On This Day in Aviation History
On This Day in Aviation History: September 23rd
1999 – NASA announces that it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter after it descended to a low altitude in Mars’ orbit and was destroyed by atmospheric stresses.
1913 - French pilot Roland Garros completes the first flight across the Mediterranean Sea. Loaded with 8 hours worth of fuel, he lands in Tunisia 7 hours and 53 minutes after takeoff.
1911 – Earle Ovington is sworn in as the nation’s first air mail pilot, and subsequently flies his Blériot XI with a sack of mail between his legs from Garden City, NY to Mineola, three miles away. The mailbag bursts on impact after a 500 foot drop, scattering 640 letters and 1,280 postcards. Ovington, a native of Newton, Mass. had been an engineering assistant to Thomas Edison before learning to fly at the Blériot school in France. Today, Earle Ovington Boulevard in Uniondale runs along the side of Mitchel Field, connecting Charles Lindbergh Boulevard and Hempstead Turnpike.
1910 - Georges Chavez, of Peru, completes the first flight over the Alps.