On This Day in Aviation History

May 4, 2010

On This Day in Aviation History: May 4th


Three de Havilland Vampires from the Royal Canadian Air Force Blue Devils.

2006 – Hawaiian Airlines announces service to the mainland destinations of San Diego, Seattle and Portland with their four additional Boeing 767-300 airliners.

2004 – US Airways becomes the 15th member of the airline coalition Star Alliance.

2003 – Frontier Airlines increases service to Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Their regional operation Frontier JetExpress also adds regional jet service to Boise, Oklahoma City and Tucson, while discontinuing service to Oakland.

2002 – EAS Airlines Flight 4226, a BAC-111 (5N-ESF) on a flight from Kano to Lagos, Nigeria, crashes half a mile away from the airport. Both engines fail due to the ingestion of dust and soil after the pilot overshoots the runway on its takeoff roll. A school, 23 houses and a mosque are destroyed, with fatalities including 71 of the 77 people on the aircraft and an additional 78 on the ground.

1989 – NASA launches the Magellan space probe from the Space Shuttle Atlantis, where it would arrive at Venus 15 months later.

1972 – An Aeroflot Yakalov Yak-40 (CCCP-87778) crashes due to windshear  at Bratsk, Russia, killing all 18 onboard.

1967 - The Lunar Orbiter 4 launches on a 180-day mission to take photographs of The Moon for research purposes. It would take over 500 photos before striking the surface.

1949 – The “Superga Air Disaster”, a crash of a Fiat G212CP (I-ELCE) carrying the Torino A.C. football (soccer) after a game in Lisbon, takes place. Low clouds force them to descend to fly visually and collide with a hill near Turin, Italy. All 31 occupants perish.

1949 – The Canadian Blue Devils aerobatic team is formed. Their fleet of RCAF de Havilland Vampire jets would grow to 6 before being disbanded after just over one year when the aircraft type was retired and the team disbanded, although they did perform one more time in August of 1951.

1936 – Amy Johnson sets a speed record of 3 days, 6 hours and 26 minutes on a flight from England to South Africa in a Percival Gull Six (G-ADZO).

1911 – The US Army donates the Wright Flyer to the Smithsonian Museum after nearly two years of ownership for flight training purposes.