My First Data Science Project

Helicopter Escapes!

We begin by importing some helper functions.

In [115]:
from helper import *

Get the Data

Now, let's get the data from the List of helicopter prison escapes Wikipedia article.

In [116]:
url= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_helicopter_prison_escapes"
In [157]:
data= data_from_url(url)

Let's print the first three rows

In [158]:
print(data[:3])
[['August 19, 1971', 'Santa Martha Acatitla', 'Mexico', 'Yes', 'Joel David Kaplan Carlos Antonio Contreras Castro', "Joel David Kaplan was a New York businessman who had been arrested for murder in 1962 in Mexico City and was incarcerated at the Santa Martha Acatitla prison in the Iztapalapa borough of Mexico City. Joel's sister, Judy Kaplan, arranged the means to help Kaplan escape, and on August 19, 1971, a helicopter landed in the prison yard. The guards mistakenly thought this was an official visit. In two minutes, Kaplan and his cellmate Carlos Antonio Contreras, a Venezuelan counterfeiter, were able to board the craft and were piloted away, before any shots were fired.[9] Both men were flown to Texas and then different planes flew Kaplan to California and Castro to Guatemala.[3] The Mexican government never initiated extradition proceedings against Kaplan.[9] The escape is told in a book, The 10-Second Jailbreak: The Helicopter Escape of Joel David Kaplan.[4] It also inspired the 1975 action movie Breakout, which starred Charles Bronson and Robert Duvall.[9]"], ['October 31, 1973', 'Mountjoy Jail', 'Ireland', 'Yes', "JB O'Hagan Seamus TwomeyKevin Mallon", 'On October 31, 1973 an IRA member hijacked a helicopter and forced the pilot to land in the exercise yard of Dublin\'s Mountjoy Jail\'s D Wing at 3:40\xa0p.m., October 31, 1973. Three members of the IRA were able to escape: JB O\'Hagan, Seamus Twomey and Kevin Mallon. Another prisoner who also was in the prison was quoted as saying, "One shamefaced screw apologised to the governor and said he thought it was the new Minister for Defence (Paddy Donegan) arriving. I told him it was our Minister of Defence leaving." The Mountjoy helicopter escape became Republican lore and was immortalized by "The Helicopter Song", which contains the lines "It\'s up like a bird and over the city. There\'s three men a\'missing I heard the warder say".[1]'], ['May 24, 1978', 'United States Penitentiary, Marion', 'United States', 'No', 'Garrett Brock TrapnellMartin Joseph McNallyJames Kenneth Johnson', "43-year-old Barbara Ann Oswald hijacked a Saint Louis-based charter helicopter and forced the pilot to land in the yard at USP Marion. While landing the aircraft, the pilot, Allen Barklage, who was a Vietnam War veteran, struggled with Oswald and managed to wrestle the gun away from her. Barklage then shot and killed Oswald, thwarting the escape.[10] A few months later Oswald's daughter hijacked TWA Flight 541 in an effort to free Trapnell."]]

Removing last column.

In [159]:
index= 0
for row in data:
    data[index]=row[0:-1]
    index+=1
print(data[:3])
[['August 19, 1971', 'Santa Martha Acatitla', 'Mexico', 'Yes', 'Joel David Kaplan Carlos Antonio Contreras Castro'], ['October 31, 1973', 'Mountjoy Jail', 'Ireland', 'Yes', "JB O'Hagan Seamus TwomeyKevin Mallon"], ['May 24, 1978', 'United States Penitentiary, Marion', 'United States', 'No', 'Garrett Brock TrapnellMartin Joseph McNallyJames Kenneth Johnson']]

Changing date to only year.

In [160]:
for row in data:
    row[0]=fetch_year(row[0])
print(data[:3])    
    
[[1971, 'Santa Martha Acatitla', 'Mexico', 'Yes', 'Joel David Kaplan Carlos Antonio Contreras Castro'], [1973, 'Mountjoy Jail', 'Ireland', 'Yes', "JB O'Hagan Seamus TwomeyKevin Mallon"], [1978, 'United States Penitentiary, Marion', 'United States', 'No', 'Garrett Brock TrapnellMartin Joseph McNallyJames Kenneth Johnson']]
In [161]:
#The earliest and latest years.
min_year = min(mydata, key=lambda x: x[0])[0]
max_year = max(mydata, key=lambda x: x[0])[0]
In [122]:
#Making a list of all years.
years=[]
for i in range(min_year,max_year+1):
    years.append(i)
print(years)
[1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020]

In which year did the most attempts at breaking out of prison with a helicopter occur?

In [134]:
#List of lists; each element is a year and the number of attempts in this year. 
attempts_per_year=[]
#counter for the attempts in each year.
counter=0
for y in years:
    for row in data:
        if int(y) == int(row[0]) :
            counter+=1
    attempts_per_year.append([y,counter])
    counter=0
print(attempts_per_year)
[[1971, 1], [1972, 0], [1973, 1], [1974, 0], [1975, 0], [1976, 0], [1977, 0], [1978, 1], [1979, 0], [1980, 0], [1981, 2], [1982, 0], [1983, 1], [1984, 0], [1985, 2], [1986, 3], [1987, 1], [1988, 1], [1989, 2], [1990, 1], [1991, 1], [1992, 2], [1993, 1], [1994, 0], [1995, 0], [1996, 1], [1997, 1], [1998, 0], [1999, 1], [2000, 2], [2001, 3], [2002, 2], [2003, 1], [2004, 0], [2005, 2], [2006, 1], [2007, 3], [2008, 0], [2009, 3], [2010, 1], [2011, 0], [2012, 1], [2013, 2], [2014, 1], [2015, 0], [2016, 1], [2017, 0], [2018, 1], [2019, 0], [2020, 1]]

Plotting the data to find out which year has the most attempts.

In [135]:
%matplotlib inline
barplot(attempts_per_year)

In which countries do the most attempted helicopter prison escapes occur?

In [136]:
countries_frequency = df["Country"].value_counts()
In [137]:
print_pretty_table(countries_frequency)
Country Number of Occurrences
France 15
United States 8
Greece 4
Belgium 4
Canada 4
Australia 2
Brazil 2
United Kingdom 2
Puerto Rico 1
Italy 1
Chile 1
Netherlands 1
Ireland 1
Mexico 1
Russia 1

Conclusion

The number of attempts in each year doesn't vary that much. The maximum number of attemts is 3 and the minimum is 1, More than one year has 3 attempts, The most attempts at breaking out of prison with a helicopter occured in 4 diffrent years (1986,2001,2007,2009). Moreover, The country with the most helicopter prison escapes is France with 15 attempts.