On This Day in Aviation History

February 12, 2011

Today in Aviation History: February 12th

2009 - Continental Connection Flight 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operated by Colgan Air (reg N200WQ), crashes into a house in Clarence Center, NY, while on approach to Runway 23 at Buffalo International Airport. All 45 passengers and 4 crew on board the aircraft are killed, while in the destroyed house one man is killed and four others are injured. Icing is initially suspected to be the culprit, but the NTSB report released in February 2010 pins most of the blame on the crew’s inattentiveness, which allowed the airspeed to fall below stall speed; and the crew doing the exact opposite of what they should have been trained to do in the event of a stall: The captain pulled back on the yoke when the stickshaker activated rather than pushing it forward, while the first officer raised the flaps, raising the stall speed even further.

2004 – Exactly four years and one day after the launch of JetBlue, United Airlines responds to its low cost competitors with Ted.

2002 – An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashes into mountains while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport in Iran, killing 119.

1991 – Bye-bye meatball! Continental unveils their blue and gray paint scheme.

1981 – Max Anderson and Don Ida make a failed attempt to circumnavigate the world by balloon. Their craft, the Jules Verne only covers 2,900 miles (4,667 km) from Luxor to New Delhi.

1979 – Air Rhodesia Flight 827, a Vickers Viscount, is shot down by guerrillas between Kariba and Salisbury in South Africa with a Strela 2 missile, killing all 59 on-board.

The Soviet Venera 1 is able to fly past Venus, and also makes a mean Cappuccino.

The Soviet Venera 1 is able to fly past Venus, and also makes a mean Cappuccino.

1959 - The last prop-powered bomber in the US Air Force Strategic Air Command, the Convair B-36, is retired.

1961 - The U.S.S.R. launches Venera 1 towards Venus.

1935 - The USS Macon, a US Navy scouting zeppelin with the ability to launch fighter aircraft, is damaged in a storm and sinks off the coast of California.

1928 - Lady Mary Heath leaves Cape Town in an Avro Avian in an attempt to make the first solo flight by a woman from South Africa to England. She will arrive in Croydon on May 17th.

1921 - The U.S. Army Air Service establishes the first in an expending series of airways – routes safely surveyed by the army civilian and commercial users linking towns and cities by air – by leasing land between Washington and Dayton, Ohio to facilitate stopovers.

1914 - Igor Sikorsky’s giant four-engined biplane, the Ilya Muromets, flies in Russia.