On This Day in Aviation History

December 28, 2009

On This Day in Aviation History: December 28th

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By: Phil Derner Jr.
1988 - Investigators determine that Pan Am Flight 103, which had crashed a week earlier, was brought down by a bomb in the luggage hold.

1978 – United Airlines Flight 173 crashes in Portland, Oregon. The DC-8-61 (registered N8082U) aborted its landing due to a problem when attempting to drop the landing gear. While investigating the issue in a holding pattern for an hour, the cockpit crew failed to monitor the remaining fuel, of which they ran out. Ten were killed of the 189 on-board.

1968 – After a hijacking on an El Al jet in Athens the previous July, Israeli commandos execute a surprise attack on Beirut Airport, destroying 13 civilian aircraft belonging to the Lebanese carriers Middle East Airlines (former Air Liban which had merged with MEA), Trans Mediterranean Airways, and Lebanese International Airways. This temporarily cripples the Lebanese airline industry. Lebanese International Airways later merged with MEA.

1948 – An Airborne Transport DC-3 NC16002, disappears while flying to Miami from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The aircraft had reported themselves as being 700 miles from Miami and was not heard from again, losing all 32 people on-board. This is considered to be one of the flights lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

1926 - Imperial Airways begins flying passengers and mail between England and India.