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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1932 – Birth of Corrado Gex, Italian aviator and politician; he was the first pilot authorized to land on a glacier.

1937 – Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft at the British Thomson-Houston factory in Rugby, England.

1939 – First flight of the IAR 80 (shown), Romanian World War II all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft.

1962 – Death of Ron Flockhart, Scottish racing driver, when his North American P-51 Mustang (VH-UWB) into the Dandenong Hills in Victoria while preparing a second attempt to break the flying record from Australia to England.

1972 – Members of the U.S. Air Force’s 31st Aerospace Rescue Squadron pick up Charles Lindbergh and a scientific team from the jungle on Mindanao Island, Philippines, after their helicopter crashes during an anthropological survey.

1990 – Widerøe Flight 839, a de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, crashes into the Norwegian Sea just after takeoff from Værøy Airport in Værøy, Norway, when strong winds crack its tail rudder and tailplane, rendering it uncontrollable. All five people aboard die.

Updated: April 21, 2016 — 4:36 AM

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