The day in 1973 that changed air travel forever

On 5th January 1973 air travel changed forever, for the better. From this day every passenger who flew by airplane had to be security screened before they boarded their flight and these procedures have been improving year-by-year to make travelling by air as safe as possible. These security rules were a long time coming as airlines had been resistant to screening, as they thought this might dampen the rapid growth of air travel. However by 1972, everyone agreed something had to be put in place because in years prior to this the US experienced a “skyjacking epidemic”.

As Brendan I. Koerner notes in his excellent best-selling book “The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking”, nearly 160 US airplanes were hijacked by desperate and deluded individuals between May 1961 and January 1973. Airport security was so lax, that opportunists simply walked up, bought a ticket, boarded a airplane and commandeered it. Most skyjackers demanded money and safe passage to Cuba. Every single one got caught or arrested apart from one individual named DB Cooper who’s story is known by every aviation enthusiast in the world.

Our new AR game, Skyjacker, harks back to the late 60’s and early 70’s allowing the gamer to commandeer airplanes and battle it out with other skyjackers worldwide in a bid to become the most notorious in the world. When you play Skyjacker, you earn money and notoriety based on how far you fly, which airplanes you commandeer and what airport you choose to land at, and there’s not an x-ray scanner in sight.

Skyjacker is now out on Beta, so if you’re an opportunist with a smart phone, sign up at http://www.playskyjacker.com.

For more about skyjacking and the impact of security measures, read this great article: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/skyjacking/

Otherwise, enjoy Charlton Heston smoking a pipe in the trailer for the 1972 film “Skyjacked”…


Originally published at www.playskyjacker.com.

“Skyjacker — We Own the Skies” is a location-based augmented-reality flight tracking strategy game inspired by the legendary tale of DB Cooper’s daring Northwest Airlines skyjack in 1971. Using live real-world flight data, gamers can claim aircraft flying overhead, battle opponents, divert flights and unlock achievements as they fly to become the most notorious skyjacker in the world.