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On This Day in Aviation History

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Capt. Christopher Stricklin ejects from the USAF Thunderbirds number six aircraft less than a second before it impacted the ground at an air show at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Sept. 14. Stricklin, who was not injured, ejected after both guiding the jet away from the crowd of more than 60,000 people and ensuring he couldn't save the aircraft. This was only the second crash since the Air Force began using F-16 Falcons for its demonstration team in 1982. The ACES II ejection seat performed flawlessly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

1886 – Birth of Walter Carl Simon, American World War I flying ace and the first American “ace in a day” (5 scores in a single day). He also becomes the vice-director of the Peruvian Naval Flying School at Ancon, and a senior U.S. Army Air Forces officer in World War II.

1910 – The German airship Zeppelin LZ6 is destroyed by fire at Baden-Oos.

1918 – Death of Antoine Joseph Henri Louis Paillard, French World War I flying ace, killed in action after having downed four Fokker D.VIIs on this date.

1939 – First flight of the Sikorsky VS-300, the first helicopter to enter mass production.

1977 – A U.S. Air Force Boeing EC-135K crashed in steep terrain shortly after takeoff; it strikes mountains near Albuquerque, N.M., about 8,500 feet high. All 20 aboard perish.

2003 – U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds opposing solo pilot, Capt. Chris R. Stricklin, in the Number 6 Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon, misjudges his altitude before beginning a split-S takeoff maneuver at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. He ejects in less than a second (shown) before the aircraft impacts the runway and survives.

Updated: September 13, 2016 — 10:15 PM

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