On This Day in Aviation History

January 24, 2012

On This Day in Aviation History: January 24th

2011 - A bomb rips through the international arrivals hall of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport, killing 35 and injuring 180. Chechen terrorists claim responsibility for the attack.

2010 - A Taban Air Tu-154 carrying 157 people crash-lands and catches fire at Mashhad International Airport in northeastern Iran, injuring 46 people.

2007 – Boeing announces the 787 Dreamliner will not feature a wireless in-flight entertainment system as originally promised.

2003 - Happy birthday to the Department of Homeland Security!

1990 – Japan launches Hiten, the first lunar probe not produced by the Soviet Union or the U.S.

1986 - The American spacecraft Voyager 2 makes its closest approach to Uranus, passing within 50,600 miles (81,500 kilometers).

1978 - Kosmos 954, a nuclear-powered Soviet reconnaissance satellite, falls out of orbit and breaks up, scattering bits of its nuclear reactor along a 300-mile swath of northern Canada. A U.S.-Canada task force manages to recover only 12 pieces and 1% of the nuclear fuel after searching a 48,000 sq. mi. area, for which the USSR is mailed a bill for $6,041,174.70.

1966 - Air India Flight 101, a Boeing 707 (reg VT-DMN, Katchenjunga) enroute to New York from Bombay via Delhi, Beirut and Geneva, crashes into Mont Blanc on the France/Italy border, killing all 106 passengers and 11 crew. While on approach to Geneva, air traffic controllers instructed the crew to begin their descent after passing Mont Blanc. Unfortunately, the captain began descending too soon, believing they had already flown over the 15,781ft peak. The plane impacted the southwest face of the mountain near the top, at 15,585 feet. TRIVIA: AI uses Flight 101 today to designate their Delhi-New York service.

1961 - A US Air Force B-52G on a 24-hour alert mission breaks up and crashes near Goldsboro, North Carolina. The crew safely ejects, but the plane manages to drop both of its Mark 39 nuclear bombs in the process. One of the warheads manages to complete 5 of the 6 steps needed to detonate, but thankfully does not. The other hits the ground at high speed and disintegrates, with the radioactive core burying itself deep underground to the point that it cannot be recovered. The USAF purchased the surrounding land to prevent theft.

1932 - French pilots Paul Codos and Henri Robida land in Paris after flying from Hanoi in French Indochina in a record time of 3 days 4 hours.