On This Day in Aviation History

March 1, 2012

March 1st in Aviation History: American Airlines Flight 1 Crashes in New York, Lindbergh Baby is Kidnapped

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March 2, 1962 cover of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

2010 – The Bay Runway 13R/31L, the longest and busiest at John F. Kennedy International Airport, is closed for a complete overhaul. It would reopen a couple of days ahead of schedule in late June 2010.

2002 – The European Space Agency’s Envisat environmental satellite is successfully launched from the Guyana Space Centre atop an Ariane 5 rocket.

1966 – The Soviet spacecraft Venera 3 crashes onto the surface of Venus, becoming the first manmade object to impact another planet.

1962 – American Airlines Flight 1, a Boeing 707-100 (N7506A) bound for Los Angeles, nosedives into Jamaica Bay immediately after taking off from New York’s Idlewild Airport, killing all 87 passengers and eight crewmembers onboard. The subsequent investigation would blame the crash on a manufacturing flaw in the autopilot system, which caused an uncommanded rudder input.

1962 – A ticker tape parade is held in New York City to honor astronaut John Glenn, who had become the first American to orbit the Earth about two weeks earlier.

1956 – The Radiotelephony spelling alphabet, also known as the NATO phonetic alphabet, is drafted by the International Air Transport Association.

1945 – Germany’s Bachem Ba 349 Natter, a manned, rocket-powered interceptor, makes its first launch, killing the test pilot, Lothar Sieber. It would not launch again.

1941 – The Royal New Zealand Air Force forms its first fighter squadron, No. 485.

1932 – The 18-month-old son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped from the family’s home in East Amwell, New Jersey. His body is found near the home about two months later. Bruno Hauptmann, an ex-convict from Germany, is later arrested and executed for the murder.

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