January 18 – After its nose wheel locks in the up position, Eastern Air Lines Flight 274, a Boeing 727-25, makes a two-point landing at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, without injury to any of the 76 people on board and with only minor damage to the airliner.
A Belgian force of 1,171 paratroopers arrives at Kamina, Zaire, in Belgian aircraft to intervene in the Shaba II crisis.
Paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion jump into Kolwezi, Zaire, from three French Transall C-160 and four Zairian C-130 Hercules aircraft to intervene against separatists during the Shaba II crisis, meeting little organized resistance.
Belgian troops land unopposed the airfield at Kolwezi after Zairian ground forces have seized it. Additional French Foreign Legion paratroopers jump over Kolwezi later in the day.
May 23 – Tu-144D experienced an in-flight failure during a pre-delivery test flight, and crash-landed with crew fatalities.
May 24 – Barbara Ann Oswaldhijacks a St. Louis, Missouri-based charter helicopter and orders its pilot, Allen Barklage, to fly it to United States Penitentiary, Marion, in Marion, Illinois, so that her husband, Garrett B. Trapnell – imprisoned there for a 1972 airliner hijacking – can escape. Barklage wrestles Oswald 's gun from her as he lands the helicopter in the prison yard and shoots her to death. In December, her daughter Robin Oswald will hijack an airliner in an unsuccessful attempt to get Trapnell released.
May 31 – U.S. Air Force C-141 Starlifter aircraft begin to transport French and Belgian troops as they withdraw from their intervention in the Shaba II affair in Zaire. Simultaneously, the C-141s begin airlift support for troops from Gabon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Senegal, and Togo as they deploy into Shaba on peacekeeping duties.
September 30 – Aarno Lamminparras, an unemployed home building contractor, hijacks Finnair Flight 405, a Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle with 47 other people on board flying from Oulu to Helsinki, Finland. At Helsinki, he allows 34 passengers off the plane, which he then forces to fly back to Oulu, where he receives a ransom payment from Finnair, then back to Helsinki, where he receives more money from a Finnish newspaper and releases the remaining 11 passengers. The aircraft then flies to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, refuels, and returns to Helsinki for more ransom money from the newspaper before flying on to Oulu, where he releases his final three hostages in exchange for a chauffeuredlimousine ride home and 24 hours alone with his wife. Police storm his house and arrest him.
December 21 – Seventeen-year-old Robin Oswald hijacksTrans World Airlines Flight 541, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 with 87 people on board, threatening to blow up the airliner if her father is not released from prison. The aircraft makes an emergency landing at Williamson County Regional Airport in Marion, Illinois, where authorities talk her into surrendering without further incident. Her father, Garrett B. Trapnell, had been imprisoned for a 1972 airliner hijacking and her mother, Barbara Ann Oswald, Trapnell 's wife, had been killed when she hijacked a helicopter in May 1978 in order to help him escape from prison.