Flight 244 was the scene of the first successful aircraft hijacking in the Soviet Union on 15 October 1970 when the Lithuania national Pranas Brazinskas and his
son Algirdas seized an AN-24 domestic
passenger plane en route from Batumi, Adjar ASSR, Georgian
SSR, to Sukhumi and Krasnodar to defect to the West.
In a shootout with guards on
board, 19-year-old air-hostess
Nadezhda Kurchenko was killed and several members of the crew were
wounded. The hijackers commandeered the plane to
Trabzon, Turkey, and
surrendered to the Turkish government.
The Brazinskas were
tried and imprisoned, but Turkey refused to cede them to the Soviet
authorities. The plane with its passengers was soon returned to the
USSR. After spending some time in prison, in 1974,
the Brazinskas were granted amnesty and made their way to the
States where they were naturalized in 1983.
memories of the incident resurfaced again in 2002, when Algirdas
Brazinskas (now known as Albert Victor White) was convicted by the
court of Santa
Monica of murdering his 77-year-old father Pranas
Brazinskas (Frank White) during a family argument.