When Lucy Dudko booked a helicopter joy ride on March 25, 1999, pilot Tim Joyce saw nothing out of the ordinary.
With a thick accent that Joyce assumed was German, Dudko asked to do the "Harbour Bridge Track" which included the Olympic stadium and village, Sydney Harbour and Manly. It was a typical route for joy flight tourists. The Sydney Olympics were less than a year away, so people often booked flights near the site.
The only thing Joyce found unusual was that his passenger had four shopping bags with her.
Once they were in the air, Joyce noticed his passenger was agitated and kept fossicking around in her bags.
He attempted small talk, chatting about the sights and giving her a bit of educational commentary. But she was clearly disinterested.
As they neared the Olympic site, the woman peered out the window and asked him if that was a prison just ahead.
"Can we fly around that?" she asked.
Joyce later told police: "I told her I couldn't get too close because of noise problems, but I'd fly a circuit so she can have a good look."
He flew around the perimeter of Silverwater Correctional Centre, while the woman was still searching for something in her bags. Soon he knew what it was: there was a pistol pointed at his head.
"This is a hijack," she said.
Joyce's first reaction was to try to activate the transponder, which would create a frequency at Sydney Control Flight Services, alerting them of a hijack.
But Dudko had done her homework.
"No transponder!" she yelled, hitting his hand with the handle of her gun.
Then she turned off the transponder, as well as the radio switch.
"We have to pick somebody up down there," she said, pointing to the prison.
It was 20 years ago this month that the Russian-Australian librarian hijacked a helicopter and liberated her boyfriend, John Killick, from prison. The brazen rescue was classic Hollywood and goes down in history as Australia's only helicopter prison escape.
THE GREAT ESCAPE
Dudko forced Joyce to land in the prison exercise yard, leaving prisoners stunned and cheering.
"There he is!" shouted Dudko.
As the other prisoners ran out of the way, one man came towards the chopper and got inside. He was wearing his green prison singlet with a shirt and shorts.
According to police records, Killick told Joyce: "You can make a lot of money out of 60 Minutes if you do the right thing. It's your choice."
Killick, who had been convicted of several armed robberies (but was known as a gentleman because he was never violent), ordered Joyce to fly northeast, to Macquarie University, (about 10km away in Sydney's north) and land on Christie's oval.
When he landed, Killick tied Joyce's hands and ankles with cord, telling him to stay still for a while.
Then, the couple ran into the nearby bush and, after waiting a few minutes, Joyce untied himself and went to a nearby clubhouse where he called police.
The couple then flagged down a car, waved a gun in the driver's face and told him to drive them to North Sydney where they left the shocked driver and apparently met up with some of Killick's friends.
As the news of the brazen prison escape broke, police were inundated with calls from the public who claimed to have seen the couple. There were more than 200 reports of positive sightings from one end of Sydney to the other.
It didn't take police long to realise that Dudko was the number one suspect in the Silverwater escape. As news broke the media dubbed Dudko as "Red Lucy" while the on-the-run lovers were labelled "Australia's most wanted".
Police searched Killick's former wife Gloria's apartment where Lucy had been living since Killick had been in prison. (The two women had struck up a friendship in the aftermath of Killick and Gloria's divorce).
Police discovered pages torn from flight magazines advertising helicopter joy rides over Sydney and three videos, Hostage, Breakout and Fled; no doubt essential viewing if one was planning a similar stunt.
The escape was an embarrassment to Silverwater prison.
When it was originally built and then renovated for around $84 million, some predicted that the prison grounds could too easily be used as an aircraft landing pad. Back in 1995, 24-hour armed guards who patrolled the perimeter of the prison were decommissioned, with officers replaced by security cameras.
John Doyle, from the Prison Officers Association said: "If you have a man in a tower with a powerful gun, it's a far better deterrent than having video cameras around the place.
"Videos will take a nice crisp picture but they won't stop someone flying away in a helicopter. We predicted this would happen right from the start of the building of this jail."
On May 8, Killick and Dudko checked into the Bass Hill caravan park in Sydney's west. Renting a cabin under the surname "Brown", the couple had done very little to disguise themselves apart from dyeing their hair.
Forty-four days after the escape, their cover was blown by the caravan park manager and, within minutes, police officers surrounded their caravan, using loud hailers to let the couple know their time on the run was over.
Dudko was convicted on five charges; including rescuing Killick from custody by force and interfering with the operation of an aircraft. She received a 10-year sentence with a minimum of seven years. Killick was given a 23-year prison sentence, but it was later reduced to 15 and then 14 years on appeal.
Behind bars, the Killick/Dudko love story refused to die, with more than 4000 letters and over 100 phone calls passing between the couple.
In 2002, Dudko's legal team launched an appeal, but all efforts to reduce her sentence were unsuccessful. Her appeal was mostly based around the pre-trial publicity, which her legal team said made sentencing unfair.
Dudko and Killick's repeated requests for permission to marry were refused over the years until Dudko embraced religion and decided to dump Killick and move on with her life.
LIFE AFTER PRISON
After serving her minimum sentence in Dillwynia Correction Centre, Dudko was released into the real world, seven years and two months after her attempt to rescue her lover.
As for Killick, aged 76 and out on parole, he's now a prolific writer, penning three books; Gambling For Love, The Last Escape and On The Inside.
In his book On The Inside, Killick claims that he has paid the price for his crimes.
He writes: "I spent over 30 years in gaol, and I don't resign from the fact I deserved to go to gaol. You can't go into banks with guns and hold people up and then escape in helicopters and expect people not to get upset about it."
Despite numerous attempts to get in touch with Dudko, Killick has said she is still refusing all contact.