Portal:Aviation/Anniversaries/April 4

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April 4

  • 2011 – In the 2011 United Nations Bombardier CRJ-100 crash, a Georgian Airways plane operated by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) crashes on landing at N'djili Airport, Democratic Republic of the Congo; all but one of the 33 on board are killed.
  • 2009 – Air China Airbus A321-213 B-6556 is substantially damaged in a heavy landing and tailstrike at Beijing Capital International Airport. A vertical deceleration of 3.03G is recorded. A go-around is initiated and the aircraft subsequently lands safely.
  • 2008 – A USAF Rockwell B-1B Lancer, 86-0116, of the 28th Bomb Wing, suffers hydraulic failure while taxiing after landing at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, veering off runway and catching fire. Four crew evacuate safely but airframe is burnt out after bomb load explodes.
  • 2007 – Heavy rain caused the crash of a Brazilian Air Force EMBRAER Super Tucano near Boa Vista International Airport, the pilot, Fernando Wilmers de Medeiros, did not survive. 3 other Super Tucanos from the same squad were able to make an emergency landing.
  • 2001 – A Sudan Air Force Antonov An-24 crashes during a sandstorm in Adar Yeil, Sudan. Of the 30 people on board, 14 were killed; among them, Sudan's deputy defense minister as well as other high-ranking officers.
  • 1997 – Launch: Space Shuttle Columbia STS-83 at 2:20:32.074 p.m. EST. Mission highlights: Truncated due to fuel cell problem.
  • 1994KLM Cityhopper Flight 433, a Saab 340, crashes while trying to return to Schiphol Airport, due to pilot error and equipment failure; the pilot and two passengers die, nine passengers are injured.
  • 1991 – United States Senator H. John Heinz III and six others are killed when his Piper Aerostar and a Bell 412 helicopter collide over Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, and crash.
  • 1990 – CF-18 #792 crashes on the weapons range at Cold Lake, pilot killed.
  • 1987 – Garuda Indonesia Flight 035, a Douglas DC-9-32, strikes a pylon and crashes on approach to Medan-Polonia Airport in Medan on Sumatra in Indonesia. A fire following the crash kills 23 of the 45 people on board; all 22 survivors are injured.
  • 1984 – Oleg Antonov, Soviet airplane engineer, dies (b. 1906). Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov was a Soviet aircraft designer and painter, the founder of Antonov Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex (ASTC), a world-famous aircraft company in Ukraine, later named in his honor.
  • 1983 – Launch: Space shuttle Challenger STS-6 at 18:30:00 UTC. Mission highlights: TDRS deployment; first flight of Challenger; first space shuttle extra-vehicular activity.
  • 1979 – 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.
  • 1977Southern Airways Flight 242, a Douglas DC-9, crash-lands on a highway near New Hope, Georgia after dual engine failure encountered in a thunderstorm; 63 out of 85 aboard are killed, along with 9 people on the ground.
  • 19751975 Tan Son Nhut C-5 accident: A USAF Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, 68-0218, c/n 500-0021, taking part in Operation Babylift, a mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon, experiences an explosive decompression about 40 mi (64 km) outside Saigon when the rear ramp and pressure door blow out, damaging the plane's flight controls. The plane, carrying 328 crew, troops, children, and adult escorts, crashes into a rice paddy after the pilot loses control while trying to return to Tan Son Nhut Air Base; 155 die, including 76 orphans.
  • 1968 – In the Apollo Program, Apollo-Saturn mission 502 (Apollo 6) is launched as the second and last unmanned test flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
  • 1966– British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) opens its first scheduled service to Mexico, flying to Mexico City via Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica.
  • 1965 – The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft plane is unveiled.
  • 1965 – During a U. S. Air Force strike on the Thanh Hoa Bridge, North Vietnamese Air Force MiG-17 fighters attack a formation of U. S. Air Force F-105 Thunderchief strike aircraft, shooting down two F-105 s. They are the first aircraft lost in air-to-air combat by either side during the Vietnam War.
  • 1960 – A USAF North American F-100D-65-NA Super Sabre, 56-2994, of the 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Wethersfield, Essex, crashed into mud flats at the Holbeach Range in eastern England, killing pilot 1st Lt. Thomas R. Winsford. A cause was never clearly determined.
  • 1957 – CIA Lockheed U-2, Article 341, (no military serial), the first U-2, is lost in a crash N of the Nevada Test Range during a Project Rainbow test flight, killing test pilot Bob Sieker. Engine fails at 65,000 feet (20,000 m). As pilot's pressure suit inflates, the faceplate clasp fails, pilot suffers hypoxia, loses consciousness. Aircraft goes into descending flat spin. Pilot recovers somewhat at lower altitude and bails out, but too late - parachute does not have time to fully deploy. Airframe hits flat with only small fire. Crashsite, 40 miles (64 km) N of the Ranch, takes four days to find by air. Pilot and aircraft are only 200 feet (61 m) apart. Kelly Johnson calls for new faceplate design, a dual oxygen regulator, and an ejection seat that can be used interchangeably with existing design.
  • 1952 – A United States Air Force Douglas C-124A-DL Globemaster II, 50-1260, collides at night in midair with a Douglas VC-47D Skytrain, 45-926, c/n 16929/34187, over Mobile, Alabama, United States; 15 die.
  • 1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO is formed by member nations in Washington, DC.
  • 1947 – One of Canada’s first TCA pilots Bill Straith is killed in an accident in New Mexico.
  • 1947 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is officially founded in Montreal, Canada. It is an intergovernmental organization, established to regulate air transportation on a worldwide basis, its authority restricted only by the number of signatory nations.
  • 1946 – Sears, Roebuck & Company begins a new, regular weekly overnight shipment of women’s clothing from New York to the West Coast by airplane.
  • 1944 – The U. S. Army Air Forces activate the Twentieth Air Force, which will conduct a strategic bombing campaign against Japan.
  • 1943 – Lady Be Good was an American B-24D Liberator, AAF serial number 41-24301, which flew for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Based at Soluch Field in Soluch (today Suluq and Benina International Airport, Libya) as part of the 514th Bomb Squadron, 376th Bomb Group, it failed to return from a bombing raid on Naples, Italy. At the time, the plane was assumed to have crashed into the Mediterranean Sea and its nine crew members were classified as Missing in Action. In 1958 the nearly intact Lady Be Good was discovered 440 miles inland. Subsequent searches uncovered the remains of all but one of the crew.
  • 1943 – North American B-25C Mitchell, 41-12634, of the 376th Bomb Squadron, 309th Bomb Group (M), ditches in Lake Murray, South Carolina, during skip-bombing practice, after starboard engine failure. Crew of five escapes before Mitchell sinks after seven minutes afloat, about two miles (3 km) west of the Lake Murray Dam in 150 feet (46 m) of water. On 19 September 2005, the bomber was raised to the surface by aircraft recoverer Gary Larkins for preservation (not restoration) at the Southern Museum of Flight, Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1942 – S/L L. J. Birchall and crew sighted a Japanese flotilla 350 miles south of Ceylon. Thereafter he was known as the Saviour of Ceylon. He was shot down and taken prisoner.
  • 1942 – At Malta, German aircraft sink the Greek submarine Glaucos and badly damage the Polish submarine Sokol.
  • 1939Joaquín García Morato, the leading Spanish Nationalist ace of the Spanish Civil War (credited with over 40 victories over Republican aircraft), is killed in the crash of his Fiat CR.32, 3-51, while performing aerobatics for newsreel cameras. While flying inverted at low-level over Griñón airfield, his engine fails. He is posthumously awarded the Individual Medal and promoted to substantive major for meritorious war service.
  • 1938 – Les Ateliers de Constructions Aéronautiques Belges LACAB GR.8, dubbed unofficially the Doryphore by its pilots, "a singularly ugly multi-rôle combat aircraft intended for long-range bombing, and reconnaissance missions, and also as a heavy fighter", crashes during landing, writing off the undercarriage, both starboard wings, and suffering damage to the aft fuselage. The two-bay unequal-span staggered biplane of mixed construction, powered by two Gnôme-Rhône 14Kdrs radial engines, had first flown 14 May 1936, and was taken over by Belgium's Aéronautique Militaire on 2 June 1936 for testing and evaluation. Surprisingly, SABCA was contracted to repair the airframe, although no further testing appears to have been done. The airframe was found in a hangar at Evere in May 1940 by German troops who subsequently scrapped it.
  • 1936 – Italian aircraft drop mustard gas and 73 tons (66.2 tonnes/metric tons) of high-explosive bombs on a force of 20,000 Ethiopian troops retreating across the plain of Lake Ashangi, killing thousands.
  • 1922 – The Colombian Ministry of War opens a flying school (the Escuela de Aviación) at Flandes.
  • 1918 – A two-seater aircraft takes off from a flying-off platform on a ship for the first time, when a Royal Air Force Sopwith 1½ Strutter launches from a platform mounted on a 12-inch (305-mm) gun turret of the Australian battlecruiser HMAS Australia. By November 1918, ships of the British Grand Fleet will carry over 100 aircraft on flying-off platforms, by which time 22 light cruisers will have a flying-off platform and every battleship and battlecruiser will carry a two-seat aircraft on a platform mounted on a forward turret and a single-seat fighter on a platform mounted on an after turret.
  • 1913 – The Greek aviator Emmanuel Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot victim of the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashes.
  • 1907 – Santos-Dumont, disappointed by his failure on March 27 and shocked by Charles Voisin’s flight of 197 feet shortly afterwards, tries again with his Nº 14bis. He makes a short flight of 164 feet in Saint-Cyr, France.


  1. ^ Whitlock, Craig (December 1, 2012). "Drone crashes mount at civilian airports". Washington Post. p. A1. Retrieved December 2, 2012.