Flipping through the Flight Journal archives, here are some interesting entries from the historical calendar.
2009: A Basler BT-67 crashes while attempting to land in Antarctica. All four passengers survive, but the plane is destroyed.
2002: Charles J. Bishop, a Florida teenager inspired by the September 11th hijackers, flies a Cessna 172 into the side of the Bank of America Tower in Tampa. Bishop is killed and one office is damaged but no one else is hurt.
1995: The “Father of Stealth,” Ben Rich, dies in Ventura, Calif., at the age of 69. The second director of Lockheed’s Skunk Works, Rich led development of the F-117 and also took part in the F-104, U-2, SR-71, A-12, F-22 projects.
1972: President Richard Nixon launches the Space Shuttle program with initial funding of $5.5 billion.
1969: Venera 5, USSR’s first probe to make a successful planet landing, is launched. It would later enter the atmosphere of Venus on May 16.
1967: A Lockheed A-12 crashes after running out of fuel on a training flight from Groom Lake, Nevada. Pilot Walter Ray ejects prior to impact, but his ejection seat fails and he is killed.
1962: Three airmen are killed in the crash of a U.S. Air Force Boeing B-47E-105-BW Stratojet out of March Air Force Base, CA.
1959: The Fairey Rotodyne, a part-plane, part-helicopter aircraft, sets a new speed record for “convertiplanes,” hitting 190 mph during a 62-mile flight.