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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1906 – First air exhibition of the Aero Club of America opens for eight days in the U.S. Army’s 69th Infantry Regiment Armory in New York City.

1917 – Capt. C.F. Collet of the Royal Flying Corps becomes the first British service flyer to make parachute jump when he uses a Calthrop “Guardian Angel” parachute for an experimental jump from 600 feet.

1940 – First flight of The Yakovlev Yak-1 (shown), a World War II Soviet single-seat fighter with a composite structure and wooden wings.

1949 – Birth of Rakesh Sharma, Indian Air Force test pilot and cosmonaut; he became the first Indian to travel in space.

1982 – Shortly after takeoff, Air Florida Flight 90, a Boeing 737 jet crashes into Washington, D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78 including four motorists.

2009 – Death of Nancy Bird Walton, pioneering Australian aviatrix, youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s licence, founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association.

Updated: January 13, 2014 — 10:20 AM

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