This Day In Aviation History

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  • Bhoja Air Flight 213, a Boeing 737-236, crashes in bad weather on approach to Benazir Bhutto International Airport at Islamabad, Pakistan, killing all 127 people on board. – April 20, 2012
  • Launch of Elektro-L No.1, also known as Geostationary Operational Meteorological Satellite No.2 or GOMS No.2, Russian geostationary weather satellite. – April 20, 2011
  • Launch of SA-224, also known as NRO Launch 49 (NRO L-49), American reconnaissance satellite. – April 20, 2011
  • A Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin of the US Coast Guard crashed into Lake Huron nine miles (14 km) north of Port Huron, Michigan. – April 20, 2010
  • While performing maneuvers, a Vertical de Aviacion Bell 222UT helicopter, registered HK-3262, and a Fuerza Aerea de Colombia (Colombian Air Force) MD Helicopters MD530 crashed on a military garrison near Chaparral, Tolima, Colombia. – April 20, 2010
  • Royal Air Maroc Flight 200, operated by Boeing 767-36NER CN-RNT is substantially damaged in a heavy landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Cracks are discovered in the forward fuselage on inspection. – April 20, 2009
  • In an effort to raise money for a spiritual rest stop for truckers in Paranagua, Brazil, and to break the existing 19-hour record for a flight suspended by helium balloons, Brazilian priest Adelir Antonio de Carli lifts off from Paranagua for a flight inland to Dourados, over 725 km (450 mi) to the northwest, suspended under 1,000 brightly colored party balloons. Rising to as high as 20,000 feet (6,096 m), he is swept backward out over the Atlantic Ocean and disappears about eight hours after takeoff. Some of his balloons are found floating intact in the sea two days later, and his body will be found floating in the Atlantic 700 km (435 mi) northeast of Paranagua near Marica, Brazil, on 4 July. – April 20, 2008
  • During the NAS Point Mugu air show (Point Mugu, California), the pilot and radar intercept officer are killed when their United States Navy McDonnell-Douglas QF-4S+ Phantom II, BuNo 155749, stalls and crashes after pulling away from a diamond formation. Both eject but chutes do not have time to deploy. The Navy report states in part: "The cause of this tragic accident was the failure of the pilot to manage the energy state of the aircraft, and then to recognize a departure from controlled flight at low altitude, and apply the NATOPS recovery techniques." This Phantom II was credited with a MiG-17 kill 10 May 1972 with VF-96. – April 20, 2002
  • Air France Flight 422, a Boeing 727 leased from TAME Airlines, crashed into the mountains east of Bogota, Colombia on takeoff from El Dorado International Airport of Bogota in foggy weather. All 53 passengers and crew perish. – April 20, 1998
  • A new balloon absolute distance record of 16,722 km (10,363 miles) is set by Steve Fossett, during his unsuccessful non-stop, round the world flight, which he is forced to abandon in India. – April 20, 1997
  • STS-72, Space shuttle mission, recovers in space the Japanese spacecraft 'Space Flyer Unit' and lands back on earth. – April 20, 1996
  • Air Inter Flight 148 Airbus A320-111 crashes near Strasbourg, France, killing 82 passengers and 5 crew. – April 20, 1992
  • Doru Davidovici, Romanian poet and pilot, loses his life, together with Dumitru Petra, this date, when their MiG-21UM trainer crashes during landing procedures while returning home to RoAF 86th Air Base, Borcea-Fetesti AFB, from a training flight. – April 20, 1989
  • Death of Robert Miles Todd, American WWI flying ace. – April 20, 1988
  • USAF North American CT-39 Sabreliner suffering from defective brakes, runs off runway at Wilkes-Barre-Scranton International Airport, Pennsylvania, goes down 125-foot embankment, burns, killing all five on board. – April 20, 1985

Attempting to establish a new women's altitude record, Bernetta Miller is covered with oil and temporarily blinded when her oil flow indicator smashes. She makes a safe emergency landing in New York. – 20th April 1913

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