This Day In Aviation History

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  • Death of Barbara Harmer, British airliner pilot, first qualified female Concorde pilot. – February 20, 2011
  • Aerolift Flight 1015, an Antonov AN-12, registration S9-SVN, crashes shortly after take-off from Luxor International Airport, Egypt, killing all five crew. The aircraft is destroyed. – February 20, 2009
  • 2 Tamil Tigers aircraft (Zlin Z 143 – single engine, low-winged monoplane, mainly used for training purposes) packed with C4 explosives en route to the national airforce headquarters are shot down by the Sri Lankan military before reaching their target, in a kamikaze style attack. – February 20, 2009
  • Two McDonnell-Douglas F-15C Eagles of the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida, collide over the Gulf of Mexico ~50 miles (80 km) S of Tyndall AFB, Florida, killing 1st Lt. Ali Jivanjee. Capt. Tucker Hamilton ejected from the other fighter and survived. Airframes involved were F-15C-26-MC, 79-0075, c/n 0624/C144, and F-15C-32-MC, 81-0043, c/n 0793/C226. Both pilots ejected and one was rescued from the Gulf by the fishing boat Nina, owned by Bart Niquet of Lynn Haven, Florida, which was guided to the pilot by an HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft. A 1st SOW AC-130H and an MV-22 Osprey were also diverted to the scene to help search as were five Coast Guard aircraft and two vessels. An HH-60 Jayhawk from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile lifted the pilot from the fishing boat and evacuated him to the Eglin Hospital. The second pilot was rescued from the Gulf by an HH-60 Jayhawk from CGAS Clearwater and also taken to the Eglin Hospital. One pilot subsequently died several hours later from his injuries. An accident investigation released 25 August 2008 found that the accident was the result of pilot error and not mechanical failure. Both pilots failed to clear their flight paths and anticipate their impending high-aspect, midair impact, according to Brig. Gen. Joseph Reynes, Jr., Air Combat Command's inspector general who led the investigation. This was the first crash involving an Eglin F-15 since a fatal crash on 30 April 2002. – February 20, 2008
  • British Airways Flight 268, a Boeing 747-400, taking off from Los Angeles to London suffers fire in engine 2. The plane flies on three engines to Manchester, where it performs an emergency landing. None of the people on board are harmed. – February 20, 2005
  • A Pakistan Air Force Fokker F-27-200, 10254, of 12 Squadron, crashes near Kohat, Pakistan when it strikes a ridge at the 3,000-foot (910 m) level (915 m) AMSL, obscured by clouds. All 17 people on board died, including Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir. PAF spokespersons said on 22 May that pilot error was to blame. – February 20, 2003
  • TWA retires the last of its Boeing 747 “jumbo jets” The newer and more efficient Boeing 767 is now the airline’s main intercontinental aircraft. – February 20, 1998
  • Death of Jeffrey Kindersley Quill OBE AFC FRAeS, British WWII RAF officer, RNVR officer and Test pilot. He test-flew every mark of Spitfire. – February 20, 1996
  • Seventy-six passengers fall ill and one dies after consuming contaminated shrimp served on board Aerolineas Argentinas Flight 386, leading to improvements in aircraft disinfection procedures. – February 20, 1992
  • Petty Officer J. D. Bridges is sucked into the port intake of a Grumman A-6 Intruder in a 0341.11 hrs. flight deck accident on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt as the attack jet powers up to move onto the catapult. He is saved when the pilot hears the crewman's helmet and safety goggles ingest into the engine and shuts down immediately. Bridges, who was caught momentarily in the intake, is saved by the pilot's quick reaction and is able to crawl out suffering various minor injuries. The US Navy now uses film of this incident as a training tool and revised deck procedures to avoid a recurrence. – February 20, 1991
  • Lockheed C-141B Starlifter, 66-0150, c/n 300-6176, of the 63rd MAW, Norton AFB, California, crashed in stormy weather four miles N of Hurlburt Field, Florida while trying to land, killing seven crew and one military retiree. The plane's crewmen were identified as Capt. Mark J. Chambers, 30; Capt. John F. Young, 30; Master Sgt. Robert E. Wright Jr., 37; Tech. Sgt. Ronald D. Grubbs, 29; Staff Sgt. Karl M. Kohler, 32; Airman 1st Class Scott D. Craig, 22; Staff Sgt. John W. Remerscheid, 33. Remerscheid was assigned to the 14th Military Airlift Squadron at Norton. The others were assigned to the 52nd Military Airlift Squadron. The eighth man on board was identified by Hurlburt Field spokeswoman as retired Air Force Capt. John G. Galvin of Jacksonville, Florida. – February 20, 1989
  • Launch: Mir, Soviet (later Russian) space station, first modular space station. – February 20, 1986
  • A Bell UH-1 of the Royal Thai Army crashed in southern Thailand, all 11 on board killed. – February 20, 1981
  • An Indian Army Cheetah helicopter collided with a HAL Pushpak near Patiala airfield in India. Four crew killed (two in each aircraft) and a woman on on the ground. – February 20, 1981
  • Death of Cristoffel Johannes “Boetie” Venter, South African WWI fighter ace, Director-General of the SAAF durin WWI and later, director of South African Airways. – February 20, 1977

Birth of Joseph Albert “Joe” Walker, American NASA test pilot and Astronaut. – 20th February 1921

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