On This Day in Aviation History
TWA Flight 800 and TAM Flight 3054 End in Tragedy: July 17th in Aviation History
1933: Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica disappears mysteriously after a successful crossing of the Atlantic.
1938: Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan takes off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY, claiming to be bound for California. He would land in Dublin, Ireland, 28 hours later. The flight followed several rejections by the Bureau of Air Commerce of Corrigan’s plan to fly across the Atlantic. While it seemed likely that he flew to Ireland on purpose, he never admitted it publicly.
1944: Napalm incendiary bombs are used for the first time in war, dropped by American P-38 fighters on a fuel depot in France.
1975: An American Apollo capsule links up to a Russian Soyuz capsule in orbit, marking the first space collaboration between the two nations. It would also be the last Apollo mission, as well as the last manned mission for six years until the launch of the first Space Shuttle in 1981.
1989: The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber makes its maiden flight.
1996: TWA flight 800, a Boeing 747-100 (N93119) enroute to Paris, explodes and plummets into the Atlantic off the coast of Long Island shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport. The explosion is blamed on faulty wiring in the center fuel tank.
2007: TAM Flight 3054, an Airbus A320 (PR-MBK), crashes while landing at Sao Paolo, Brazil, killing all 187 people on the aircraft and 12 on the ground.