Date: March 7, 1972

Flight Info: National Airlines Flight 67 from New York to Miami, with scheduled stops in Melbourne, Fla., Tampa, and Palm Beach.

The Story: A 14-year-old ninth grader with no history of legal trouble, McKee stole his father’s .22-caliber revolver and headed for the Tampa airport. Once there, he pulled the gun on a National ticket agent and said, “I’m hijacking you and the plane, let’s go.” Once he had been escorted to the waiting Boeing 727, he demanded passage to Sweden. When advised that the plane didn’t have the range necessary to cross the Atlantic, however, McKee lost his focus and became easily manipulated. The captain first convinced the teen to release all of the passengers, then tricked him into stepping out of the plane to continue the negotiations. Once he unwisely exited the jet, McKee was overpowered by waiting security officers.

The Upshot: The incident proved especially embarrassing for McKee’s father, who had formerly worked security at the White House. At his arraignment, the teen claimed that he had gotten the idea for the hijacking by watching TV. He was released into his parents’ custody and criminal charges were dismissed the following year.


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