On This Day in Aviation History

January 18, 2014

January 18th in Aviation History: A380 Unveiled, United Flt 266 Crashes Into Pacific Ocean

2005 – The Airbus A380 is unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.

1992 – The F-4 Phantom II is removed from US Air Force front-line service.

1981 – The 25,000th Bell Helicopter is produced.

1973 – The Fairchild YA-10 beats the Northrop YA-9 in the USAF A-X fly-off.

1969 – United Airlines Flight 266, a Boeing 727-22C (reg N7434U), crashes into Pacific Ocean 11 miles west of Los Angeles on its way to Denver, killing all 48 onboard. The crash sequence began with the #3 engine generator being legally inoperative before the flight, with the #1 generator failing in-flight (due to a fire indication) and then the #2 failing shortly thereafter for unknown reasons. This meant the aircraft had no electrical source at all (the standby system was never activated), and the pilots became spatially disoriented and were unable to maintain control of the aircraft.

1960 – Capital Airlines Flight 20, flying from Washington DC to Norfolk, Virginia, crashes into a farm in Charles City County, Virginia, killing all 50 on-board. The Vickers 745D Viscount (N7462) experienced dual engine-failure in icing conditions. The aircraft was unable to recover and impacted the ground.

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