This Day In Aviation History

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  • Senegalese Air Senegal International suspends all operations. – April 24, 2009
  • A Belgian Air Force F-16B collides with an Ikarus PH-3G8 in Sellingen. The pilots of the F-16 and the Ikarus are killed. The pilot in the backseat of the F-16 ejects and survives. – April 24, 2002
  • The unmanned aircraft Global Hawk flies automatically from Edwards Air Force Base in the US to Australia non-stop and unrefuelled. This is the longest point-to-point flight ever undertaken by an unmanned aircraft, the first pilotless aircraft to cross the Pacific Ocean, and took 23 hours and 23 min. – April 24, 2001
  • The modified McDonnell Douglas F-15 S/TMD becomes the first aircraft to fly supersonic using round, pitch-and-yaw thrust-vectoring nozzles. – April 24, 1996
  • (24-25) In Operation Ashwamedh, Indian Army commandos storm a hijacked Indian Airlines Boeing 737 with 141 people on board at Amritsar, India. They kill the lone hijacker and free everyone else on board unharmed. – April 24, 1993
  • A USAF C-130 Hercules carrying out an anti-narcotics mission over Peru is attacked by Peruvian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22s. – April 24, 1992
  • Launch: Space Shuttle Discovery STS-31 at 12:33:51 UTC. Mission highlights: Hubble Space Telescope deployment. – April 24, 1990
  • Marine Corps Colonel Jerry Cadick, then commanding officer of MAG-11, was performing stunts at the MCAS El Toro Air Show before a crowd of 300,000 when he crashed his McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet at the bottom of a loop that was too close to the ground. The aircraft was in a nose-high attitude, but still carrying too much energy toward the ground when it impacted at more than 300 mph (480 km/h). Col. Cadick was subjected to extremely high G forces that resulted in his face making contact with the control stick and sustaining serious injury. He broke his arm, elbow and ribs, exploded a vertebra and collapsed a lung. Col. Cadick survived and retired from the Marine Corps. The F/A-18 remained largely intact but was beyond repair. – April 24, 1988
  • LOT Polish Airlines inaugurates flights to JFK International Airport in New York. – April 24, 1985
  • helicopters from USS Nimitz participate in the abortive Operation Eagle Claw, a plan to rescue US hostages from Iran. – April 24, 1980
  • Lockheed U-2R, 68-10333, Article 055, fifth airframe of the first R-model order, first flown 8 May 1968, registered N812X, delivered to the CIA on 28 May 1968. To 100th SRW, mid-1974, to 9th SRW, 1976. Damaged at Akrotiri, Cyprus, this date. Repaired. – April 24, 1980
  • Operation Eagle Claw: A contingent of American military aircraft embarks on a commando raid to rescue a group of American hostages held by Iran. An unexpected sandstorm forces 2 USMC Sikorsky RH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters to divert before reaching the first rendezvous point in the Great Salt Desert of Eastern Iran, near Tabas, and causes serious mechanical damage to a third, prompting commanders to abort the mission. While attempting to evacuate personnel and equipment that had already arrived at the rendezvous point, the pilot of another Sea Stallion, BuNo 158761, loses situational awareness in dustcloud during take-off and collides with a USAF Lockheed EC-130E Hercules, 62-1809, c/n 3770, of the 7th ACCS, killing five USAF aircrew aboard the C-130, and three USMC aircrew in the RH-53. Five other RH-53Ds had to be abandoned at the site after suffering shrapnel damage from the collision. These were BuNos. 158686, 158744, 158750, 158753 and 158758. At least one airframe was assembled from the abandoned helicopters, to join six RH-53Ds supplied by the United States to the Iranian Navy in 1978. – April 24, 1980
  • First flight of the Partenavia Alpha – April 24, 1972
  • Two UH-1 B attack helicopters arrive at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam, becoming the first helicopters equipped with the TOW antitank missile to enter combat. – April 24, 1972
  • Soyuz 10 spacecraft docks with the world’s first space station, Salyut 1. The cosmonauts on board are forced to return to earth without entering the station, however, due to a faulty hatch. – April 24, 1971

Marine Corps Colonel Jerry Cadick, then commanding officer of MAG-11, was performing stunts at the MCAS El Toro Air Show before a crowd of 300,000 when he crashed his McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet at the bottom of a loop that was too close to the ground. The aircraft was in a nose-high attitude, but still carrying too much energy toward the ground when it impacted at more than 300 mph (480 km/h). Col. Cadick was subjected to extremely high G forces that resulted in his face making contact with the control stick and sustaining serious injury. He broke his arm, elbow and ribs, exploded a vertebra and collapsed a lung. Col. Cadick survived and retired from the Marine Corps. The F/A-18 remained largely intact but was beyond repair. – 24th April 1988

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