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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1889 – Birth of Bela Macourek, Austro-Hungarian World War I flying ace who flew post-war for the Red Corps.

1941 – The tail section of a Lockheed YP-38 Lightning (shown) separates in flight over Glendale, Calif., and crashes inverted on a house at 1147 Elm Street; Lockheed test pilot Ralph Virden is killed, but the homeowner survives, sleeping through the incident.

1948 – Test pilot Royal Air Force Squadron Leader J.D. Derry completes the journey from London to Rome in a record time of two hours, 50 minutes, flying a de Havilland Vampire FB5.

1974 – First flight of the AstroFlight Sunrise, an American unmanned electric aircraft technology demonstrator; it becomes the first aircraft to fly on solar power.

1980 – Death of Elizabeth Muriel Gregory “Elsie” MacGill, a Canadian aeronautical engineer known as the “Queen of the Hurricanes;” she was world’s first female aircraft designer.

2010 – Aero Caribbean Flight 883, an ATR-72, crashes in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spíritus, killing all 68; severe icing, along with bad crew operating procedures, appear to blame for the accident.

Updated: November 4, 2014 — 1:22 PM

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