On This Day in Aviation History

February 29, 2012

February 29th in Aviation History: American Announces Huge MD-80 Order, President Johnson Reveals Existence of A-12 Spy Plane

The US Air Force Lockheed A-12, Serial Number 06932, looks very similar to the later SR-71 Blackbird. (Photo by US Air Force)

1996 – Faucett Perú Flight 251, a Boeing 737-200 (OB-1451), crashes into a hillside while on approach to Rodriguez Ballon Airport in Arequipa, Peru, killing all 123 people on board. The crew failed to update their altimeter setting during descent, causing them to believe the plane was flying at an altitude almost 1,000 feet higher than it actually was. Furthermore, darkness prevented the pilots from seeing obstacles in their path.

1984 – American Airlines announces the largest aircraft order in history at the time, agreeing to buy 67 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 airliners, with options to purchase 100 more.

1964 – President Lyndon Johnson reveals the existence of the Lockheed A-12 spy plane, aka Oxcart, a precursor of the SR-71 Blackbird.

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