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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1910 – Yoshitoshi Tokugawa flew Japan’s first successful powered aircraft flight (a Farman Biplane) at Yoyogi Parade Ground where Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park is now located.

1930 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first autogiro pilot to carry a passenger, flying a PCA-2 Pitcairn Autogyro and making several trips with various passengers until dark.

1942 – Birth of Dennis Edward “Denny” Fitch, Sr., American commercial airline pilot; he would become best known for his actions as an off-duty McDonnell Douglas DC-10 training captain to steer United Airlines Flight 232, a Douglas DC-10, to an oblique crash-landing at Sioux Gateway Airport in Iowa, where 184 out of 296 aboard survived.

1971 – Ladislaw Bezak, a Czechoslovakian Airlines pilot and aerobatic champion, defects with his family in a Zlin 226T, avoiding Czech fighter patrols, by landing safely in West Germany.

1978 – First flight of the Beriev A-50, a Soviet-built airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport.

2002 – Death of Guy Pierre Bordelon (shown), the U.S. Navy’s only ace and only night fighter ace of the Korean War; he also may have been the last ace to fly a propeller-driven fighter.

Updated: December 19, 2013 — 2:01 PM

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