2012 in aviation

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This is a list of aviation-related events from 2012:



7 January
9 January
10 January
  • Greater London‍ '​s Metropolitan Police Service launches a Twitter account for its helicopter force, allowing people to remain aware of the helicopters‍ '​ activities. The police hope the service will cut down on the number of noise complaints they receive about their helicopter operations.[2]
14 January
20 January
25 January
27 January


3 February
  • After creditors seize two of its airliners at foreign airports and with total debts of 60 billion forints (US$270.5 million), Malév Hungarian Airlines ceases flight operations after 66 years in business.
4 February
5 February
12 February
14 February


2 March
3 March
6 March
15 March
20 March
23 March
27 March


1 April
2 April
4 April
17 April
19 April
  • Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič returns to Slovenia, completing a 62,000-mile (99,839-km) round-the-world flight in a Pipistrel Virus SW914 ultralight aircraft, claiming to be the first person to circle the world in an ultralight without a copilot. The flight, sponsored as the "GreenLight World Flight," had begun from Slovenia on 8 January 2012 and had included passing Mount Everest at an altitude of 29,344 feet (8,944 meters), some 300 feet (91 meters) above the mountain‍ '​s peak.[18][19][20]
20 April
24 April
26 April
27 April


6 May
9 May
10 May
  • The women‍ '​s international record-holder for number of flight hours logged as a pilot in a lifetime, Evelyn Bryan Johnson, dies at the age of 102. Between her first solo flight on 8 November 1944 and her retirement from flying in the mid-1990s, she had logged 57,635 hours (about 6½ years) in the air, flying about 5,500,000 miles (8,900,000 km). Only one person, Ed Long (1915-1999), had logged more hours (over 65,000, or about 7 years) in the air during a lifetime.[26]
14 May
23 May
  • Using a wingsuit in a jump over Ridge Wood, Buckinghamshire, England, British stuntman Gary Connery becomes the first person in history to jump from a great height and land safely without deploying a parachute. Jumping from an altitude of 2,400 feet (732 meters), he reduces his speed from 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) to 15 miles per hour (24 km/hr) by flaring his wingsuit about 200 feet (61 meters) from his landing zone, a 350-foot-by-45-foot (107-meter-by-13.7-meter) crushable "runway" up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) deep constructed with 18,600 cardboard boxes at Temple Island Meadows. His wingsuit begins to fly about three seconds after he begins his jump, and he travels nearly one mile (1.6 km) and reaches a maximum speed of over 80 miles per hour (129 km/hr) during his flight.[27]
24 May
25 May
  • The first Solar Impulse aircraft, HB-SIA, the first solar-powered aircraft capable of both day and night flight thanks to its batteries charged by solar power, completes the first leg of its first intercontinental flight, arriving at Madrid, Spain, after a flight from Payerne Airport outside Payerne, Switzerland. During the flight, it sets a world distance record for a solar-powered flight between pre-declared waypoints of 1,099.3 km (683.1 mi) and a world distance record for a solar-powered flight along a course of 1,116 km (693 mi). The second and final leg of the flight will take HB-SIA to Rabat, Morocco, the following month.[29][30]
26 May
  • Japanese wingsuit pilot Shin Ito achieves two new world wingsuit flight records, greatest horizontal distance flown in a wingsuit by flying 26.9 kilometers (16.7 miles)[31] and greatest absolute distance flown in a wingsuit by flying 28.707 kilometers (17.827 miles). Both flights take place above Yolo County, California.[32]


2 June
3 June
  • On approach to a landing at Lagos, Nigeria, the crew of Dana Air Flight 992, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, reports engine trouble and declares an emergency. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft crashes into a furniture works and printing press building in the Iju-Ishaga neighborhood of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard and ten people on the ground. Additional people on the ground are injured. It is the second-deadliest plane crash in Nigerian history and the deadliest ever involving an MD-83.
4 June
  • An American unmanned aerial vehicle strike in Pakistan kills Abu Yahya al-Libi, a leading al-Qaeda official.[25]
  • After a Libyan militia force takes control of part of Tripoli International Airport in Tripoli, and demands the release of a kidnapped militia leader, a gun battle breaks out between the militiamen and Libyan government forces. Government authorities arrest 30 militiamen.[33]
5 June
7 June
10 June
11 June
  • The United Nations confirms for the first time that Syrian government helicopters have begun firing on rebel forces.[37]
21 June
22 June
23 June
25 June
  • Turkey accuses Syria of firing at a second Turkish Air Force plane while it is searching for crew of the F-4 Phantom II shot down on 22 June.[42]
28 June
29 June
  • Six Uyghur men armed with aluminum crutches and explosives attempt to hijack Tianjin Airlines Flight 7554, an Embraer ERJ-190 on a flight from Hotan to Ürümqi, China, with 95 other people aboard. The crew and other passengers resist them and foil the hijacking attempt. Two hijackers are killed and 13 people (two hijackers, two security officers, two flight attendants, and seven passengers) are injured, and the plane returns safely to Hotan.
30 June
  • Eighty-four percent of U.S. domestic airline flights have arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time since January 1, their best on-time performance since the United States Government began tracking their on-time performance in 1988 and an improvement from 77 percent between January 1 and 30 June 2011. They also set a record-low rate of baggage handling mistakes, misdirecting, damaging, or losing only three suitcases per 1,000 passengers on domestic flights between January 1 and 30 June 2012.[46]


4 July
5 July
  • Facing mounting financial difficulties and with its employees having gone on strike two days earlier, the Uruguayan airline PLUNA ceases operations. Its owner, the Government of Uruguay, announces plans to auction off PLUNA's aircraft and routes.
7 July
  • A video is released showing Syrian rebels claiming to have shot down a Syrian government surveillance aircraft and showing pieces of the aircraft. It is the first time that Syrian rebels have claimed to have shot down a government aircraft.[49]
13 July
24 July
26 July
28 July
31 July
  • Belarus fires its chiefs of air defense and of the border guards because of the illegal 4 July flight into the country by a Jodel biplane.[55]
  • Due to confusion among air traffic controllers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, two USAirways commuter jets take off into the path of a third USAirways commuter jet flying in the opposite direction and cleared to land on the same runway. Realizing their error, controllers order the inbound aircraft to take evasive action 12 seconds before it would have collided with the leading outbound jet. There are no injuries among the 192 people on the three aircraft.[56]


1 August
5 August
  • An Israeli airstrike halts an attempt by a group of gunmen to use commandeered Egyptian armored vehicles to ram their way through an Israeli border crossing from Egypt into Israel.[57]
7–8 August (overnight)
12 August
  • The airline Wind Jet ceases operations after Alitalia‍ '​s attempt to purchase it fails, leaving hundred of passengers stranded in Italy.[58]
13 August
14 August
15 August
18 August
19 August
21 August
23 August
  • The Syrian Air Force makes heavy strikes against rebel forces attacking Syrian government positions in Abu Kamal.[65]
  • Caught in a sudden thunderstorm, a hot-air balloon carrying tourists on a sighteeing trip attempts an emergency landing in Slovenia‍ '​s Ljubljana Marshes, but strikes trees, crashes, and catches fire. Four of the 32 people on board are killed and the remainder are injured.
25 August
26 August
28 August
29 August
  • Syrian rebels claim to have attacked a Syrian government military air base in Taftanaz, Syria, damaging several government helicopters.[70]
30 August
  • Human Rights Watch alleges that in the previous three weeks Syrian government airstrikes and artillery fire have struck at least 10 bakeries in Aleppo as people lined up to collect bread, killing dozens, with one attack on 16 August alone killing 60 and injuring 70 people.[71]
31 August


1 September
2 September
5 September
11 September
12 September
13 September
  • A Syrian Air Force strike in Aleppo kills 11 people.[79]
14 September
20 September
21 September
22 September
  • A diamond formation involving 100 jumpers over Perris, California, sets a global record for the largest formation wingsuit jump. However, the record is set prior to the February 2015 establishment of judging criteria for official world record wingsuit formations by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and therefore will be retired, with records thereafter being recognized under the new criteria.[85]
25 September
28 September
30 September
  • U.S. airlines have collected US$924 million in baggage fees since July 1, a three percent increase over the same period in 2011.[89]


1 October
7 October
10 October
11 October
13 October
  • Syria bans Turkish civilian aircraft from flying over its territory.[95]
14 October
15 October
18 October
  • Syrian Air Force jets destroy two residential buildings and a mosque in the rebel-held town of Maarrat al-Nu'man, reportedly killing at least 44 people.[101]
20 October
  • India's Kingfisher Airlines suspends flight operations due to financial difficulties.
  • The Syrian Expatriates Organization claims that a combination of Syrian government airstrikes and a military blockade over the previous 130 days have destroyed 75 percent of the city of Deir ez-zor, Syria, killing over 3,000 people and causing 380,000 to flee the city.[102]
25 October
  • Independent United Nations human rights researcher Ben Emmerson announces plans to launch an investigation into unmanned aerial vehicle strikes and other targeted assassinations by governments that kill or injure civilians.[103]
28 October
30 October
  • The Syrian Air Force carries out scores of airstrikes around Syria, the most widespread bombing in a single day since the Syrian Civil War began 19 months before, according to anti-government activists. Maarat al-Numan is among the hardest-hit places,[105] and air strikes level areas of Douma, leaving 18 people dead.[106]
  • Syrian Air Force Major General Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi is assassinated in Damascus, Syria.


1 November
2 November
3 November
  • Syrian rebel units attack the Syrian Air Force base at Taftanaz.[109]
14 November
15 November
  • Israeli aircraft strike 70 underground rocket-launching sites in the Gaza Strip in 60 minutes.[111]
17 November
21 November
23 November
25 November
  • Syrian rebel forces attack a Syrian government airbase 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) outside Damascus, and claim to have destroyed two helicopters on the ground.[119]
26 November
29 November
30 November


1 December
2 December
  • Syrian Air Force jets pound rebel-held suburbs around Damascus, killing and wounding dozens in an offensive to push rebels away from the Damascus International Airport and stop them from closing in on the capital.
  • Syria announces that Damascus International Airport has reopened and is running scheduled flights after being closed for three days due to fighting between government and rebel forces in the area.[127]
3 December
  • The Turkish Air Force scrambles fighters to protect Turkish airspace after a Syrian Air Force plane drops two bombs on rebel positions in Syria about 300 yards (270 meters) from the border with Turkey, killing at least 10 people and causing Syrian civilians to flee across the border to safety in Turkey.[127]
  • Egyptair orders a Cairo, Egypt-to-Damascus, Syria, flight to turn back in mid-air because of concerns over the security situation around Damascus International Airport.[127]
4 December
7 December
9 December
13 December
15 December
20 December
21 December
23 December
  • Over a period of 17 minutes, three waves of Syrian Air Force aircraft attack the only bakery operating in Halfaya, Syria, where hundreds of people had gathered to buy the first fresh bread available in the area for days, killing dozens. Opposition groups estimate the number of dead at anywhere from fewer than 100 to as many as 300 people.[140]
24 December
25 December
  • The crew of an Air Bagan Fokker 100 with 71 people on board for a domestic flight in Burma from Rangoon to Heho via Mandalay mistakes a road for the runway while descending to land at Heho in heavy fog, hits power lines, and crash-lands either on the road or in a neaby rice paddy and burns, killing a tour guide and injuring eleven other people aboard the plane. A man on the ground riding a bicycle also is killed.[142]
  • An Antonov An-72 military transport aircraft belonging to the military forces of Kazakhstan carrying a crew of seven and 20 members of the Kazakhstan Border Guard Service crashes in bad weather about 20 km (12 mi) from Shymkent while descending to a landing there after a domestic flight from Astana, killing everyone on board. The acting Director of the Kazakhstan Border Guard Service, Colonel Turganbeck Stambekov, is among the dead, along with one of his deputies and a number of regional Border Guard commanders.[143][144][145]
27 December
28 December
  • Press observers begin to observe daily Myanmar Air Force strikes against rebel Kachin Independence Army forces in northern Myanmar. The strikes reportedly will continue into early January 2013.[147]
  • Syrian rebels increase pressure against a government helicopter base and fight with government soldiers near Aleppo International Airport as they continue their offensive against government airbases. They claim to have surrounded four airports and airbases in the Aleppo Governorate, halting all activity at one and firing antiaircraft artillery at all approaching aircraft at another.[148]
  • The Syrian Air Force strikes al-Safira, killing 14 people.[148]
  • An airstike kills two suspected al-Qaeda members in Hadramawt province in southwestern Yemen. Local residents and Yemeni officials claim an American unmanned aerial vehicle conducted the strike.[149]
29 December
30 December
  • Myanmar Air Force jets and attack helicopters strike rebel Kachin Independence Army forces in northern Myanmar. The Government of Myanmar at first denies the strikes, but eventually will admit to them on 2 January 2013.[154]
31 December
  • The Kachin Independence Army again claims to be under attack by Myanmar Air Force aircraft.[154]
  • Aleppo International Airport is closed due to fighting between Syrian government and rebel forces around the base of the Syrian Army force protecting the airport.[152]
  • Airlines in the United States have collected over $6,000,000,000 in baggage fees from passengers in 2012, the highest yearly total since the fees became common in 2008.[155]

First flights[edit]




Entered service[edit]



8 February


24 September
  • Shuttle Carrier Aircraft N905A by NASA;[160] found to have few parts useful for the SOFIA aircraft, N905A is later earmarked for museum display at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.


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  4. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey; Schmitt, Eric; Shanker, Thom (January 25, 2012). "U.S. Commandos Free 2 Hostages From Somali Pirates". The New York Times. 
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  41. ^ "Three Syrian Army Pilots Have Defected and Fled Across the Border to Jordan Last Night, Activists Said," Syria Live Blog, 24 June 2012, 11:32.
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  43. ^ Nelson, Laura J., "After 60 years, Alaska glacier gives up wreckage from 1952 crash," Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2012
  44. ^ ktuu.com "Knik Glacier Wreckage Is From Military Crash That Killed 52"
  45. ^ adn.com "60-year-old military plane crash debris recovered from Colony Glacier", Anchorage Daily News, July 12, 2012.
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