On This Day in Aviation History
On This Day in Aviation History: December 23rd
Tags: 4K-AZ48, Alitalia, Alitalia Flight 4128, Andrei Tupolev, Antonov An-140-100, Azerbaijan Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217, B-1 Bomber, Braathens, Braathens Flight 239, Fokker F-28 Fellowship, Fornedu Airport, I-DIKQ, McDonnell Douglas DC-9
2005 – Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217 crashes five minutes after a night-time departure out of Baku in poor weather. The Antonov An-140-100 registered 4K-AZ48 had experienced some sort of systems failure, and the flight crew became disoriented, striking the ground on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
2002 – The first engagement of a conventional aircraft on an unmanned drone occurs when an Iraqi MiG-25 shoots down an MQ-1 Predator that was performing recon over the No-Fly Zone. The Predator fired a Stinger air-to-air missile at the MiG, which missed and was responded to with a missile from the Iraqi jet, destroying the drone.
1978 – Alitalia Flight 4128, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 registered I-DIKQ, crashes while on approach to Palermo International Airport. the pilots had descended prematurely, thinking they were closer to the airport than they were. They leveled off at 150- feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea when a change in wind speed caused the right wing to clip the water. Fishing boats retrieved the 21 survivors out of the water, whereas 108 people died.
1974 – The Rockwell B-1 Lancer strategic bomber makes its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base. Still in service, the long-range bomber is now the only swept-wing aircraft still in active duty for the United States.
1972 – Braathens Flight 239, a Fokker F-28 Fellowship registered LN-SUY, crashes in Asker, Norway. the aircraft was on approach to Fornedu Airport at night and in low visibility when they hit the ground, killing 40 of the 45 on-board.
1972 – Andrei Tupolev dies at the age of 86.
1940 – United Airlines launches the first ever all-cargo service, flying from New York to Chicago.
1939 – Anthony Fokker dies in New York at the age of 49.
Here is a dramatic clip of a B-1 Lancer delivering a nuclear missile…