Image credit: James Griffiths. Helicopter art: Rockstar.
China’s first ever helicopter hijacking has taken place in Shandong province. A crop spraying aircraft was hijacked by 20 men on Tuesday afternoon, one suspect is in custody, the pilot remains missing, according to the Southern Metro Daily.
Hubei Yinyan General Aviation helicopter. Image via Weibo / SCMP.
A spokesman for Hubei Yinyan General Aviation, the owner and operator of the aircraft, told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday she could not comment on the incident.
About 20 men had approached the pilot and ground crew when it was preparing to take off at a forest park in Xiajin township of Dezhou city, sources said. They then allegedly assaulted the crew. One man boarded the plane and forced the pilot to fly it to an unspecified destination, the sources said.
A park was used as a temporary landing area for the plane, which was due to participate in eradicating the American White Moth. The insect, also known as the “forest locust,” has a tendency to eat leaves from trees and farm crops.
Two people have been arrested in relation to the hijacking. According to a local government spokesperson the incident is believed to have arisen from a business dispute between two companies.