On This Day in Aviation History

December 12, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: December 12th

Memorial service for the soldiers who died aboard Arrow Air Flight 1285.
Memorial service for the soldiers who died aboard Arrow Air Flight 1285.
1985 – Arrow Air Flight 1285, a DC-8-63 registered N950JW, crashes just after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland. The aircraft was on its way to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, bringing 248 soldiers home from Cairo, Egypt. Due to suspected to be ice contamination, the aircraft had difficulty gaining altitude and went down on a slope near Gander Lake, killing all 256 on-board.

Memorial service for the soldiers who died aboard Arrow Air Flight 1285.

Memorial service for the soldiers who died aboard Arrow Air Flight 1285.

1957 – A McDonnell F-101 Voodoo flown by Maj. Adrian Drew sets a new speed record of

1953 – Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to reach the speed of Mach 2.5 in the Bell X-1A, hitting 1,650 mph at an altitude of 70,000 ft.

1951 – Alaska Airlines becomes the first airline to fly over the North Pole.

1918 – Cpt R.M. Smith, Brig Gen A.E. Borton and Maj Gen W. Salmond of the Royal Air Force set out from Cairo for Karachi aboard a Handley Page O/400 to survey a mail route to India.

1915 – The Junker J-1, the first all-metal aircraft, flies for the first time in Dessau, Germany. After a few mishaps during test flights, it would never become anything more than a test plane, but did allow Junkers to receive approval to develop the J-2.