On This Day in Aviation History
On This Day in Aviation History: December 8th
2005 – Southwest airlines Flight 1248, a 737-700 registered N471WN, overruns Chicago Midway’s runway 31C, coming to rest in a street intersection. The only fatality is a little boy that was traveling with his family in their car. Landing in snowy conditions, the aircraft began to skid on landing, and there may have been a problem with the reverse thrust, which was only activated 18 seconds after touchdown. While on approach, the pilots were recorded as saying “I picked a bad day to stop sniffin’ glue” (true).
1987 – A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27-400M chartered by Peruvian football club Alianza Lima crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru. The aircraft was having mechanical difficulties and executed a flyby of the control tower so it could be visually confirmed that his landing gear was down and locked. Once proven it he affirmative, the aircraft went to go around to land, lost altitude and hit the water. Of the 44 people on-board, only one of the pilots survived.
1972 – United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737-200 registered N9031U, crashes short of Chicago Midway’s runway 31L and into some houses, killing 45 of the 63 people on-board. Though the crash was attributed to a stall due to the pilot not maintaining proper approach speeds, some claimed it was a conspiracy to kill Dorothy Hunt, the wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.
1969 – An Olympic Airways DC-6B (registered SX-DAE) crashes into Mount Pan in Greece after failing to maintain the minimum safe altitude, killing all 90 on-board.
1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707-100 (registered N709PA) is in a holding pattern while flying from Baltimore to Philadelphia when it is struck by lightning and crashes. The bolt ignited fuel vapors in a reserve tank and exploded, sending the plane down in Elton, Maryland. All 81 people on-board perished.
1938 – Germany launches its first aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, measuring 280 feet.