether the aircraft is actually in flight, is moving on the ground, or is parked so long as the aircraft would have been in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States if the air piracy had been completed.

The defendant's possession of a bottle filled with gasoline while attempting to board an aircraft was sufficient evidence of the defendant's state of "armed readiness" sufficient to sustain a conviction for attempted aircraft piracy. See United States v. Vigil-Montanel, 753 F.2d 996 (11th Cir. 1985).

[cited in USAM 9-63.100]

Updated December 7, 2018