On This Day in Aviation History

December 25, 2009

On This Day in Aviation History: December 25th

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By: Phil Derner Jr.
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An Iraqi Airways Boeing 737-200 similar to the one involved in the hijacking and crash of Flight 163.

An Iraqi Airways Boeing 737-200 similar to the one involved in the hijacking and crash of Flight 163.

2003 – UTA Flight 141 departs overweight and runs off the end of the runway at Conraky Airport in the Republic of Guinea, striking several structures and killing 151 of the 163 on-board and two on the ground. Some say that this aircraft may be the former American Airlines N844AA that was stolen from Angola in May of 2003.

1997 – Children in North and South American receive their toys late when, due to an inoperative APU and an ingrown hoof-nail on Blitzen, Santa Claus’s sleigh (registered N0EL) loses its ETOPS status. The glitch forces the sleigh to take a more northerly route over the Atlantic and make additional tech-stops in Shannon, Ireland and Keflavik, Iceland.

1986 – Iraqi Airways Flight 163 is hijacked by four men in-flight, where multiple hand grenade explosions forced the aircraft to crash, killing 63 of the 106 on-board. The 737-270C registered YI-AGJ went down in Saudi Arabia on a flight from Baghdad to Jordan.

1981 – United States Air Force Lieutenant Thomas Tiller is rescued out of the Atlantic Ocean after his F-4 Phantom crashed a week prior.

0 – A very wise three-man crew use the star navigation to find their destination in Bethlehem. Though the airfield’s FBO was closed for Christmas, they found a manger where they were able to drop off their gifts and refuel.

Everyone at NYCAviation would like to wish you all a very happy and safe holiday!