On This Day in Aviation History

November 15, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: November 15th

Pilot Michael J. Adams alongside the X-15.
Pilot Michael J. Adams alongside the X-15.
2000 – An Asa Pesada Antonov AN-24 (registered D2-FCG) departing Luanda, Angola climbs to 200ft, makes an uncontrolled left turn and crashes into the ground, killing all 40 onboard.

Pilot Michael J. Adams alongside the X-15.

Pilot Michael J. Adams alongside the X-15.

1992 – An Aerocaribbean Ilyushin IL-18 flying from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata in Domincan Republic, crashes into a mountain, killing all 34 occupants.

1990 – Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on mission STS-38.

1987 – Continental Airlines Flight 1713, a DC-9-14 (registered N626TX) crashes on takeoff from Denver’s Stapleton International Airport, killing 28 of the 82 on-board. Continental felt the crash was caused by wake turbulence and poor snow plowing on the runway, but the NTSB attributed it to the Captain not asking for de-icing a second time.

1978 – Icelandic Airlines Flight 001, a DC-8-63CF (registered TF-FLA) flying from Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka, crashes on approach to Colombo-Katunayake International Airport due to windshear, killing 183 of the 262 on-board. Though during a thunderstorm, it was determined that the crash might have been prevented had the flight crew followed proper approach procedures and communicated to each other better.

1967 – The only fatality of the X-15 program occurs during the 191st flight when Air Force test pilot Michael J. Adams loses control of his aircraft which is destroyed mid-air over the Mojave Desert.

The very Short Solent 3 that crashed in the UK, killing 45.

The very Short Solent 3 that crashed in the UK, killing 45.

1966 – Pan Am Flight 708, a 727 (registered N317PA) was on its initial approach to Berlin-Tegel Airport when it crashed, killing all 3 (crew) on-board. Because the crash took place in the Soviet occupation zone, the cause of the crash was never determined.

1965 - A Flying Tigers Line Boeing 707C (reg N322F) takes off from Palm Springs, Calif. in an attempt to complete the first transpolar round-the-world flight. The flight is crewed by three TWA pilots, a Flying Tigers captain and a Boeing test pilot, and the two dozen passengers include scientists, aerospace industry observers, journalists and two Life Magazine photographers. After stops in Honolulu, London, England, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Christchurch, and a second at Honolulu, the trek is successfully completed two days later when she touches down in Burbank.

1964 – Bonanza Air Lines Flight 114, a Fairchild F-27B (registered N745L) flying from Phoenix, Arizona to Las Vegas McCarran, crashes on approach in poor weather conditions, killing all 29 on-board. Initial reports said that 28 had perished, but then the body of a very young girl was found among the wreckage.

1957 – An Aquila Airways Short Solent 3 flying boat (registered G-AKNU) suffers an engine failure shortly after takeoff from Southampton, England and crashes while trying to return to the airport, killing 45 of the 58 on-board.

1942 – The first flight of the German Heinkel He 219 “Uhu”.

Here is a VERY cool tour of a mock-up Space Shuttle and the astronaut training experience…

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