On This Day in Aviation History
On This Day in Aviation History: November 23rd
1996 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, a 767-300 registered ET-AIZ, crashes into the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel near the Comoro Islands after a failed hijacking. Three male hijackers stormed the cockpit after takeoff from Addis Ababa and demanded they fly to Australia. The hijackers didn’t believe the pilot when he told them he didn’t have enough fuel and insisted they continue. They ran out of fuel and ditched in the ocean just off-shore, where beachgoers caught the crash on tape. Of the 175 on-board, 125 died, mostly due to drowning because they inflated their life rafts before exiting the plane. When the aircraft filled with water, they could not dive out of the exits.
1989 – Air France launches direct service between Lyon, France and New York using Airbus A310-300 jets.
1985 – EgyptAir Flight 648, a Boeing 737-200 (SU-AYH) is hijacked by members of the Palestinian militant group Abu Nidal while flying from Athens to Cairo. After the plane lands in Malta, 60 passengers are killed in the ensuing raid by Egyptian commandos.
1962 – United Airlines Flight 297, a Vickers Viscount 745D registered N7430, crashes in Columbia, Maryland after flying through a flock of birds at 6,000ft. All 17 on-board died.
1961 – Aerolineas Argentinas Flight 322, a de Havilland DH-106 Comet registered LV-AHR, crashes shortly after takeoff in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing all 52 on-board. The crash was attributed to the pilots not following proper procedures and checklists.
1947 – The Convair XC-99 makes its first flight, piloted by Russell R. Rogers.
1942 – First flight of the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake.”