Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
American Airlines Flight 63
American Airlines Flight 63 is a flight from Paris, France's Charles De Gaulle International Airport to Miami, Florida's Miami International Airport. A failed bombing attempt occurred on this flight on December 22, 2001.
During this flight on December 22, as it was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, Richard Reid -- an Islamic fundamentalist from the United Kingdom, and alleged Al Qaeda operative -- packed explosives in his shoe and attempted to detonate them to blow a hole in the aircraft. A flight attendant sniffed sulfur and caught him attempting to light a match on the tongue of his sneaker. She tried grabbing his shoes, but he pushed her to the floor, and she screamed for help. When another flight attendant tried to stop him, he fought her and bit her thumb. The 6 foot 4 inch (193cm) Reid was eventually subdued by other passengers on the airliner, and two French doctors injected him with sedative drugs. Many of the passengers were aware of the situation when the pilot announced that the flight was to be diverted to Boston, Massachusetts's Logan International Airport. Two fighter jets escorted Flight 63 to Logan Airport.
The plane was parked in the middle of the runway. Reid was arrested on the ground while the rest of the passengers were bused to the main terminal. Authorities later found plastic explosives hidden in the lining of his shoes. He was later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
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