This is a list of aviation-related events from 1979:
- February 12 – Members of the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) shoot down Air Rhodesia Flight 827, the Vickers Viscount Umniati, with a Strela 2 (NATO reporting name "SA-7 Grail") surface-to-air missile in the Vuti African Purchase Area of Rhodesia east of Lake Kariba, killing all 59 people on board.
- February 18 – Flying from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod in Sandwich, Massachusetts, in bad weather to rescue a crewman in distress aboard the Japanese fishing vessel Kasei Maru #18, the United States Coast Guard Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican helicopter CG-1432 loses power and ditches in heavy seas in the North Atlantic Ocean 180 nautical miles (207 mi; 333 km) southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. One Canadian Armed Forces and three U.S. Coast Guard personnel aboard die; Kasei Maru No. 18 rescues one U.S. Coast Guard crewman and recovers the bodies of the other four men.
- February 26 – Production of the A-4 Skyhawk ends after 26 years, with the delivery of the 2,690th and final aircraft to the United States Marine Corps.
- February 28 – Since January 1, Tanzania has shot down 19 Ugandan aircraft during the Uganda-Tanzania War. The losses drive the Ugandan Air Force out of the war.
- March 10 – The United States Air Force sends Boeing E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to monitor the civil war in Yemen.
- March 14 – A British-built Hawker Siddeley Trident crashes into a factory in Beijing, China, killing an estimated 200 people, including a dozen crew and passengers and scores of victims in the factory.
- March 25 – Qantas retires its last Boeing 707 and becomes the world's first airline with a fleet made up exclusively of Boeing 747s.
- March 29 – Quebecair Flight 255, a Fairchild F-27, suffers an engine explosion minutes after takeoff from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. While attempting to return to the airport, the airliner crashes into a hillside, killing 17 of the 24 people on board.
- March 31 – 550 senior officers of the Iranian armed forces, many of the them Iranian Air Force and Iranian Army generals, have been killed or driven out of military service since the Iranian Revolution deposed the Shah of Iran on 11 February.
- April 4 – Trans World Airlines Flight 841, a Boeing 727-31 with 89 people on board on a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota, suddenly rolls sharply to the right over Saginaw, Michigan, and goes into a spiral dive from 39,000 feet (11,887 m) including two 360-degree rolls despite corrective measures taken by both the autopilot and the human pilot, losing 34,000 (10,363 m) of altitude in 63 seconds before the flight crew manages to pull out of the dive at 5,000 feet (1,524 m). Eight passengers suffer minor injuries caused by exposure to high G forces. The plane makes an emergency landing at Detroit, Michigan, without further incident.
- Three Iraqi Air Force aircraft bomb several Iranian villages near the northern Iran-Iraq border which Iraq suspects house Kurdish rebels.
- June 12 – Flying the Gossamer Albatross from Folkestone Warren, England, to a French beach south of Cap Gris-Nez in 2 hours 49 minutes, Bryan Allen becomes the first person to cross the English Channel in a pedal-powered aircraft.
- June 17 – Air New England Flight 248, a de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter 300, crashes at Camp Greenough in the Yarmouth Port section of Yarmouth, Massachusetts, while on approach to a landing at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. The pilot, Air New England co-founder George Parmenter, dies, but the other nine people on board all survive, including author Robert Sabbag.
- June 20
- Nikola Kavaja, a Serbian nationalist and anti-communist, hijacks American Airlines Flight 293, a Boeing 727, shortly before it lands in Chicago, Illinois, intending to gain control of an aircraft that he can crash into Yugoslav Communist Party headquarters in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He allows the passengers and most of the crew to debark, then orders the crew to fly the 727 to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. There he demands and receives a Boeing 707, which he orders to be flown to Shannon, Ireland, where he intends to take control of the 707 for the suicide flight to Belgrade, but the hijacking ends when he surrenders to authorities in Shannon.
- U.S. Navy Lieutenant Donna L. Spruill pilots a Grumman C-1 Trader to an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CV-62), becoming the first female U.S. Navy pilot to carrier-quailify in fixed-wing aircraft.
- June 27 – Israeli Air Force F-15 Eagles shoot down four Syrian Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s. These are the first kills for the F-15.
- October 30 – Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb, geodetic airframe, and earthquake bomb, dies at the age of 82.
- October 31 – Western Airlines Flight 2605, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, mistakenly lands on a closed runway in fog at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico, strikes a parked truck, crashes, and bursts into flames. Seventy-two of the 89 people on board die.
- November 4 – The Iranian hostage crisis begins as Iranian students take over the United States Embassy in Tehran. The United States quickly halts all spare-parts shipments and technical assistance to the Iranian Air Force and imposes an embargo on Iran, and the United Kingdom also cuts off most military shipments to Iran.
- November 11 – Hawaiian Airlines celebrates 50 years of accident-free air passenger service.
- November 15 – A bomb planted by the Unabomber in the cargo hold of a Boeing 727 operating as American Airlines Flight 444 from Chicago, Illinois, to Washington, D.C., malfunctions, failing to detonate but giving off large quantities of smoke. Twelve of the 78 people on board are treated for smoke inhalation. The attack brings the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the Unabomber investigation for the first time because attacking the airliner is the Unabomber's first federal crime.
- November 26 – A flight attendant reports a fire aboard Pakistan International Airlines Flight 740, a Boeing 707-340C, 18 minutes after takeoff from Jeddah International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The fire spreads rapidly, causing panic in the passenger cabin and incapacitating the flight crew and the aircraft crashes, killing all 156 people on board.
- November 28 – A Douglas DC-10 operating as Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashes on Mount Erebus in Antarctica during a sightseeing flight, killing all 257 people aboard.
- ^ Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 112.
- ^ Brogan, Patrick, The Fighting Never Stopped: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Conflict Since 1945, New York: Vintage Books, 1990, ISBN 0-679-72033-2, p. 111.
- ^ "200 reported killed in Peking plane crash". Star-News. 15 May 1979. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- ^ a b Cordesman, Anthony H., and Abraham R. Wagner, The Lessons of Modern War, Volume II: The Iran-Iraq War, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1990, ISBN 0-8133-1330-9, p. 34.
- ^ Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 978-0-7607-0592-6, p. 103.
- ^ Cordesman, Anthony H., and Abraham R. Wagner, The Lessons of Modern War, Volume II: The Iran-Iraq War, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1990, ISBN 0-8133-1330-9, p. 27.
- ^ Calder, Nigel, The English Channel, New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1986, ISBN 0-14-010131-4, p. 189.
- ^ a b Chronology of Significant Events in Naval Aviation: "Naval Air Transport" 1941 -- 1999
- ^ Polmar, Norman, "Stars of David and Red Stars," Naval History, February 2013, p. 12.
- ^ Cordesman, Anthony H., and Abraham R. Wagner, The Lessons of Modern War, Volume II: The Iran-Iraq War, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1990, ISBN 0-8133-1330-9, p. 66.
- ^ Aviation Hawaii: 1970-1979 Chronology of Aviation in Hawaii
- ^ Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 56.
- ^ Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 978-0-7607-0592-6, p. 102.