On This Day in Aviation History
September 15th in Aviation History
1988 - Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604, a Boeing 737, crashes on takeoff after suffering multiple bird strikes; 35 of 98 passengers die, all 6 crew survive.
1974 - Air Vietnam Flight Flight 706 is hijacked by a man with two hand grenades, demanding to be flown to Hanoi in North Vietnam. As the pilots approach the airfield at Phan Rang, they abort the landing for unknown reasons. The Boeing 727 climbs to 1,000ft and crashes shortly thereafter, killing all 75 onboard. It is suspected that the hijacker detonated his hand grenades after pilot non-compliance.
1972 – A Scandinavian Airlines System flight from Gothenburg to Stockholm is hijacked by three Croatian gunmen and flown to Malmö-Bulltofta Airport, demanding the release of seven Croatian terrorists held in Sweden.
1968 - The Soviet Zond 5 spaceship, the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, is launched.
1959 - A Tupolev Tu-114 takes lands at Andrews Air Force Base carrying Nikita Khrushchev, paying his historic first visit the United States. Khrushchev and the other passengers are forced to use the plane’s emergency ladder to exit, as the plane is too high for the available air stairs.
1948 – The F-86 Sabre sets a world speed record of 671 mph. It is said that this aircraft was the first to break the sound barrier, doing so in a dive during a training flight in 1947, but the Bell X-1 aircraft was the first to do it in sustained, level flight.
1911 – French aviation pioneer Édouard de Nié Port, co-founder of the Nieuport airplane manufacturing company, dies in a plane crash.
1904 – Wilbur Wright makes the first turn in an airplane.