On This Day in Aviation History
February 17th in Aviation History: Turkish Prime Minister Survives London Plane Crash, Aloha Emerges from Bankruptcy
1996 – The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)-Shoemaker spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral atop a Delta rocket.
1988 – Asiana Airlines is established in Seoul, South Korea. Flights begin the following December with flights to Busan.
1974 – US Army Private Robert K. Preston steals a helicopter and hovers it above the White House for 6 minutes. He is then chased by Maryland State Police choppers and eventually shot at by Secret Service. He later explains that he wanted to prove that he was a skilled pilot after having been rejected by the Army’s flying program.
1965 – Ranger 8, a satellite intended to take photos of the Moon to plan for the Apollo missions, launches.
1959 – The world’s first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, is launched by the US Navy to measure cloud cover.
1959 – A Turkish Airlines Vickers Viscount 739 (TC-SEV) charter flight carrying Turkish prime minister Adnan Menderes and other government officials crashes about 3 miles short of London’s Gatwick Airport after diverting from Heathrow due to heavy fog. Menderes and nine other passengers survive, but the remaining 14 are killed.