Pan Am Flight 281

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Pam Am Flight 281
Hijack summary
Date November 24, 1968
Summary Aircraft hijacking
Site USA and Cuba
Passengers Unknown
Crew Unknown
Survivors All
Aircraft type Boeing 707[1]
Operator Pan Am
Flight origin JFK International Airport, NY, USA
Stopover Havana, Cuba
Destination San Juan, Puerto Rico

Pan Am Flight 281 was a regularly scheduled Pan American World Airways flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was hijacked on November 24, 1968, by 4 men from JFK International Airport, New York to Havana, Cuba.[2][3] Fighter jet followed plane to Cuba. [4]

Two of the hijackers were apprehended in the 1970s. Jose Rafael Rios Cruz was arrested in 1975; Miguel Castro was captured in 1976. Both pleaded guilty; Cruz was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Castro to 12.

A third hijacker, Luis Armando Peña Soltren, lived as a fugitive in Cuba. In October 2009, he voluntarily returned to the United States and surrendered to federal authorities. He pleaded guilty to the hijacking on March 18, 2010.[5] On January 4, 2011 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, without the possibility of parole.[6]

Alejandro Figueroa, a woman charged as a co-conspirator in the case, was acquitted in 1969.


  1. ^ "15-Year Sentence for 1968 Hijacking". The New York Times. 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Suspect in 1968 hijacking at JFK is captured". 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Man arrested in '68 hijacking of flight from NY". The Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  4. ^ "With arrest, memories of hijacking ordeal flood back". The Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  5. ^ "Hijacker of Pan American Flight 281 Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court". FBI. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  6. ^ "US man given 15 years for 1968 Cuba hijack". BBC News. 2011-01-04.