On This Day in Aviation History

Nov 20, 2013 No Comments by

1907 – Birth of Miguel García Pardo, Spanish Nationalist flying ace of the Spanish Civil War; he is credited with the only victory flying a Heinkel He 112 in Spain.

1945 – First flight of the Saab 91 Safir, a Swedish single-engine trainer aircraft.

1953 – U.S. Navy pilot Scott Crossfield flies the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket (shown above) past Mach 2, the first flight to reach this speed; the world airspeed record is now set at 1,291 mph.

1954 – Death of Clyde Vernon Cessna, American aircraft designer, aviator, and founder of the Cessna Aircraft.

1963 – A Lockheed U-2F of the Central Intelligence Agency, loaned to the U.S. Air Force for Cuban overflight missions, crashes into the Gulf of Mexico near Key West, Fla., killing pilot Capt. Joe Hyde, Jr.; the pilot, returning from a mission, is hand-flying the aircraft back to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., at 69,000 feet after failure of autopilot when the U-2 enters a flat spin and strikes the Gulf. The ejection seat, seat pack and parachute missing and the pilot’s body is never found.

2007 – An Aerospatiale HC.1 Puma of the Royal Air Force crashes in Iraq during a covert mission over Baghdad; two Special Air Service troopers die, but 12 survive the impact and are later rescued by Coalition forces.

Civilian, Featured News, Military

About the author

Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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