On This Day in Aviation History

August 14, 2010

On This Day in Aviation History: August 14th

Tupolev ANT-14

Tupolev ANT-14

1909, the wife of Samuel F. Cody goes for a 3-minute flight aboard her husband’s British Army Aeroplane No.1., making her Great Britain’s first female airplane passenger.

1931, the Tupolev ANT-14 Pravda makes its first flight. With capacity for 36 passengers, it is the largest land plane of its day. Aeroflot, however, would decide it has no need for such a large aircraft, and the first copy is the only one ever built, being used only for occasional sightseeing flights before it is grounded 10 years later.

1937, six Imperial Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers are shot down while raiding Chinese air bases, marking the first air-to-air combat of World War II.

1953, a Royal Australian Air Force Sabre fighter scares an unknown number of kangaroos as it becomes the first airplane to break the sound barrier over Australia.

1962, an East German Ilyushin Il-62 crashes on takeoff from East Berlin, killing 156.

1968, Los Angeles Airways Flight 417, a Sikorsky 61L helicopter (N300Y) flying from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Disneyland Heliport, crashes in Compton, Calif., killing all 18 passengers and three crewmembers on board. One of the rotor blades had separated from the spindle, causing loss of control.

1979, hitting 499mph in a specially modified P-51 named Red Baron, Steve Hinton sets a new world speed record for a piston-engined aircraft.

2003, a massive electrical blackout darkens much of the northeastern United States and Ontario, Canada, knocking out ticketing systems, baggage carousels and air conditioning at most airports. JetBlue hires Mister Softee trucks at New York-JFK to help cool down stranded, un-air conditioned passengers.

2005, Helios Airways Flight 522, a 737-300 (5B-DBY) crashes into a mountain near Marathon, Greece, killing all 121 on board. A problem with the pressurization system had caused the pilots to loose consciousness, leading to loss of control and fuel starvation.

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