Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog

Spider Crab

As if bathed in moonlight, a giant spider crab (Macrocheira kaemferi) is illuminated by a diver's lamp in Japan's Izu Oceanic Park. Protected from some predators by its hard exoskeleton, the creature—which can grow to ten feet (three meters) wide—can also blend in with the ocean floor. Under deeper cover, it can disappear beneath the sponges and other marine life it uses to adorn its shell.

Crown Jellyfish

Crown jellyfish live in all the world's oceans, usually at significant depths. Here, a bright-red specimen samples the shallow waters around Papua New Guinea.


Like a marine Mick Jagger, a rosy-lipped batfish pouts near Costa Rica's Cocos Island. Batfish are poor swimmers, preferring to use their strangely adapted pectoral fins like legs to crawl about the seafloor.

Freckled-faced Blenny

A freckle-face blenny peeks from its reef burrow in the Solomon Islands. Blennies are found throughout the world's ocean, usually in shallow water. Some species are even known to lounge out of the water on rocks.


Frogfish, also called anglerfish, wear some of the most striking colors and ornate physical adornments in the ocean. Here, a crimson-tinted species rests on a reef near the Solomon Islands.

Devil Scorpion Fish

A devil scorpion fish in the Fiji Islands looks sleepy, but it's waiting motionless for unsuspecting prey to swim past before it strikes. The scorpion fish also has poisonous spines used in defines.


Lionfish like this one in Papua New Guinea are native to the reefs and rocky crevices of the Indo-Pacific, although they've found their way to warm ocean habitats worldwide. Their wispy dorsal fins contain toxin-filled needles used to dissuade would-be predators.


Most toadfish wear ornate, fleshy protrusions to blend in with the reefs where they make their home. The three-spined species, shown here in the waters off Western Australia, is among the largest of the toadfish, reaching 12 inches (30 centimetres) long.

Male Blue Ribbon Eel

Tiny teeth and yellow nostrils flash as a male blue ribbon eel opens wide in the Fiji Islands. The expanded nostrils end with fanlike flourishes, and the tip of the eel's lower jaw terminates with three tentacles. But those are not all of its tricks—the ribbon eel also can abruptly change its sex.

Red Irish Lord Fish

The red-spotted eye of a red Irish lord fish stands out in God's Pocket Marine Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. These colorful fish live in the North Pacific and are often found in rocky areas close to shore.

Bearded Scorpion Fish

It's hard to tell which end is up in this close-up of a bearded scorpionfish in the Fiji Islands. This camouflage artist inhabits the western Indian Ocean and lives on coral reefs to depths of 100 feet (30 meters).

Male Peacock Mantis Shrimp

A male peacock mantis shrimp plies the seafloor off Papua New Guinea. These garishly colored crustaceans are favorites of the aquarium trade.

Blue-eyed Crab

A blue-eyed crab nestles in antler coral off Namenalala Island in the Fiji Islands. Antler corals form colonies that can stretch more than three feet (one meter) across.

School of Fish

A school of tiny fish swims past a brain coral formation in the waters around the Seychelles. More than 90 percent of all marine life inhabits in the shallow waters surrounding the Earth's landmasses.


A dazzling pattern of spots and stripes decorates this nudibranch photographed in the Seychelles. Nudibranchs are soft-bodied sea slugs that often wear wildly colorful designs for camouflage and defence.

Portuguese Man-of-war

A Portuguese man-of-war lies on the shore of Miami, Florida. Man-of-war stings can be extremely painful, but are rarely deadly. Their sting is still potent even after death.

Red Brittlestar

A bright red brittlestar clings to a coral head in the Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. Sea stars get their name from the five-armed varieties, but species exist that have 10, 20, even 40 arms
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
So why not start at the back and work my way forward until I've catched up again?? My last trip that I had was to Kuala Lumpur. Which I wasn't too optimistic about because nobody wanted to swop the three trips that I had there for something decent. Got a Manchester flight in the end, which turned out great, but I was hoping for a Rome or something excotic. Maybe I've still got a lot to learn.

Decided to go shopping in KL. Should have done more sight seeing. Well that'll teach me. To my great dissapointment I got bumped off my second KL flight because I was most junior and the passenger load on the way back from KL to Dubai was too light, in other words I got screwed and have been introduced to the wonderful world of home standby.

Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog

The colour for the month of June is Turqoise.

This is usually deep winter in Bloemfontein and there's nothing else that makes me think more of the Bloemfontein cold and winter than Turqoise. Guess what next month is going to be???
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Okay how embaressing it is when people recognize you from your own blog. But I know I've mentioned this before and it always irritated me when people always said on their blogs that they are going to update their blogs and never do, I think I will be able to make a commitment and start updating, since I've been receiving so many emails from everyone about information about Dubai etc.

Well, this morning I came back from London Gatwick. Although I didn't take in some sight-seeing I did get to do some amazing shopping with my friend Dominique and spend some quality time with her that definately made it worth it. So whenever you are going on a Gatwick layover go to the 99pence, one pound and Primark, that's the places that have the best shopping.

I'm just at my friends house quickly, she's making us some mince and rice, and drinking a nice glass of Amarula with ice. I'm starting to get some flu at the moment, so will definately have to go to the clinic in the morning before my amazing trip to Paris. And I don't want to be sick as I've been waiting for this layover since end of last month.

Just to update quickly I've been able to move just before my leave started, and it's been such a relieve since the apartment is amazing, my new roomies is very nice and it seems like I've finally been able to make a home for myself in Dubai.

Till later au revior...
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Only some of the pictures contain descriptions of the animal in the photo

Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Gabs hierdie post is spesiaal vir jou!

The meerkat or suricate is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. It inhabits all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob," "gang," or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats at a time, but some super families have had 50 or more. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years.

Meerkats are primarily insectivores, but also eat lizards, snakes, scorpions, spiders, plants, eggs, small mammals, millipedes, centipedes and, more rarely, small birds. They are partially immune to certain venoms; they are immune to the very strong venom of the scorpions of the Kalahari Desert, unlike humans. They have no excess body fat stores, so foraging for food is a daily need.

Meerkats forage in a group with one "sentry" on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. Sentry duty is usually approximately an hour long. Baby meerkats do not start foraging for food until they are about 1 month old, and do so by following an older member of the group who acts as the pup's tutor. The meerkat standing guard makes peeping sounds when all is well. If the meerkat spots danger, it barks loudly or whistles.

Meerkats become sexually mature at about one year of age and can have 1 to 5 pups in a litter, with 3 pups being the most common litter size. Wild meerkats may have up to four litters per year. Meerkats are iteroparous and can reproduce any time of the year but most births occur in the warmer seasons. The female meerkat can have more than one litter a year. The pups are allowed to leave the burrow at three weeks old. When the pups are ready to emerge from the burrow, the whole clan of meerkats will stand around the burrow to watch. Some of the adolescents might try to show off so they can have more attention than the pups.

Reports show that there is no precopulatory display; the male ritually grooms the female until she submits to him and copulation begins, the male generally adopting a seated position during the act. Gestation lasts approximately 11 weeks and the young are born within the underground burrow and are altricial. The young's ears open at about 15 days of age, and their eyes at 10-14 days. They are weaned around 49 to 63 days. They do not come above ground until at least 21 days of age and stay with babysitters near the burrow. After another week or so, they join the adults on a foraging party.

Usually, the alpha pair reserves the right to mate and normally kills any young not its own, to ensure that its offspring has the best chance of survival. The dominant couple may also evict, or kick out the mothers of the offending offspring.

Meerkats are small burrowing animals, living in large underground networks with multiple entrances which they leave only during the day. They are very social, living in colonies averaging 20-30 members. Animals in the same group regularly groom each other to strengthen social bonds. The alpha pair often scent-mark subordinates of the group to express their authority, and this is usually followed by the subordinates grooming the alphas and licking their faces. This behavior is also usually practiced when group members are reunited after a short period apart. Most meerkats in a group are all siblings or offspring of the alpha pair.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
This slide show contains more photo’s than the other Weird Nature slide shows, so it might take a bit longer to upload.

But all the photo’s in this slide show contains descriptions of the animals in the photo’s.

Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog

Baby Elephants

Baby elephants are born big, standing approximately three feet (one meter) tall and weighing 200 pounds (91 kilograms) at birth. They nurse for two to three years, and are fully mature at 9 (females) to 15 (males) years of age.

Leopard Cubs

Usually solitary animals, leopard cubs live with their mothers for two years, learning how to hunt. Cubs are born in pairs and are grayish with no discernible spots.

Black Bears

Black bears are excellent climbers, scaling trees to play, hide, eat, and even hibernate.


Female crocs lay their eggs in clutches of 20 to 60 eggs. After the eggs have incubated for about three months, the mother opens the nest and helps her young out of their shells.

Black Bear Cubs

Black bear cubs are born in the winter, but emerge from their dens in the springtime. They are playful and curious, but always under their mother's watchful eye. A mother bear will call to her cubs when danger is present, and is fearless when defending her offspring.

Kodiak Bears

Kodiak bears are a particularly large subspecies of brown bear, endemic only to the Kodiak archipelago off the Alaska coast.

Grizzly Bear

A subspecies of the larger coastal brown bear, the grizzly bear gets its name from the grayish, or grizzled, tips of its fur.

Lesser Bird

The male lesser bird-of-paradise, like others in its genus, has beautiful plumage, which he displays to females in an elaborate courtship dance.

Princess Stephanie Bird

Also known as a paradise magpie, Princess Stephanie's birds of paradise wear striking black feathers.

Count Raggi’s Bird

The Count Raggi's bird of paradise is the national bird of Papua New Guinea.

Ribbon-tailed Bird

Divas of the avian world, elaborately feathered birds of paradise, like this ribbon-tailed species, practice elaborate courtship rituals.

Birdwing Butterfly

Australia’s largest butterfly, the birdwing (Ornithoptera priamus) blends into a green leaf. Female birdwings can have a wingspan of nearly 8 inches (20 centimeters).

Eighty-eight Butterfly

A neglected eighty-eight butterfly (Diaethria neglecta) in Brazil’s Pantanal displays the design of lines and dots that gave it its unusual common name.

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Colorful gerbera daisies highlight the rich coloration of a spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus).

Blue Morpho Butterfly

A decorated blue morpho butterfly (Morpho sp.) rests on a leaf. The blue morpho's entire life cycle lasts just 115 days.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The waters of Bali, Indonesia, are home to this otherworldly creature, a peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus). The shrimp feeds by smashing open its prey until it can feed on its tissue.

Spaghetti Worm

It's easy to see how the spaghetti worm (Loimia medusa) got its name. Also called the medusa worm, the spaghetti worm has tentacles that radiate out from its tube center to capture particles of food.

Smooth Trunkfish

A smooth trunkfish (Lactophrys triqueter) swims through its coral habitat off Grand Turk Island in the Caribbean. Solitary in nature, the trunkfish blows water out of its mouth to expose prey such as mollusks, crustaceans, worms, and sponges.

Hooded Nudibranchs

As if translucent spaceships in a night sky, hooded nudibranchs pulse in the waters of God's Pocket Marine Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. These sea slugs flex their bodies to swim and can reach lengths of half a foot (15 centimeters).

Goby Fish

A goby fish (Trimma okinawae) peers out of a sea anemone in the Solomon Islands. Gobies are serial sex-changers: They can go through both male and female phases.

Flamingo Tongue Sea Snail

A flamingo tongue sea snail (Cyphoma gibbosum) feeds from the top of a sea fan in the waters off Grand Turk Island. These predatory mollusks leave a noticeable trail of dead coral tissue in their wake.

Green and Black Nudibranch

Komodo National Park in Indonesia showcases a carnival of marine life, including this green-and-black nudibranch, seen here devouring a tunicate. The coloring of these carnivorous mollusks comes from the foods they eat.

Pygmy Seahorse

A Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) takes its place among coral polyps in Indonesian waters. At less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) tall, the seahorse's size and coloration help camouflage it within the gorgonian coral.

Emperor Shrimp and Crab on a Sea Cucumber.

Look closely at this tapestry and you'll find an emperor shrimp and a crab on a sea cucumber. In this symbiotic relationship, seen here on Fiji's Rainbow Reef, the sea cucumber offers camouflaged protection (and possibly a ride) but is not harmed by its neighbors.


A colorful crab and sea urchins make for a psychedelic scene in Clallam Bay, Washington. Marine invertebrates, sea urchins use their spines to move along the seafloor, and crabs are known to be their natural predators.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog

My colour choice for the month of May is Black.

Believe me it is no reflection of the emotional status that I am in, I just didn't have any more colours to choose from.

Besides, I think it came out quite nice!
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog

Happy Birthday Gabs, lief vir jou en ek mis jou baie. Dis ons eerste verjaarsdag wat ons nie saam spandeer nie. Mwah*
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog


The froghopper, or spittle bug, leaps into the record books as the insect world's greatest jumper. This tiny insect reaches mere 0.2 inches (6 millimeters) in length but can catapult itself up to 28 inches (70 centimeters) into the air. A human with this ability would be able to clear a 690-feet (210-meter) skyscraper.

Jumping Impala

The impala, an African antelope with long, slender legs and muscular thighs, also gets high marks for its leaping abilities. When frightened, an impala will spring into action, bounding up to 33 feet (10 meters) and soaring some 10 feet (3 meters) in the air. This skill is apparently more than just defensive. Impalas have been observed jumping around just to amuse themselves.

Bar-tailed Godwit

In 2007, a bar-tailed godwit made the longest nonstop bird migration ever recorded. In nine days, it flew 7,145 miles (11,500 kilometers) from its breeding ground in Alaska to New Zealand without stopping for food or drink. By the end of the epic journey, the bird had lost more than 50 percent of its body weight.

Sooty Shearwater Bird

The annual journey of the sooty shearwater bird rivals that of the bar-tailed godwit. These marathon migrators traverse nearly 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) each year, from New Zealand to the Northern Hemisphere, in search of food.

Great White Share – the longest shark migration

In 2005, a great white shark entered the record books by completing the longest shark migration ever recorded. Named Nicole by researchers, the shark made a 12,400-mile (20,000-kilometer) marathon circuit from Africa to Australia. The journey, which lasted nine months, also included the fastest return migration of any known marine animal.

Tracking systems showed that Nicole spent a lot of the time near the surface, leading some scientists to believe that sharks use celestial cues to navigate.


Officially the world's fastest fish, sailfish can reach speeds of 68 miles an hour (109 kilometers an hour) in short bursts. They often hunt in groups and use their quickness and impressive dorsal fins to herd schools of sardines or anchovies.


The cheetah, holder of the animal kingdom's land speed record, can run at more than 60 miles an hour (96 kilometers an hour) and can reach its top speed in just three seconds. These champion sprinters rely on long, muscular legs to propel their lithe bodies. But cheetahs expend a tremendous amount of energy during a chase and can only run all out for about 900 feet (274 meters).

Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcon holds the title of the animal kingdom's fastest flier. Using a dive-bomb hunting technique called a stoop, this raptor attacks prey—usually a pigeon or dove—at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour (322 kilometers an hour). It seizes its victim in midair with its sharp talons, then takes it to the ground to eat.

African Elephant

For thousands of years, humans have utilized the brute strength of African and Asian elephants for everything from war to transportation. An elephant's trunk alone contains around 100,000 muscles and can lift up to 600 pounds (270 kilograms).

Rhinoceros Beetle

Compared to an elephant, the rhinoceros beetle looks miniscule. But ounce for ounce, this insect is considered the world's strongest creature. Rhinoceros beetles, which get their name from the hornlike structure on a male's head, are capable of carrying up to 850 times their own body weight. A human with this relative strength would be able to lift some 65 tons (59 metric tons).

Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic puffins spend most of their lives at sea, but return to land to form breeding colonies during spring and summer.

Arctic Skuas

Arctic skuas, also called parasitic jaegers, have a well-earned reputation as avian pirates, stealing much of their food from other birds.

Arctic Hares

Shortened ears and thick, white fur are among the physical traits that arctic hares have adapted to survive in the harsh, frozen tundra.

Narwhal Calf

A newborn narwhal calf is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and can weigh 175 to 220 pounds (79 to 100 kilograms). Narwhals are normally found in pods of two to ten.

Snowy Owl

The snowy owl's beautiful white plumage helps to hide it in its Arctic habitat. Only the males are completely white. Chicks are dark and spotted, while the females are white with spots on their wings.
Galapagos Tortoise

The largest of the tortoises, the endangered Galápagos tortoise is incredibly long-lived. One captive tortoise lived over 150 years.

Blue Footed Booby

Not just attractive physical features, the blue feet of this booby can be used to cover its chicks and keep them warm.

Red Footed Booby

Smallest of the boobies, the red-foot feeds at sea, nests on the ground, and perches in coastal trees.

Marine Inguanas

Found only on the Galápagos Islands, marine iguanas often wear distinctive white "wigs" of salt expelled from glands near their noses.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
2000: Ariana Afghan Airlines Boeing 727 is hijacked on an internal flight within Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and ended up at London Stansted Airport, where most of the passengers claimed political asylum.

2000: Philippine Airlines Flight 812 was hijacked en route from Davao City, Philippines to Manila. The hijacker parachuted from the aircraft while still airborne; his body was later found.

2001: September 11 attacks, eastern USA: 19 terrorists hijacked American Airlines flights 11 and 77, and United Airlines flights 93 and 175. The four heavily-fuelled aircraft were used as missiles to attack targets of economic, military, and political significance in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. Two of the planes, UA175 and AA11 were crashed into New York City's twin World Trade Center towers, destroying the entire complex and killing about 3,000 people. In Washington, D.C. AA77 was crashed into the Pentagon, causing massive destruction and many deaths; an attack on the Capitol was averted when passengers intervened and UA93 crashed into a field, although all those on the aircraft perished.

This marked a landmark in hijacking: the first successful hijacking where the intention was to destroy the aircraft and passengers, and use the fuelled aircraft as a missile to destroy ground targets, rather than to achieve political and publicity goals. It also marked a landmark in responses to the threat of hijacking: until then the recommended response was for the crew to obey the hijackers' demands so as to safeguard the passengers and buy time; after this the policy was more about preventing access to the cockpit and pilots, and aggressive responses. From this time air passengers worldwide were prohibited from having anything remotely like a bladed weapon in the passenger cabin: scissors, tweezers, nailfiles, etc.

2006: Turkish Airlines Flight 1476, flying from Tirana to Istanbul, was hijacked in Greek airspace. The aircraft, with 107 passengers and six crew on board, transmitted two coded hijack signals which were picked up by the Greek air force; the flight was intercepted by military aircraft and landed safely at Brindisi, Italy.

2007: an Aeroflot Airbus A320 flying from Moscow to Geneva was hijacked by a drunk man in Prague and there released crew and passengers after he was arrested by the Czech Republic.

2007: an Air West Boeing 737 was hijacked over Sudan, but landed safely at N'Djamena, Chad.

2007: an Air Mauritanie Boeing 737 flying from Nouakchott to Las Palmas with 87 passengers on board was hijacked by a man who wanted to fly to Paris, but the plane landed in an air base near Las Palmas and the hijacker, a Moroccan, was arrested.

2007: an Atlasjet MD-80 en route from Nicosia to Istanbul was hijacked by two Arab students, who said they were Al Qaeda operatives, one trained in Afghanistan, and wanted to go to Tehran, Iran. The plane landed in Antalya, the passengers escaped and the hijackers were arrested.

2008: a Sun Air Boeing 737 flying from Nyala, Darfur, in Western Sudan to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, was hijacked shortly after takeoff. The hijackers demanded to be taken to France where they reputedly wanted to gain asylum. The plane initially tried to land at Cairo but was refused permission. It subsequently touched down at Kufra, Lybia. The hijackers gave themselves up almost 24 hours after taking the plane. There were no reported casualties.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
My friend Dominique just phoned me this morning (was still lazing in bed) with the good news that Christine will be moved from temporary accommodation to Sheikh Zayed Road. The big move is happening on the 21st and we can't wait to have her closer to us.

Since I have an off day today we might just go to Dominique's apartment and use the pool. This is the life of a cabin crew member, having too many days off and spending them inside a mall eating fast food or beside the pool or beach.

What I hate is that I get so confused with the dates, I could've sworn I had my flight to Bombay tomorrow, but I realized it's only the 19th today and my flight is on the 21st. I find myself not knowing what the date or day is when I wake up. Never mind having to think twice which continent I am on.

But so far so good with my new career with Emirates Airlines. I've had some heart stopping moments about the economic climate we are in at the moment. But it seems as though Emirates have good plans in place to stop from laying off us poor new crew members. But it's still like that little thought in the back of your head that you can't get rid off.

This is the view from the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road, from my friend Tandi's apartment. She was living in White Building but they've all been giving notice that they will be moved to new apartments, as the rental contract has come to an end. Which kind of sucks big time, considering that they will be moved to near Sharjah. But there's so many crew being moved there these days that I guess it will soon be just as populated with crew as living on Sheikh Zayed. I'm still having arguments with the accommodation apartment at Emirates about moving me into a different apartment. We are three girls living together in this apartment. The one girls is quite nice, but the other one (I'd rather not mention her name) has been a nightmare since I've moved in, and I've just about had enough. "Tot hier toe en nie verder nie". Accommodation must sigh everytime they see me walking into the department, as I don't let down. But so far no luck. It's this economic crisis, that is causing havoc with small changes within Emirates. All moves have been put on hold indefinately because the priority is to move crew from temporary hotel accommodation into permanent accommodation. Which I can understand of course, but certainly they must know how many people are left in temporary and how many apartments they have left and be able to give me a timeline to work with. Even I can think that up, but accommodation thinks I don't have two brain cells to rub together. Hopefully I'll soon be anouncing my move into a new apartment. I've requested a two bedroom apartment, three girls aren't the Powderpuff Girl mix everybody thinks.
In the meantime , while I've been on my eigth day trip we poor old building residents have managed to gain a gym in C Block, I hear it's small but everthing we need is there. I might just go over there and check it out this morning. It opens at nine, so still got a few minutes. Between all the skipping meals and then catching up on them with fast food I need to keep my body sane by at least going to the gym as often as I can. It's the least I can do.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
We'll it's been three months since i have put anything on the blog except the automatic postings i put on before I left South Africa.

Just had a random person add me on MSN and trying to talk to me about my blog when I realized that there are still new people reading the blog and people want new information. So I must be crazy, but I've decided to continue with the blog. Why I wanted to stop I don't know, but I seem to have a bit more time on my hands again so I guess no harm in starting with it again.

There is so much information that I would like to put down for people who are interested in starting their careers with Emirates. But considering that recruitment has stopped for the moment, I guess I'll have a bit of time before I need to get all the information on here.

Other than briefly stating that I am currently in Dubai, have finished my training and going on my seventh operational flight, the rest can wait until I've worked out in my mind exactly how to put everything on the blog.

Came back from an eight day trip this morning, so not in the best state of mind to start writing long posts.

Just wanted to say that during my first week at College I had an Asian male walk up to me as I was entering the lift asking me if I was the Danielle that had the blog and is from South Africa. I lied and denied it all. I apologize, as I was so flabergasted that anyone would recognize me from the picture on the blog and being a fan. But next time I'll stop and chat for a bit.

I guess this truly is the beginning of a new chaper...
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Aircraft hijacking (also known as skyjacking and aircraft piracy) is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by force, either by an individual or a group.

In most cases the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers.

However, in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the hijackers flew the aircraft themselves. In one case, the official pilot hijacked the plane, when he diverted his internal Air China flight to Taiwan.

Unlike the hijacking of land vehicles or ships, skyjacking is usually not perpetrated in order to rob the cargo. Most aircraft hijackings are committed to use the passengers as hostages in an effort to obtain transportation to a given location.

A 2000 Afghan hijacking of an internal flight, diverted to Britain, successfully gained political asylum for the hijackers.

Other hijackers may hold the passengers to ransom.

The 1971 hijacking of an American plane by D. B. Cooper to gain a ransom $200,000 is one of the only unsolved hijackings in the world, another being Malaysia Airlines Flight 653.

Another common motive is publicity for some cause or grievance. Since the use of hijacked planes as suicide missiles in the September 11 attacks, hijacking is treated as a different kind of security threat — though similar usages had apparently been attempted by Samuel Byck in 1974 and on Air France Flight 8969 in 1994.

Hijackings for hostages have usually followed a pattern of negotiations between the hijackers and the authorities, followed by some form of settlement - but does not always meet with the hijackers' original demands.

If the hijackers' show no sign of surrendering, armed forces would storm the aircraft to rescue the hostages.

The first recorded aircraft hijack was on February 21, 1931, in Arequipa, Peru. Byron Rickards flying a Ford Tri-Motor was approached on the ground by armed revolutionaries. He refused to fly them anywhere and after a ten day stand-off Rickards was informed that the revolution was successful and he could go in return for giving one of their number a lift to Lima. Most hijackings have not been so farcical.

Since September 11, cockpit doors on most commercial airlines have been strengthened, and are now bullet resistant. In the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and France, air marshals have also been added to some flights to deter and thwart hijackers. In addition, some have proposed remote control systems for aircraft whereby no one on board would have control over the plane's flight. Airport security plays a major role in preventing hijackers.

Screening passengers with metal detectors and luggage with x-ray machines prevents weapons from being taken on to an aircraft, and the Israelis alone implement decompression on all luggages to check for detonation sensors.

Along with the FAA, the FBI also monitors terror suspects, and any person who is a threat to civil aviation is banned from flying.

In the case of a serious risk that an aircraft will be used for flying into a target, it may have to be shot down, killing all passengers and crew, to prevent more serious consequences.

Several states have stated that they would shoot down hijacked commercial aircraft if it can be assumed that the hijackers intend to use the aircraft in a 9/11-style attack, despite killing innocent passengers onboard. According to reports, US fighter pilots have been training to shoot down hijacked commercial airliners should it become necessary. Other countries such as Poland and India have enacted laws or decrees that allow the shooting down of hijacked planes.

In a widely regarded decision by the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, in February 2006, it struck down a law - "Luftsicherheitsgesetz" or "Air security law" - claiming such preventive measures were unconstitutional and would essentially be state-sponsored murder, even if such an act would save many more lives on the ground. The main reasoning behind this decision was that the state would be effectively taking the lives of innocent hostages in order to avoid a terrorist attack. The Court also ruled that the Minister of Defense is constitutionally not entitled to act in terrorism matters, as this is the duty of the state and federal police forces.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
April is the month of our birthday. So I've decided to make this month my favourite colour, purple. This will be the first birthday ever that Gabrielle and I are not together.

Ek hoop jy het 'n wonderlike dag Gabs en ek is baie lief vir jou. Sal die hele dag aan jou dink en hoop dis die laaste verjaarsdag wat ons nie saam spandeer nie.

Enjoy the pictures.

Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Muslims believe that Islam existed long before Muhammad and that the religion had evolved with time from the time of Adam until the time of Muhammad and was completed.

The Qur'an describes many Biblical prophets and messengers as Muslim: Adam, Noah, Moses and Jesus and his apostles. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached his message and upheld his values.

Muslims consider making ritual prayer five times a day a religious duty, these five prayers are known as fajr, dhuhr, ˤasr, maghrib and ˤishā'. There is also a special Friday prayer called jumuˤah. Currently, the number of Muslims is estimated to be between 1.25 and 1.84 billion.

Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, God's final prophet, through the angel Gabriel, and regard the Qur'an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Muhammad) as the fundamental sources of Islam. They do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.

Islamic tradition holds that Jews and Christians distorted the revelations God gave to these prophets by either altering the text, introducing a false interpretation, or both.

Muslims consider the Qur'an to be the literal word of God; it is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad by God through the angel Gabriel on many occasions between 610 and his death on June 8, 632. The Qur'an was reportedly written down by Muhammad's companions while he was alive, although the prime method of transmission was orally.

Belief in angels is crucial to the faith of Islam. The Arabic word for angel means "messenger". According to the Qur'an, angels do not possess free will, and worship God in perfect obedience. Angels' duties include communicating revelations from God, glorifying God, recording every person's actions, and taking a person's soul at the time of death. They are also thought to intercede on man's behalf.

Muhammad (c. 570 – June 8, 632) was an Arab religious, political, and military leader who founded the religion of Islam as a historical phenomenon. Muslims view him not as the creator of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and others.

In Muslim tradition, Muhammad is viewed as the last and the greatest in a series of prophets — as the man closest to perfection, the possessor of all virtues. For the last 23 years of his life, beginning at age 40, Muhammad reported receiving revelations from God. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.

Many practices fall in the category of Islamic etiquette. This includes greeting others with "as-salamu `alaykum" ("peace be unto you"), saying bismillah ("in the name of God") before meals, and using only the right hand for eating and drinking.

Islamic hygienic practices mainly fall into the category of personal cleanliness and health, such as the circumcision of male offspring. Islamic burial rituals include saying the Salat al-Janazah ("funeral prayer") over the bathed and enshrouded dead body, and burying it in a grave.

Muslims, like Jews, are restricted in their diet, and prohibited foods include pig products, blood, carrion, and alcohol. All meat must come from a herbivorous animal slaughtered in the name of God by a Muslim, Jew, or Christian, with the exception of game that one has hunted or fished for oneself. Food permissible for Muslims is known as halal food.

A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims, who often refer to it by its Arabic name, masjid. The word mosque in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated to Islamic worship, although there is a distinction in Arabic between the smaller, privately owned mosque and the larger, "collective" mosque. Although the primary purpose of the mosque is to serve as a place of prayer, it is also important to the Muslim community as a place to meet and study. Modern mosques have evolved greatly from the early designs of the 7th century, and contain a variety of architectural elements such as minarets.
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D. B. Cooper is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the United States on November 24, 1971, received US$200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. He was never apprehended.

The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but through a later press miscommunication, he became known as "D. B. Cooper". Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding Cooper's true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered. Several theories offer competing explanations of what happened after his famed jump, which the FBI believes he did not survive.

Cooper was described as being in his mid-forties, and between 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and 6 feet (1.83 m) tall. He wore a black raincoat, loafers, a dark suit, a neatly pressed white collared shirt, a black necktie, black sunglasses and a mother of pearl tie pin. Cooper sat in the back of the plane in seat 18C.

After the jet had taken off from Portland, he handed a note to a young flight attendant named Florence Schaffner, who was seated in a jumpseat attached to the aft stair door, situated directly behind and to the left of Cooper's seat. She thought he was giving her his phone number, so she slipped it, unopened, into her pocket. Cooper leaned closer and said, "Miss, you'd better look at that note. I have a bomb." In the envelope was a note that read: "I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked."

The note also provided demands for $200,000, in unmarked $20 bills, and two sets of parachutes—two main back chutes and two emergency chest chutes. The note carried instructions ordering the items to be delivered to the plane when it landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; if the demands were not met, he would blow up the plane.

When the flight attendant informed the cockpit about Cooper and the note, the pilot, William Scott, contacted Seattle-Tacoma air traffic control, who contacted Seattle police and the FBI. The FBI contacted Northwest Airlines president Donald Nyrop, who instructed Scott to cooperate with the hijacker. Scott instructed Schaffner to go back and sit next to Cooper, and ascertain if the bomb was in fact real. Sensing this, Cooper opened his briefcase momentarily; long enough for Schaffner to see red cylinders, a large battery, and wires, convincing her the bomb was real. He instructed her to tell the pilot not to land until the money and parachutes Cooper had requested were ready at Seattle-Tacoma. She went back to the cockpit to relay Cooper's instructions.

Following Cooper's demands, the jet was put into a holding pattern over Puget Sound, while Cooper's demands for $200,000 and four parachutes were met. In assembling the cash demands, FBI agents followed Cooper's instruction for unmarked bills, but they decided to give bills printed mostly in 1969 (although some were older or newer), that mostly had serial numbers beginning with the letter L, issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The agents also ran all of the 10,000 $20 bills quickly through a Recordak device to create a microfilm photograph of each bill and thus record all the serial numbers. Authorities initially intended to obtain military-issue parachutes from McChord Air Force Base, but Cooper said he wanted civilian parachutes, which had manually operated ripcords. Seattle police were able to find Cooper's preferred parachutes at a local skydiving school. Meanwhile, Cooper sat in the airplane, drinking bourbon whiskey and soda.

Tina Mucklow, a flight attendant who spent the most time with the hijacker, remarked Cooper "seemed rather nice," and thoughtful enough to request the crew be brought meals after the jet landed in Seattle.

At the time Cooper jumped, the plane was flying through a heavy rainstorm, with no light source coming from the ground due to cloud coverage.

After communicating with Captain Scott, it was determined Cooper was gone, and FBI agents boarded the plane to search for any evidence left behind. They recovered a number of fingerprints (which may or may not have belonged to Cooper), a tie and a mother of pearl tie clip, and two of the four parachutes. Cooper was nowhere to be found, nor was his briefcase, the money, the moneybag, or the two remaining parachutes.

The individuals with whom Cooper had interacted on board the plane and while he was on the ground were interrogated to compile a composite sketch; those interviewed all gave nearly identical descriptions of him, leading the FBI to create the sketch that has been used on wanted posters ever since, where Dan Cooper is described as being of Latin appearance. As of 2008, the FBI maintains that the sketch is an accurate likeness of Cooper because so many individuals, interviewed simultaneously in separate locations, gave nearly identical descriptions.

D.B. Cooper Leads

In late 1978, a hunter walking just a few flying minutes north of Cooper's project drop zone found a placard with instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727. The placard was from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped.

On February 10, 1980, Brian Ingram, then eight years old, was with his family on a picnic when he found $5,880 in decaying bills (a total of 294 $20 bills), still bundled in rubber bands, approximately 40 feet (12 m) from the waterline and just 2 inches (5 cm) below the surface, on the banks of the Columbia River 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Vancouver, Washington. After comparing the serial numbers with those from the ransom given to Cooper almost nine years earlier, it was proven that the money found by Ingram was part of the ransom given to Cooper.

Ingram's discovery of the $5,880 reinforced the FBI's belief that Cooper probably did not survive the jump; in large part because of the unlikelihood that such a criminal would be willing to leave behind any of the loot for which he had risked his life. Ingram was eventually allowed to keep $2,860 of this money. On June 13, 2008, in accordance with Ingram's wishes, the Heritage Auction Galleries' Americana Memorabilia Grand Format Auction in Dallas, Texas sold fifteen of the bills to various buyers for a total of more than $37,000. As of 2008, the rest of the money remains unrecovered. The serial numbers of all 9,998 $20 bills that the hijacker was given were databased and placed in a search engine for public search.

D. B. Cooper Suspects

In 1971, mass-murderer John List was considered a suspect in the Cooper hijacking, which occurred only fifteen days after he had killed his family in Westfield, New Jersey. List's age, facial features, and build were similar to those described for the mysterious skyjacker. FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach stated that List was a "viable suspect" in the case. Cooper parachuted from the hijacked airliner with $200,000, the same amount List had used up from his mother's bank account in the days before the killing. After his capture and imprisonment in 1989, List strenuously denied being Cooper, and the FBI no longer considered him a suspect. List died in prison custody on March 21, 2008.

On April 7, 1972, four months after Cooper's hijacking, Richard McCoy, Jr., under the alias "James Johnson," boarded United Airlines Flight 855 during a stopover in Denver, Colorado, and gave the flight steward an envelope labeled "Hijack Instructions," in which he demanded four parachutes and $500,000. He also instructed the pilot to land at San Francisco International Airport and order a refueling truck for the plane. The airplane was a Boeing 727 with aft stairs, which McCoy used in his escape. He was carrying a paper weight grenade and an empty pistol. He left his handwritten message on the plane, along with his fingerprints on a magazine he had been reading, which the FBI later used to establish positive identification.

Police began investigating McCoy following a tip from Utah Highway Patrolman Robert Van Ieperen, who was a friend of McCoy's.

Apparently, after the Cooper hijacking, McCoy had made a reference that Cooper should have asked for $500,000, instead of $200,000. Van Ieperen thought that was an odd coincidence, so he alerted the FBI. Married and with two young children, McCoy was a Mormon Sunday school teacher studying law enforcement at Brigham Young University. He had a record as a Vietnam veteran and was a former helicopter pilot, and an avid skydiver.

On April 9, following the fingerprint and handwriting match, McCoy was arrested for the United 855 hijacking. Coincidentally, McCoy had been on National Guard duty flying one of the helicopters involved in the search for the hijacker. Inside his house FBI agents found a jumpsuit and a duffel bag filled with $499,970 in cash. McCoy claimed innocence, but was convicted and received a 45-year sentence. Once incarcerated, using his access to the prison's dental office, McCoy fashioned a fake handgun out of dental paste. He and a crew of convicts escaped in August 1974 by stealing a garbage truck and crashing it through the prison's main gate. It took three months before the FBI located McCoy in Virginia. McCoy shot at the FBI agents, and agent Nicholas O'Hara fired back with a shotgun, killing him.

In July 2000, U.S. News & World Report ran an article about a widow in Pace, Florida, named Jo Weber and her claim that her late husband, Duane L. Weber (born 1924 in Ohio), had told her "I'm Dan Cooper" before his death on March 28, 1995. She became suspicious and began checking into his background. Weber had served in the Army during World War II and had later served time in a prison near the Portland airport. Weber recalled that her husband had once had a nightmare where he talked in his sleep about jumping from a plane and said something about leaving his fingerprints on the aft stairs. Jo recalled that shortly before Duane's death, he had revealed to her that an old knee injury of his had been incurred by "jumping out of a plane."
Weber also recounts a 1979 vacation the couple took to Seattle, "a sentimental journey," Duane told Jo, with a visit to the Columbia River. She remembers how Duane walked down to the banks of the Columbia by himself just four months before the portion of Cooper's cash was found in the same area. Weber related that she had checked out a book on the Cooper case from the local library and saw notations in it that matched her husband's handwriting. She began corresponding with Himmelsbach, the former chief investigator of the case, who subsequently agreed that much of the circumstantial evidence surrounding Weber fit the hijacker's profile. However, the FBI stopped investigating Weber in July 1998 because of a lack of hard evidence. The FBI compared Weber's prints with those processed from the hijacked plane and found no matches. In October 2007, the FBI stated that a partial DNA sample taken from the tie that Cooper had left on the plane did not belong to Weber.
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog

My colour pick for the month of March is definately white! This might not make sense to most of you coming from the Northern hemisphere. But for us from South Africa, this is the beginning of winter as everything is bare. Maybe brown would've been a better coulor, but that is not something that I would but on the blog and expect everyone to enjoy.
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