2001 in aviation
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|Years in aviation:||1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004|
|Centuries:||20th century · 21st century · 22nd century|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s|
|Years:||1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004|
This is a list of aviation-related events from 2001:
- Air Somalia is founded.
- January 10 – Trans World Airlines (TWA) and American Airlines announce that they have agreed to merge, with American acquiring almost all the assets of TWA, consisting at the time of 190 aircraft, about 800 daily flights, 20,000 employees, numerous routes and gates, and substantial maintenance facilities. Under the agreement, American is to employ almost all of TWA's employees and maintain St. Louis, Missouri, as a major air hub. The merger will be completed in December.
- January 23 – An unemployed Iraqi man uses a pen gun to hijack Yemenia Flight 448, a Boeing 727-2N8 with 100 other people on board flying from Sana'a International Airport in Sana'a, Yemen, to Taiz-Al Janad Airport in Ta'izz, Yemen, and attempts to force it to fly to Baghdad, Iraq, where he hopes to find work. The flight crew makes an emergency landing at Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti and overpowers the hijacker. The only injury is to the flight engineer, who is grazed by a bullet.
- January 27 – A Beechcraft Super King Air 200 serving as the team plane of the Oklahoma State University men's basketball team crashes near Strasburg, Colorado, during a snowstorm, killing all 10 people on board. Killed are two players, seven members of the media, and the pilot.
- January 31 – Two Japan Air Lines airliners – a Boeing 747-446 operating as Flight 907 and a Douglas DC-10-40D operating as Flight 958 – nearly collide over Suruga Bay, Japan, passing within 100 meters (328 feet) of one another. Aboard the 747, 100 people are injured when the aircraft takes violent evasive action. Had the two planes, with a combined 677 people on board, collided, it would have been the worst aviation disaster in history.
- February 1 – Aer Lingus Commuter, a subsidiary of Aer Lingus founded in 1984, merges into Aer Lingus.
- February 16 – American and British aircraft launch attacks against six targets in southern Iraq, including command centers, radars, and communications centers, hitting only about 40% of the targets. Incidents of planes enforcing the no-fly zone over southern Iraq in Operation Southern Watch thereafter exchange fire with Iraqi air defense sites on a weekly basis.
- March 1 – Continental Airlines inaugurates non-stop service from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to Hong Kong.
- March 3 – An explosion in the center wing fuel tank destroys Thai Airways International Flight 114, a Boeing 737-4D7, on the ground while it is preboarding at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. One person, a flight attendant, is killed.
- March 19 – Comair Flight 5054, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, experiences severe atmospheric icing in flight near West Palm Beach, Florida. After a rapid loss of altitude, the crew regains control of the aircraft and makes an emergency landing at West Palm Beach Airport without injury to any of the 27 people on board. The plane suffers permanent deformation of its stabilizer and elevator.
- March 21 – During a single flight, an RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft flying from Edwards Air Force Base in California sets both a world endurance record for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of 30 hours, 24 minutes, 1 second, and a world absolute altitude record for UAVs of 19,928 meters (65,381 feet).
- March 25 – Czech Airlines joins the Skyteam airline alliance.
- March 29 – An Avjet charter flight, a Gulfstream III jet with 15 passengers and three crew members, crashes on approach into Aspen, Colorado, killing all on board.
- Afriqiyah Airways is founded. It will begin flight operations in December.
- Czech Airlines Cargo joins the Skyteam Cargo airline alliance.
- April 1 – Two Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Shenyang J8II fighters intercept a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II signals intelligence aircraft over the South China Sea, and one of the Chinese pilots dies when his fighter collides with the EP-3E and breaks up. The damaged EP-3E makes an emergency landing without permission at Lingshui airfield on China's Hainan Island, where the Chinese take its 24-person crew prisoner. The Chinese will release the EP-3E crew on April 11, and will return the EP-3E itself to the United States in a disassembled state on July 3.
- April 4 – A Sudanese Air Force Antonov An-26 crashes while attempting to take off in a sandstorm at Adar Yel, Sudan, killing 14 of the 30 people board. Among the dead are Sudanese Deputy Minister of Defense Ibrahim Shamsul-Din and 13 high-ranking military officers.
- April 24 – An unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance aircraft flies automatically from Edwards Air Force Base, California, in the United States to Royal Australian Air Force Base Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Australia, non-stop and unrefuelled, becoming the first pilotless aircraft to cross the Pacific Ocean. At 13,219.86 km (8,214.44 miles), it is the longest point-to-point flight ever undertaken by an unmanned aircraft, and takes 23 hours and 23 minutes.
- The Republic of China places the Aviation Safety Council – formerly an independent government agency responsible for aviation accident investigation, with the purpose of analyzing causal factors and proposing flight safety recommendations in Taiwan – under the control of the Executive Yuan.
- Uganda Airlines ceases operations, and Uganda Airlines Corporation is liquidated.
- May 15 – The launch customer for the Boeing 737-900, Alaska Airlines, takes delivery of the first of the aircraft it ordered.
- May 18 – Belavia inaugurates service between Minsk, Belarus, and Paris, France, using Tupolev Tu-134s and Tupolev Tu-154s on the route.
- May 22 – American astronaut Dr. Patricia Hilliard Robertson suffers fatal burns when the Wittman W-8 Tailwind she is piloting cartwheels and crashes into trees while she is practicing takeoffs and landings at Manvel, Texas. She dies two days later.
- July 1
- July 8 – Brazilian pilot and airline owner Rolim Amaro, the founder of TAM Airlines, and his passenger are killed when the Robinson R44 helicopter he is piloting loses power at an altitude of 2,000 feet (610 meters) and crashes at Fortuna Guazú, Paraguay.
- July 27
- Alitalia Cargo joins the Skyteam Cargo airline alliance.
- August 4 – American Trans Air becomes the North American launch customer for the Boeing 757-300.
- August 13 – On a single flight, the NASA Helios Prototype sets the absolute world record for altitude by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the world record for altitude for sustained flight by a winged aircraft, reaching 29,524 meters (96,863 feet). It spends 40 minutes flying above 96,000 feet (26,291 meters).
- August 24 – Air Transat Flight 236, an Airbus A330-243 flying from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Lisbon, Portugal, with 306 people on board, runs out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean due to a fuel leak in the No. 2 engine. The aircraft performs the world's longest recorded glide by a jet airliner, covering 65 nautical miles (75 statute miles; 120 km) without power to an emergency landing at Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Eighteen people are injured – two seriously – while evacuating the aircraft, but there are no fatalities.
- August 25 – An overloaded Cessna 402B, registration number N8097W, crashes immediately after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport in the Abaco Islands in The Bahamas, killing all nine people on board, including the American recording artist, dancer, actress, and model Aaliyah.
- August 29 – Piloting a Bell 47G helicopter on a solo training flight for a helicopter pilot's license, Australian singer and television presenter Graeme "Shirley" Strachan strays from the course laid out by his flight instructor and encounters severe turbulence that causes the helicopter's rotor to sever its tailboom. The helicopter crashes on a rugged mountainside near Australia's Mount Archer, killing him.
- September 8 – Patrick Critton, wanted for hijacking Air Canada Flight 932 over Canada on December 26, 1971, and forcing it to fly to Havana, Cuba, finally is arrested for the crime at his home in Mount Vernon, New York. He is extradited to Canada to face charges.
- September 11 – Al-Qaeda members hijack four airliners, two of American Airlines and two of United Airlines, and crash them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Pennsylvania in the September 11 terrorist attacks, killing more than 3,000 people. The four flights are American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767-223ER with five hijackers and 87 other people on board which hits the North Tower of the World Trade Center; United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767-222 with five hijackers and 60 other people on board which almost collides in mid-air with Delta Air Lines Flight 2315 and hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center; American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757-223 with five hijackers and 59 other people on board which hits the Pentagon; and United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757-222 with four hijackers and 40 other people on board which was to hit the United States Capitol or White House, but is taken over by the passengers and crashes in a rural area in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In addition to the death of all 19 hijackers and all 246 other people aboard the planes, about 2,500 people in the World Trade Center and 125 people in the Pentagon die. Among the dead are American television producer David Angell and American photographer, actress, and model Berry Berenson aboard American Flight 11; Canadian professional ice hockey player Garnet "Ace" Bailey aboard United Flight 175; American lawyer and television commentator Barbara Olson aboard American Flight 77; and United States Army Lieutenant General Timothy Maude, the highest-ranking military officer killed during the day, in the Pentagon.
- September 12 – Ansett Australia leaves the Star Alliance due to bankruptcy.
- September 14
- In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September, the United States and Canada begin Operation Noble Eagle, a permanent operation to provide for the air defense of cities in the two countries. The United States Air Force provides F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters for the operation, while Canadian Armed Forces Air Command provides CF-18 Hornet fighters and the United States Army National Guard contributes short-range ground-based air defense systems.
- Ansett Australia ceases flight operations due to financial collapse.
- September 24 – US Airways decides to terminate all MetroJet flights.
- September 28 – The Government of Venezuela establishes the National Institute of Civil Aviation as Venezuela′s national civil aviation authority.
- October 1
- October 2 – A major cash-flow crisis prompts Swissair to ground all of its aircraft.
- October 4 – Siberia Airlines Flight 1812, a Tupolev Tu-154, explodes in mid-air and crashes into the Black Sea. All 78 people on board die.
- October 5 – A Swiss government emergency loan allows Swissair to resume some flights.
- October 7 – The War in Afghanistan begins with strikes by American military aircraft against targets in Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad as, in response to the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, the United States launches Operation Enduring Freedom with a goal of dismantling al-Qaeda and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base by deposing the Taliban regime there.
- October 8 – Scandinavian Airlines Flight 686, a McDonnell Douglas MD87, collides with a Cessna Citation CJ2 business jet while taking off on a fog-shrouded runway from Linate Airport in Milan, Italy, for a flight to Copenhagen, Denmark; the airliner then crashes into a nearby hangar and catches fire. All six crew members and 104 passengers on the airliner are killed, as are the four occupants of the Cessna and four airport workers on the ground.
- October 31 – Air Canada Jetz, operated by Air Canada, commences operations.
- bmi begins transatlantic flights from Manchester in the United Kingdom after a failed attempt to start transatlantic flights from London Heathrow Airport.
- British Airways aborts a plan to take over KLM due to technical issues in the Treaty on Open Skies between the United States and the Netherlands.
- British Airways drops its controversial ethnic tailfins, which it had first adopted in 1997. It had initially slowed the process of adopting the tailfins in 1999; finally Chief Executive Rod Eddington decides that all aircraft will be painted with the new Union Flag livery, which had been one of the "ethnic" designs.
- Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela (LAV) begins service between Venezuela the Madrid, Spain.
- November 1 – Alitalia becomes a member of the Skyteam airline alliance.
- November 7 – The bankrupt Belgian airline SABENA ceases operations, having gone into liquidation the previous day.
- November 12 – New York City suffers its second plane disaster in as many months when American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300-600, crashes in Queens, New York, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport due to mechanical failure, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.
- November 14 – An American airstrike south of Kabul, Afghanistan, kills senior al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef, among others.
- November 19 – The Transportation Security Administration, a component of the United States Department of Transportation, begins operation. It has broad responsibilities for and powers related to ensuring the safety of the traveling public in the United States, but the bulk of its efforts are devoted to civil aviation, most notably the screening of passengers and baggage at over 450 airports in the United States.
- November 20 – A Royal Order creates Belgium′s Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport. Among other things, it serves as Belgium′s national civil aviation authority, and it includes an Air Accident Investigation Unit, responsible for investigating aviation accidents and incidents in Belgium.
- November 24 – On approach to Zürich Airport in Zürich, Switzerland, in rain, snow, and poor visibility due to low clouds, Crossair Flight 3597, an Avro RJ100 (registration HB-IXM), crashes into a wooded range of hills near the small town of Bassersdorf about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) short of the runway, where it breaks apart and bursts into flames, killing 24 of the 33 people on board. Melanie Thornton, the lead singer of the Eurodance group La Bouche, and singers Nathaly(i.e.) van het Ende and Maria Serrano Serrano of the German pop music group Passion Fruit are among the dead. Singer Debby St. Maarten of Passion Fruit survives with severe injuries.
- December 1 – Afriqiyah Airways begins flight operations. It operates Boeing 737-400 airliners.
- December 2
- The 71-year history of Trans World Airlines (TWA) comes to an end as it officially completes its merger into American Airlines. TWA had been created in October 1930.
- Chautauqua Airlines, Corporate Airlines, and Trans States Airlines, which previously had operated in parnersip with TWA under the Trans World Express brand, begin operating under the AmericanConnection brand as part of TWA's merger with American Airlines. Under the AmericanConnection brand, they become members of the Oneworld airline alliance.
- December 4 – Israeli Air Force aircraft strike Gaza International Airport in Gaza City in the Gaza Strip, destroying its control tower and radar facility. The airport closes after only three years of operation.
- December 22 – Aboard American Airlines Flight 63 – a Boeing 767 halfway across the Atlantic Ocean during a flight from Paris, France, to Miami, Florida, with 197 people on board – Richard Reid unsuccessfully attempts to detonate a bomb hidden in his shoe. He is subdued by passengers and the airliner, escorted by U.S. Air Force fighters, diverts to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is arrested.
- December 23 – During the 75-day period since 7 October, American aircraft have conducted 6,500 airstrikes in Afghanistan, dropping 17,500 munitions.
- December 28 – USA3000 Airlines begins operations.
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- John Pike. "Operation Southern Watch". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- planecrashinfo.com Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents: 2000s
- Aviation Safety Network Accident Description
- Aviation Safety Network Hijacking Description
- skyjackeroftheday.tumblr.com "Skyjacker of the Day #9: Patrick Dolan Critton," June 11, 2013.
- Fenton, Ben, "Bomb on Flight 63," The Telegraph, December 24, 2001.
- Boot, Max, "The U.S. strategy against the Islamic State must be retooled. Here’s how," washingtonpost.com, November 14, 2014.
- Jackson 2003, pp. 419–420.