On This Day in Aviation History
US Airways Scraps MetroJet, Cathay Pacific is Founded, First All-Instruments Flight: September 24 in Aviation History
2009: SA Airlink Flight 8911, a BAe Jetstream 41 (ZS-NRM), crashes shortly after take-off from Durban International Airport due to an engine failure. The aircraft is destroyed but the three crew members survive with serious injuries.
2001: US Airways announces the end of its low fare, low frills subsidiary, MetroJet. The move comes 13 days after the September 11th terrorist attacks and three years after the service had launched to compete with Southwest Airlines.
1987: A Panavia Tornado F3 becomes the first British jet fighter plane to complete a nonstop crossing of the Atlantic without refueling, flying 2,200nm in 4 hr 45 min.
1972: Japan Airlines Flight 472, a Douglas DC-8 (JA8013), lands at the wrong airport in Bombay and overruns the runway. Instead of touching down at the city’s main Santacruz Airport (now Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport), it lands at the — but much smaller — Juhu Aerodrome. The plane is damaged beyond repair, but only 11 of the 122 people onboard are injured. Pilot error combined with poor airport placement and sun glare are blamed.
1966: New women’s airspeed record: Marina Solovyeva pilots a Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-76 to 1,270 mph (2,044 km/h).
1960: The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CV-65), is launched at Newport News, Virginia.
1959: A Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux (TAI) Douglas DC-7C (F-BIAP) flies into trees while departing Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, France, killing 54 of the 65 people on board.
1958: First combat use of guided air-to-air missiles: Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) F-86F Sabres fire AAM-N-7 Sidewinder IA (later known as AIM-9B Sidewinder IA) missiles to down several People’s Republic of China MiG-15 fighters.
1956: The second incarnation of the Luftwaffe is founded in West Germany.
1949: First flight of the North American T-28 Trojan military trainer aircraft.
1946: Cathay Pacific Airways is founded in Hong Kong.
1939: First flight: Handley Page Halifax, Royal Air Force four-engined heavy bomber.
1938: Women’s nonstop distance record: Three Soviet women – Valentina Grizodubova, Polina Osipenko, and Marina Raskova – fly the Tupolev ANT-37 Rodina (“Motherland”) nonstop, 3,672 miles (5,913 km) across the Soviet Union in 26 hours 29 minutes.
1930: NASA astronaut John Young is born in San Francisco. He would become the ninth man to walk on the Moon (Apollo 16), the first to complete six spaceflights, and is the only astronaut to fly on four different US spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle.
1930: First flight: Short Rangoon, a British three-engined biplane flying-boat.
1929: Aviation pioneer and World War II hero Jimmy Doolittle completes the first flight to take off, fly and land using only instruments at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York.
1852: The first flight of a practical, powered airship takes place in France, as engineer Henri Giffard pilots a steam engine-powered ship about 17 miles from Paris to Trappes at 5 mph.