On This Day in Aviation History

March 7, 2012

March 7th in Aviation History: The X-15 Breaks Mach 4, Kepler Space Observatory is Launched

The X-15 became the first manned aircraft to exceed Mach 4 on this day in 1961.

2009 – The Kepler Space Observatory, designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, is launched from Cape Canaveral atop a Delta II rocket.

2007 – Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 crashes on landing at Adisucipto International Airport in Indonesia, killing 22 of the 138 on-board. The 737-497 (PK-GZC) touches down at almost double the proper landing speed after the pilots forget to lower the flaps. The Captain had ignored both aircraft warnings and a First Officer request to go-around. He was later charged with six counts of manslaughter, and found guilty of negligence.

2001 – A Skymaster Airlines Boeing 707-331C (PT-MST) crashes in Sao Paulo, Brazil after a hard landing. The cargo flight had three crewmembers aboard, all of whom survived, although the aircraft was ultimately written-off.

1986 – The crew cabin of Space Shuttle Challenger is located on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, five weeks after exploding after launch.

1975 – The Yakovlev Yak-42 makes its first test flight.

1961 – The North American X-15 exceeds Mach 4 as the first manned aircraft to do so, reaching 2,905 mph at an altitude of 77,450 feet.

1959 – Aviator M. C. Garlow becomes the first to fly a million miles in a jet airplane. Frequent Flier Elite Status FTW.

1956 – Engineer Dan Perkins embarks on his first flight with an inflatable airplanes. It takes nearly a half-hour with a household vacuum to fill it.

1950 – Northwest Orient Flight 307 crashes just before landing at Minneapolis after trying to divert there due to bad weather in Rochester. Striking a cemetery flagpole, the Martin 202 continued for a few miles before crashing into a house, killing all 13 on-board.



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