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Hijacking survivor to discuss ‘cockpit courage’

FedEx Capt. Jim Tucker was flying in the right seat of a DC-10 on a cloudless spring day in 1994, when the trajectory of his life was suddenly and violently altered.

A suicidal coworker assaulted Tucker and two other crewmembers shortly after departure from Memphis International Airport, attempting to commandeer and crash the jet. “Center! Center! Emergency!” Tucker called to Memphis Center, later adding, “I’ve been wounded. We’ve had an attempted takeover onboard the airplane.” Find out from Tucker how the crew fought back and eventually landed, though seriously injured, and how he later returned to the skies as pilot in command of a Luscombe, at AOPA Aviation Summit.

In the AOPA Aviation Summit forum “Cockpit Courage” Friday, Nov. 12, at 11:30 a.m., Tucker will speak about the crew’s dramatic struggle for survival—at one point Tucker rolled the fully loaded, 500,000-pound aircraft nearly inverted to throw the attacker off balance. Tucker, Capt. David Sanders, and Flight Engineer Andy Peterson were awarded ALPA's Gold Medal for Heroism for their actions that day.

Get a chance to talk with Tucker in a more personal setting at a Thursday night dine-around dinner in downtown Long Beach. Tucker, a former U.S. Navy attack pilot, will join fellow veterans in “A Legacy of Service,” a dinner featuring military pilots such as Paco Chierici, F/A-18 pilot and movie producer of Speed & Angels; Jay Consalvi, F/A-18 pilot and Speed & Angels co-star; and Gabriel Glinski, V-22 Osprey combat pilot and U.S. Marine Corps captain. Attendees can register early for the limited-capacity event.

AOPA Aviation Summit takes place Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. Register now.

Read more about Tucker’s return to flight, and watch a video that includes audio from the events that fateful day, in the AOPA Pilot online feature “‘ My Salvation.’”— AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing staff
AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.

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