On This Day in Aviation History

November 20, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: November 20th

1993 – An Avioimpex Yakolev Yak-42D (RA-42390) enroute from Geneva to Skopje, Macedonia, diverts to nearby Ohrid due to bad weather in Skopje, and subsequently crashes into Mount Trojani 4,900 feet above sea level. Of the 116 onboard, there is only one survivor.

A Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket is dropped from a US Navy Boeing P2B Superfortress, the Navy's version of the B-29

A Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket is dropped from a US Navy Boeing P2B Superfortress, the Navy's version of the B-29. (Photo by NASA)

1991 – During a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, an Azerbaijani Mil Mi-8 helicopter carrying 22 peacekeepers, politicians and journalists from Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan, is shot down by an Armenian rocket, killing all onboard.

1974 – Lufthansa Flight 540, a Boeing 747-130 (D-ABYB), enroute from Frankfurt to Johannesburg via Nairobi, crashes as it climbs out of the Kenyan capital, killing 59 of the 157 onboard. The crash is blamed on the crew’s failure to extend the leading edge slats, causing the plane to lift off in a partially stalled condition and becoming unable to gain airspeed or altitude.

1967 – TWA Flight 128, a Convair 880 (N821TW), enroute from Los Angeles to Boston via Cincinnati and crashes on approach to Cincinnati, killing 70 of the 82 on-board. The aircraft fell 9,357 ft short of the runway due to the crew attempting a visual approach at night in poor weather.

1964 – Linjeflyg Flight 277, a Convair CV-340 (SE-CCK), crashes on approach  to Ängelholm-Helsingborg Airport in Sweden, killing 31 of the 43 on-board.

1954 – Clyde Vernon Cessna, pilot, airplane designer and founder of the Cessna Aircraft Company, passes away in Rago, Kan. at the age of 76.

1953 – Aboard a Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket rocket plane, test pilot Scott Crossfield becomes the first man to exceed Mach 2.

1948 – An American balloon reaches a record altitude of 26 miles.

1927 – Ed W. “Too Tall” Freeman, Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War and Medal of Honor recipient, is born in Neely, Miss.

1919 – The first municipal airport in the US opens in Tucson, Ariz. Tucson Municipal Flying Field’s first visitor is a plane piloted by one Swede Myerhofer. Today it is known as Tucson International Airport.