On This Day in Aviation History


Today in Aviation History: October 23rd

2007 – Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off on mission STS-120, delivering the Harmony module to the International Space Station (ISS).

2003 – The Queen of England consented to the illumination of Windsor Castle, an honor reserved for state events and visiting dignitaries, as Concorde’s last west-bound commercial flight departed London.

1942 – American Airlines Flight 28, a Douglas DC-3 (registered NC16017), collides with a US Army Air Corps B-34 Bomber over Palm Springs, California, killing all 12 aboard. The crew of two on the bomber both survived, having continued on to land at Palm Springs Army Airport. It was determined that the B-34 pilots were trying to get the attention of the airline by dipping their wing and circling the aircraft, misjudging their proximity to it and clipping off the DC-3’s rudder, causing it to flat-spin to the ground. Despite this, the US Army pilots were acquitted in a court martial. Among the dead in this crash was Academy Award-winning composer Ralph Rainger.

1929 – Universal Aviation Corporation begins the first transcontinental service between New York and Los Angeles. With an overnight hotel stop in Kansas City, the passengers transfer over to ride on Western Air Express for the second leg of the journey to LA. The entire trip took 36-hours with 24-hours of flying time. The fares were estimated at about $300.

1911 – An Italian pilot takes off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War, marking the first-ever use of a plane in war.

1906 – Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont flies his Santos-Dumont 14-bis canard biplane 200 feet at an altitude of 10 feet, marking the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe.

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NYCAviation Staff


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