On This Day in Aviation History

March 5, 2012

Today in Aviation History: March 5th

K9795, the 9th production Mk I Supermarine Spitfire, with 19 Squadron in 1938
K9795, the 9th production Mk I Supermarine Spitfire, with 19 Squadron in 1938
2000 – Southwest Airlines Flight 1455, a Boeing 737-300 (N668SW) overruns Runway 8 at Burbank-Glendale Pasadena Airport on landing after a flight from Las Vegas McCarran International. The accident is blamed on the pilot’s failure to abort landing after approaching too fast and too high. The pilot was heard on the cockpit voice recorder moments afterward saying “Well, there goes my career.” Thankfully, all 142 occupants survive.

1993 – Palair Macedonian Airlines Flight 301 crashes moments after takeoff on runway 34 in Skopje, Macedonia. The Fokker F-100 (PH-XXL) failed to climb due to the crew’s failure to have the aircraft de-iced, killing 83 of the 97 aboard.

1981 – Venera 14, a Soviet space probe for intended to explore Venus, arrives at its destination. The spacecraft has a twin, Venera 13, which launched and also arrived 5 days prior.

1979Voyager 1 makes its closest approach to Jupiter at a distance of 172,000 miles.

1978Landsat 3 launches, the third in a series of photo satellites. Its Earth-snapping work would last five years until March of 1983.

1967 – Lake Central Airlines Flight 527, a Convair CV-580 (N73130), crashes in Marseille, Ohio, killing all 37 on-board. The crash is attributed to all four blades separating from right propeller, the no. 2 blade piercing through the aircraft.

1966 – BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707-436 (GAPFE) enroute to Kai Tak International, crashes into Mount Fuji shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport, killing all 124 people aboard. The aircraft encounters severe turbulence, resulting in structural failure, beginning with separation of the vertical stabilizer. The crash comes one day after Canadian Pacific Flight 402 crashed at Tokyo Airport, with the BOAC 707 taxiing past the smoldering wreckage minutes before their own crash. Similarly, the Canadian Pacific aircraft crashed while returning from Kai Tak.

1962 – A Convair B-58 flies a round trip between Los Angeles and New York, setting three records in the process for the fastest between the two cities (2 hours, 58 minutes), fastest transcon and fastest round-trip (4 hours 41 minutes).

1958Explorer 2 launches, but due to a mechanical failure, does not reach orbit.

1943 – The Gloster Meteor jet fighter, the first in the Allied fleet, makes its maiden test flight.

1936 – The Supermarine Spitfire makes its maiden flight. The single-seat fighter would play a major role in World War II, with over 20,300 being built over the following 10 years.

1923 – Igor Sikorsky founds the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation, which would become Sikorsky Manufacturing Company two years later.

1912 – Aviation pioneer Bob Fowler flies a west to east coast-to-coast journey from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida, taking four months to complete.

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