On This Day in Aviation History

April 11, 2012

April 11th in Aviation History: World’s Youngest Pilot Dies in Plane Crash, China Releases US Navy Airmen

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Written by: NYCAviation Staff
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The damaged US Navy Lockheed EP-3 that landed on Hainan Island after a collision with a Chinese Shenyang J-8 interceptor. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

2001 – The crew of a damaged US Navy EP-3 electronic surveillance aircraft is released from Chinese custody, 10 days after their plane collided in midair with a Chinese Shenyang J-8 fighter jet and was forced to land.

1996 – Jessica Dubroff, a seven-year-old whose parents claimed she was the youngest pilot in history to attempt to fly across the United States, dies in a crash while doing just that, along with her flight instructor and her father. The Cessna 177B Cardinal crashed just after takeoff from Cheyenne Regional Airport in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Investigators blame the crash on the flight instructor deciding to takeoff in bad weather, overloading the plane and not maintaining adequate airspeed, which led to a stall and crash. Contributing factors included the flight instructor pushing an extremely tight schedule in order to meet media commitments surrounding the hype around Dubroff’s attempt.

1970Apollo 13 launches from the Kennedy Space Center. The mission to the moon is aborted two days later after an oxygen tank explodes.

1955 – Air India’s Kashmir Princess, a Lockheed L-749 Constellation, is bombed over the South China Sea while enroute from Hong Kong to Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 16 of the 19 people onboard. The bombing is revealed to have been an attempt to kill the Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai, who abruptly changed his travel plans to the Asia-Afro Bandung Conference and did not board the plane, but allowed his decoys to go instead.

1943 – The P-V Engineering Forum PV-2, flown and designed by Frank Piasecki, becomes the second helicopter to complete a successful flight in the United States.

1934 – A Caproni Ca.113 biplane flown by Italian aviator Renato Donati sets a new altitude record of 47,352 ft (14,433 m).

1908 – French aviator Leon Delagrange flies 12,878 feet in 6 minutes, 30 seconds aboard his Voisin-Delagrange No. 2 biplane in Paris.

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