× The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is currently closed to in-person research, but is still fulfilling loan requests. For the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), visit vu.edu/coronavirus.
Search the Archive

Frontier Jet Hijacking #490986

NBC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 20, 1977
View other clips in this broadcast →

Material supplied by VTNA may be used for educational analysis or research only. Any editing, reproduction, publication, rebroadcast, public showing or public display may be prohibited by copyright laws. For any such use, please visit NBC NEWS Archives XPRESS.

(Studio) Frontier Airlines jet is hijacked this morning in Nebraska by suspected bank robber Thomas Michael Hannan, who forces plane to fly to Atlanta, where it now is. Among demands Hannan has made is release from jail of alleged accomplice in bank robbery.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Atlanta, Georgia) Live report from Atlanta airport. Details of events since plane reached Atlanta just after noon and negotiation attempts by FBI noted. Hannan has released 2 stewardesses, but refuses to talk to parents, brother or attorney, who have been brought here. Hijacker keeps asking to talk to George David Stewart, prisoner he's demanded released, but FBI has refused.
REPORTER: Kenley Jones

(Studio) Hijacking begins in Grand Island, Nebraska, when Hannan forced way aboard plane with shotgun. Plane was to go to Kansas City, didn't have enough fuel to go to Atlanta, so landed in Kansas City for refueling.
REPORTER: David Brinkley

(Kansas City, Missouri) Frontier flight was bound for Lincoln, Omaha and Denver; just before takeoff, gunman forced way by 2 security guards and onto plane. [Security guard Roy JENSEN - describes gunman's actions on forcing way thru.] There is some indication Hannan's family was at airport when incident occurred; some time later, they, along with local priest go to Atlanta to try to talk him out of plans. 1st stop is Kansas City International Airport, where plane refuels, and women, children and 2 men are released; one of men is old friend who happened to be on plane, other suffers heart condition. [Passenger Sherri [sic] JELINEK - knew it was hijacking before actual announcement on plane, because gunman walked up and down aisle. Was scared, but passengers and gunman remained calm. Hannan never spoke to anyone. Doesn't know why he let women and children off, but is worried with regard to husband and brother-in-law still on plane.]
REPORTER: Jackson Bain

(Studio) Hannan had no police record other than traffic violation until he and friend were arrested last month on charges of robbing bank.
REPORTER: David Brinkley

(Grand Island, Nebraska) Background report on Hannan, who grew up in Grand Island Friends' descriptions of Hannan during high school years noted; they say Vietnam war service and drugs changed him. [Mike HAMIK - says Hannan's brain was deteriorating each time he saw Hannan; notes closeness to Hannan in high school and college. Says Hannan never took drugs till he went to Vietnam.]

(Studio) Release of George David Stewart from jail in Mobile, Alabama, [sic] has been demanded by Hannan. police in Mobile describe Stewart as anti-Zionist who has demanded extermination of Jews, has been seen wearing Nazi uniforms and, at times, women's clothing.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Studio) It's FBI's responsibility if assault team is needed in situation like this. Good deal of time and effort has been spent in training for it.
REPORTER: David Brinkley

(DC) Has been learned that plane in Quantico, Virginia, has been used in program to train FBI agents and organization them into SWAT teams to intervene in plane hijackings. Plane is at FBI academy; details of training noted. Cities like Atlanta have more than one SWAT team. Mil. teams take over if such action needed outside country
REPORTER: Carl Stern

(Studio) Recap of events to present time in Frontier Airlines hijacking.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

Bain, Jackson;
Brinkley, David;
Chancellor, John;
Jones, Kenley;
Kur, Bob;
Stern, Carl

Note to sponsor members: The Vanderbilt Television News Archive video player requires a modern operating system and browser to work properly. If you are experiencing playback problems, check the minimum requirements and adjust your setup accordingly. After adjustments, if you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

Welcome! Above is the abstract of the item that you're interested in viewing from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive's collection. You have three options if you'd like to view this item:

  • You may request a loan of this video by registering on our website and placing an order.
  • You may visit the Television News Archive on the Vanderbilt campus to view on-site from the Archive's collection.
  • If you are associated with a college or university, you may ask your library if they would like to become a sponsor, which would give students and faculty at your institution the ability to view items from our collection.

If you believe that you are associated with a sponsoring college or university and have received this message in error, please let us know.