Cablegate Chronicles: The Plane and the Shopping Mall

More

This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The button below will take you to another random episode.

new story button.png


A strange plane hijacking in Brazil.

FROM: BRASILIA, BRAZIL
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: MARCH 28, 2009
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET//NOFORN
SEE FULL CABLE

¶1. (S/NF) Ref B describes a March 12 incident in which a small private aircraft was stolen at gunpoint in Luziania (approximately 23 miles from Brasilia) and after two hours was intentionally crashed into a parking lot of a shopping mall in Goiania, approximately 90 miles from Brasilia. The incident was notable in that it provoked a rare activation of Brazil's shootdown procedures (described in ref a). Given the plane's proximity to the federal capital and lack of any flight plan, Brasilia Air Traffic Control notified Air Defense Control, which scrambled planes from Anapolis Air Base to intercept, observe and try to communicate (details in ref b). When the plane suddenly steered for a densely populated area and a large shopping mall, controllers began to view it as a threat. With the possibility that the stolen plane could be used as a weapon, Air Defense Command briefed Air Force Chief Brigadeiro Junito Saito. Saito then contacted Defense Minister Jobim and President Lula about the possibility of ordering a shootdown should there be a threat to civilians. During the discussion, the pilot went down in the mall parking lot.
Browse the Cablegate Chronicle archive.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Where the Wildest Things Are

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In