On this day in 2004, a two-page spread inside the Sunday Examiner commended the unlikely heroes of a mid-air rescue, who stopped a man that believed he was on a mission from God to kill the devil.
In May of the previous year, a passenger on board Qantas flight 1737 attempted to hijack the Launceston-bound plane ten minutes after it took off from Melbourne airport.
Passenger David Mark Robinson stabbed two flight attendants in the head with a pair of sharpened wooden stakes on his way to the cockpit, where he planned to take control of the plane and crash it into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.
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However, after multiple passengers intervened, the assailant was eventually overcome, and all intended casualties were prevented.
Kings Meadows resident, Edwin "Ted" Alexander, who has since passed away, was one of the airborne altercation's most courageous commuters.
The then 69 year old, who was blind in one eye, recalled the shocking moment he realised flight attendant Greg Khan's face was covered in blood.
"I could see the bloke stabbing him ... I couldn't believe it," he said.
Hoping to help, Mr Alexander attempted to get up, but was restrained by his seatbelt, which was still fastened.
A scuffle between Mr Robinson and Mr Khan ensued and progressed down the aisle, eventually reaching the row where Mr Alexander was sitting.
Here, from a seated position, Mr Alexander grabbed hold of the would-be hijacker's leg, giving Mr Khan the opportunity to tackle his assailant to the ground, dislocating Mr Alexander's arm in the process.
It was later discovered that Mr Robinson, of East Bentleigh, had passed undetected through security scanners while concealing the stakes, along with two aerosol cans and a cigarette lighter, which he intended to use as a flamethrower.
After telling his psychiatrist the reason he wished to crash the plane into the national park was because he believed it was where the devil dwelt in an underground lair, Mr Robinson was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and was consequentially detained in a psychiatric hospital.
Over a year after the incident, Mr Alexander received a call from government house notifying him that he would be awarded for his bravery.
His reaction to the honour was, "Damn, a bloke's gotta go and get a suit."
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