Eastern Airlines Hijackings

EAL Flight 224, November1968 in Birmingham

 Captain Estan Fuller

By Dorothy C. Gagnon, Webmaster

The Pilot, Captain Estan Fuller and the First Officer, Boyd Connally disarmed a hijacker, November 1, 1968, aboard the Eastern Airlines Flight 224 that was hijacked at the Birmingham, Alabama airport.

A young 17 year old boy who was a passenger that boarded the plane in Mobile, identified later as Roget Pastorcich, had brought an un-assembled sawed-off shotgun in his carry-on bag. Fifteen passengers disembarked the plane, but he did not. He hurriedly assembled it after landing in Birmingham, and then made his move when he saw Captain Estan Fuller walking down the corridor. He followed the Captain into the cockpit and held the gun on both he and the First Officer, demanding they fly him to Saigon.

The Pilot tried to keep the boy talking as they saw one of the Eastern Ramp Serviceman, W. L. “Bill” Dobbs, who was working in the interior of the plane, approaching behind the boy and the FO was watching the gun. Bill tackled the boy and the FO knocked the gun upwards, grabbed the gun and they held the boy until FBI authorities came.