On This Day in Aviation History


March 26th in Aviation History: Austrian Airlines Resumes International Flights After Two Decade Hiatus

Austrian Airlines restarted international flights with this Airbus A310, OE-LAA New York, from Vienna to JFK in 1989. (Photo by Joe Pries)

2012 – Japan Airlines takes delivery of its first two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, becoming just the second carrier to own the type. It also marks the first 787 delivered with General Electric GEnx engines.

2009 – An Arrow Air McDonnell Douglas DC-10 loses engine parts while flying over Manaus, Colombia. Twelve houses are damaged and the aircraft safely lands at El Dorado International Airport. No fatalities or injuries are reported.

2006 – Hooters Air (operated by Pace Airlines) ends service to both Orlando and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

2005 – West Caribbean Airways Flight 9955, crashes a few hundred feet from the end of the runway after departure from Providencia-El Embrujo Airport in Colombia, killing 9 of the 14 aboard. The Let 410 Turbolet fails to climb after its no. 1 engine fails near V1 speed, leading to an impact with the ground at a 40-degree inverted angle.

2003 – AirTran Flight 356 experiences electrical problems while on approach to LaGuardia Airport’s runway 4, and a strong burning smell in both the cockpit and cabin is detected. The aircraft declares emergency on touchdown, and none of the 83 passengers onboard are injured during the landing, though 10 are hurt during the evacuation.

2001 – A Merpati Nusantara Airlines Fokker F-27 (PK-MFL) crashes on landing during a training flight after completing eight touch-and-go’s throughout the day. The aircraft mysteriously banks to the right and strikes the ground moments from touching down.

2001 – Comair pilots go on strike for 89-days before finally agreeing to a new contract.

1996 – Pace Airlines is founded after approval from the FAA and the US Dept. of Transportation. Their operation would last until they suspend operations on September 11, 2009.

1991 – Singapore Airlines Flight 1117, an Airbus A310 (9V-STP), is hijacked by four male passengers, who demand the release of Asif Ali Zardari, who today is the Pakistani President. After 8 hours and saying they are five minutes away from killing a hostage every ten minutes, commandos storm the aircraft and kill all four hijackers with no other fatalities.

1989 – Austrian Airlines begins international flights for the first time in almost two decades on a flight from Vienna to New York’s JFK on an Airbus A310 (OE-LAA), aptly named “New York”.

1979 – An Interflug Ilyushin IL-18 (DM-STL) overruns the runway in Luanda, Angola, killing all 10 occupants after slamming into the ILS localizer antenna.

1971 – A JamAir Douglas DC-3 (VT-ATT) collides with terrain after failing to follow the prescribed flight plan, killing all 15 occupants. The crash site is located after 6 days.

1958 – The United States launches its third satellite, Explorer III.

1955 – Pan am Flight 845/26 ditches into Pacific Ocean off of the Oregon coast after its #3 engine failed. The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (N1032V) experiences the difficulty after departing Portland International, and floats in the water for two hours, until the USS Bayfield arrives for rescue. Of the 19 on-board, 4 die.

1950 – A North American B-25 Mitchell that was converted to an executive transport configuration and being flown around the country to promote possible sales, breaks-up in midair, presumably due to severe weather conditions. All 6 people on the aircraft perish.

1931 – Swissair is formed after a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero. The carrier would last 71 years until 2002, when it would be succeeded by Swiss International Airlines.

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