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The hijacking of Finnair Flight 405 in photographs

black and white photograph, a plane at night on an airport runway

Photos capturing dramatic scenes of Finland's first-ever airline hijack

by
Adrian Murphy (opens in new window) (Europeana Foundation)

In the autumn of 1978, a dramatic airline hijacking took place in Finland - it was the first ever plane hijacking in Finland.

The scenes at Helsinki airport were captured by photographer Hannu Lindroos, which are now part of the collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency.

black and white photograph of an airplane at an airport with a police car nearby

Finnair Flight 405 - a domestic flight between Oulu and Helsinki with 44 passengers - was hijacked on 30 September 1978 by Aarno Lamminparras, a 37-year-old unemployed building contractor.

Black and white photograph. Two people, whose backs are to the camera, are in an airport. They embrace while sitting on seats and looking at a hijacked plane outside.

Threatening the cabin crew with a loaded pistol, Lamminparras demanded ransom money and forced the pilots to fly the plane between Helsinki and Oulu. With ransom money paid and some hostages released, Lamminparras then demanded that the pilots fly to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, where the plane refueled.

Then, returning to Helsinki, the remainder of Lamminparras's ransom demands were met and more hostages were released. Then the plane returned to Oulu.

Black and white photograph. Two men whose backs are to the camera stand before a group of people from the media. The man on the right holds a black hat, while the man on the right holds a suitcase.
black and white photograph, a man who wears a suit and tie and dark-rimmed glasses, is speaking to a group of people from the media

Lamminparras's final demands included four bottles of whiskey, a chauffeured limousine and 24 hours alone at home with his wife. Having agreed to this, the final hostages were released. Lamminparras was arrested at his home on 1 October 1978, and later sentenced to seven years in prison.

As this was the first time this had happened in Finland, the event attracted a lot of media attention, which Lindroos's photography captures.

black and white photograph, a group of media professionals looking out of airport windows at an airplane
black and white photograph, two men in profile are speaking to each other
black and white photograph, a man sitting on a seat while speaking on a telephone
black and white photograph, a group of people standing and talking in an airport
black and white photograph of a man using a camera with a large lens on a tripod