On This Day in Aviation History
Thurman Munson Plane Crash, Army Buys First Wright Flyer: August 2 in Aviation History
2005: Air France Flight 358, an Airbus A340-300 (F-GLZQ) overruns Toronto-Pearson International Airport’s (YYZ) Runway 24L-06R while landing during a rain storm and burns. Amazingly, all 309 people on board (297 passengers + 12 crew) escape with their lives, with 47 injuries reported.
1990: Hours after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the 367 passengers and 18 crew on British Airways Flight 149, a Boeing 747-100 (G-AWND), are detained when it lands in Kuwait City. One passenger, a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family, is killed. The remainder are used by the Iraqis as human shields, with another passenger dying in captivity, but the remainder are eventually released. The plane is destroyed. Questions were immediately raised as to why the flight landed in a war zone in the first place. The British government has denied allegations that the flight carried intelligence operatives who were to be inserted into Kuwait.
1985: Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar (N726DA), crashes while on approach to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), killing 135 of the 163 people on board. The crash would be blamed on microburst-induced wind shear, which essentially forced the plane into the ground, combined with pilot error. The crash would lead to massive research of microbursts and the development of new detection technologies. A memorial to the victims was dedicated at DFW’s Founder’s Plaza in 2010.
1979: New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson is killed while practicing landing his Cessna Citation 501 jet (N15NY) at Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Ohio. Two other passengers escape.
1947: A British South American Airways Avro Lancastrian crashes in the Andes while on approach to Santiago, Chile, killing all 11 people onboard. The aircraft would not be found for 51 years, when wreckage began emerging from melting glacial ice in 1998.
1943: A US Army Air Force-owned, United Airlines-operated C-87 Liberator Express, carrying members of the Japanese Consular Corps to be exchanged for US POWs, crashes while taking off from Whenuapai Aerodrome, New Zealand, killing 16 of the 30 people onboard.
1920: Ormer Locklear, Hollywood stunt pilot, is killed while filming a scene for The Skywayman. He was 28.
1917: British Royal Naval Air Service squadron leader E. H. Dunning lands a Sopwith Pup aboard the HMS Furious, becoming the first pilot to land a plane on a moving ship.
1909: The US Army takes delivery of its first Wright Flyer, marking history’s first government purchase of an aircraft. The Wright Brothers are paid $25,000 for the plane, plus a $5,000 bonus for the plane’s ability to fly faster than the 40 mph requirement.