On This Day in Aviation History

December 4, 2012

Pan Am Grounds All Flights: December 4th In Aviation History

Pan Am Boeing 747-100 "Clipper Neptune's Car" (N742PA) seen in Zurich, 1985. (Photo by Eduard Mamet via wikimedia)

2010: Dagestan Airlines Flight 372, a Tupolev Tu-154 (RA-85744) operating from Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport to Uytash Airport in Makhachkala, suffers a dual engine failure shortly after takeoff and attempts an emergency landing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow. On approach the third engine fails, causing the plane to skid off the runway. Of the 168 people on the plane, two are killed and 87 are injured.

2003: Close call for Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller as the Mil Mi-8 helicopter he’s flying on crashes just outside of Warsaw. He suffers

1991: After declaring bankruptcy in August, Pan Am ends operations after 63 years of service. The last service flown is Flight 423, from Bridgetown, Barbados to Miami, operated by the Boeing 727-200 Clipper Goodwill (N368PA).

1984: Kuwait Airways Flight 221, flying from Kuwait City to Karachi, Pakistan, is hijacked by four Lebanese men and diverted to Tehran. Four hostages are killed and dumped on the tarmac, and the remaining passengers, especially Americans, are tortured every 5 minutes. Iranians eventually raid the aircraft and rescue all, but the hijackers are later released.

1983: In response to the attack on US bases in Beirut, US Navy A-6 Intruders attack targets in Libya.

1977: Malaysian Airlines Flight 653, a Boeing 737-200 (9M-MBD), crashes at Tanjung Kupang Johor in Malaysia, killing all 100 on-board. The aircraft had been hijacked and the cause of the crash itself is still unknown. The aircraft went down in a swamp, nearly straight-down, and there was not one recognizable body found.

1974: Martinair Flight 138, a DC-8-55 (PH-MBH) flying from Indonesia to Sri Lanka, crashes while on approach to Colombo-Bandaranaike Airport. The aircraft hit Anjimalai Mountain after descending below the minimum safe altitude, killing all 191 on-board.

1965: Eastern Airlines Flight 853, a Lockheed Super Constellation (N6218C), and TWA Flight 42, a Boeing 707 (N748TW) collide over Carmel, New York. Four people on the Eastern plane die when it crash lands in a wooded area in Danbury, Connecticut. The TWA aircraft is able to continue on to land on Runway 31L at JFK.

1965: Gemini 7 is launched from Cape Kennedy Air Force Station carrying astronauts Frank Gorman and James Lovell. It is the 4th manned Gemini flight, the 12th manned American flight and the 20th spaceflight of all time.

1961 – The National Air and Space Museum receives the Douglas C-54 transport “Sacred Cow” used by US Presidents Roosevelt and Truman.

1955 – Glenn L. Martin, founder of the Glenn L. Martin Company, dies at the age of 69.

About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.



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