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Flight 714: how long did the hijack last?

#1 · Posted: 18 May 2005 16:05
In Flight 714, how long does the Carreidas 160's hijacking last, according to the book's available data?
UK Correspondent
#2 · Posted: 18 May 2005 16:42 · Edited by: Richard
There's very little data indeed for the time-frame of the hijacking, only a single "Ten minutes later..." when they approach the island. However, the time it took could probably be worked out - the jet cruises at Mach 2, which is 1,250 mph according to the book, which works out at around 2,011 km/h when crusing at 40,000 feet.

The plane sets off from Kemajoran / Kemayoran airport in Djakarta, and the last reported position is over Sumbawa, in Indonesia. The plane then drops to sea level and turns off its original course, which should have been the Darwin control zone, and heads to the island of Pulau-pulau Bompa (fictitious) which is in the Celebes Sea.

I would imagine it takes around fifteen minutes from reporting their position over Sumbawa to the "Ten minutes later ...", so I'd say takes twenty-five minutes to travel from the last reported position to the sighting of the island. But how long before, and the landing itself, I'm not sure.
#3 · Posted: 19 May 2005 07:19 · Edited by: harishankar
I get the impression that the whole adventure from beginning to end happens in a single day and ends with the bizarre UFO sequence at night when the volcano begins its fiery blast.

This is because, I guess, that there aren't many "breaking" scenes (if you can understand my phrases) which separate sequences by any considerable time frame. In fact, the whole adventure is fast-paced and well-knit, which strengthens my impression.


Early Morning: arrive at the airport at Jakarta.
Mid morning: board Carriedas flight. Hijacking takes place.
Afternoon: arrive at the island.
Late afternoon and evening: the fast paced action (Tintin and friends escape from bunker and so on: the whole sequence).
Evening: The underground cave adventure. Rastapopoulos finally manages to get his troops together and they go after them.
Late evening: the Earthquake.
Darkness falls: the volcano begins to seethe and our adventurers escape by a hair's breath. Then the UFO scene.
Late Night: Our friends are discovered floating on the rubber dinghy heading dangerously towards the volcano and are miraculously rescued moments before they're fried.

Nowhere do we see them on the island at night except the end of the adventure, so you could say the whole thing happened in one day.
#4 · Posted: 19 May 2005 11:11 · Edited by: jock123
Nowhere do we see them on the island at night, except at the end…
I really like you theory, but would there be a problem with it, given that the latitude of Jakarta is only 5º South of the Equator? Day and night are thus roughly twelve hours each all year round. Given a near equitorial position for the start, would the jet have travelled far enough south to the island to have a long enough day for the action in the way you describe? If it flew north at any time, it would exacerbate the delay in getting to a latitude where day was significantly longer than night. Just a thought - I’m sure at worst Hergé was just taking liberties with the daylight…
Harrock n roll
#5 · Posted: 19 May 2005 12:11
Having taken the trouble to look in the book I spotted a major clue which has been missed...

A radio - which was left on the beach by the hijackers - reports that the Carreidas flight “disappeared yesterday”. As Harishankar has expertly deduced, the whole adventure took one day (except that they were found the next morning/day - you can see the daylight - “some hours” after being left in the dinghy according to the book).
#6 · Posted: 19 May 2005 12:34
Harrock n roll
Having taken the trouble to look in the book

Well, if you want to get all professional about it… ;-)
Harrock n roll
#7 · Posted: 19 May 2005 17:01
Well, if you want to get all professional about it… ;-)

I touch my marbles... ;)
#8 · Posted: 19 May 2005 17:21
Harrock n roll
I touch my marbles... ;)

Vestry! There’s an entendre best left un-double, so I back away from it, bowing to the better man…
#9 · Posted: 20 May 2005 22:49 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks for your answers, thanks Richard for estimating the hijacking duration.

Here's a sum up of the 'Carreidas 160' hijacking, for those who don't have Flight 714 to hand:

After the heroes have been neutralized (p.13), the hijackers send a 'reassuring' radio report to Makassar tower (p.14, frame 4) while the 'Carreidas 160' passes over Sumbawa...

Then it comes "straight down to sea level" (p.14, frame 5), 'as fast as possible', says the original French language version...

Starting from 40000 feet (cruising altitude, p.8) with a 10 degrees' descent angle (p.14, frame 6), the plane should reach the sea level after about 40 miles, i.e. in less than 2 minutes at 1250 mph (cruising speed, p.8)...

At sea level, there is a near-crash into a sailing boat, whilst a 1st unanswered radio message is sent by Makassar tower (p.15, frame 3)...

Assuming the worried Makassar tower waits another 2 anxious minutes before sending a 2nd unanswered radio message (p.15, frame 4) + waits a few more minutes before informing Darwin tower (p.15, frame 9), the elapsed time between Sumbawa and the 'disappearance' report is less than 10 minutes...

"Ten minutes later", after a brief crew dialogue (p.16), the island is seen with its shore not much hidden by the horizont line, so it should lie about 20 miles afar, i.e. less than 1 minute's flight...
Hence the time elapsed between the reported 'disappearance' and the arrival at Bompa is slightly more than 10 minutes...

The landing manoeuvre takes a few minutes, so the whole hijacking time seems to fit rather well with Richard's 25 minutes' estimation...

What sounds quite odd is the plane's speed between Sumbawa and Bompa Island "in the Celebes Sea" (p.59)...
This 750 to 1200 miles' distance (see detailed maps) is flown in about 20 minutes, i.e. at a speed of 2250 to 3600 mph, well above the Carreidas 160's announced cruising speed (1250 mph, p.8)...

Real Indonesian places (Sumbawa & the Celebes Sea) that belong to an unreal country ('Sondonesia'), as well as the time shift described above and the heroes' space + time amnesia (p.60) all point to a 'spatiotemporal fault' in Flight 714...

Another 'spatiotemporal fault' occurred in the Tintinverse about 35 years earlier (see 'Tintin in America' thread)...

The main common point between these two 'faulty' albums could be the natives: the 1931 'other Indians' living in a 'parallel Far West' might have been meant to enhance the 1968 space-shifted 'Sondonesians' of the time-shifted 'East Indies'...

Thought transmission, bats, rock engraving and a funny local language (see Seven Crystal Balls thread) are common on Bompa Island and show the way to an 'obscure passage' linked with an unknown image writing (Flight 714 p.38-47)...
These unseen or peculiar communication systems might deserve as much reflection and reading attention as the so-called 'clear line' itself...

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