On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1916 – Zeppelin LZ72 (L31) is shot down by a British fighter over Potter’s Bar, near London, killing Heinrich Mathy, Germany’s foremost airship captain.

1921 – Birth of Albert Scott Crossfield, American naval officer and test pilot; he became the first man to fly at Mach 2.

1939 – First flight of the Ilyushin Il-2, prototype TsKB-55, a Soviet World War II ground-attack aircraft (M model shown above); more than 36,000 are eventually made.

1970 – A flight operated by Golden Eagle Aviation, a Martin 4-0-4 carrying the Wichita State University football team, administrators and supporters, crashes in Colorado after becoming trapped in a box canyon; 31 people die.

1980 – A Westland Sea King of the Royal Air Force 202 Squadron rescues 22 passengers from the Swedish ship Finneagle in the North Sea.

1998 – Death of Orvon Grover “Gene” Autry, an American actor and celebrity who served as a Douglas C-47 Skytrain pilot during World War II; he flew missions over the Himalayas between Burma and China.


Updated: October 2, 2013 — 1:27 PM
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