On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1895 – Birth of Joseph Eskel Hallonquist, Canadian World War I flying ace.

1910 – The first airplane flight in Switzerland is made by German Capt. Paul Englehardt, who takes off in a Wright Flyer from a frozen lake in St. Moritz.

1951 – Qantas Consolidated Catalina PB2B-2 “Frigate Bird II” (shown) begins a survey flight from Sydney, Australia, to Chile via Easter Island, making the airline’s first flight across the South Pacific.

1967 – South African Airways Flight 406, a Vickers Viscount 818, crashes into the sea on approach to East London, South Africa; all 25 people aboard die. It is later learned the pilot suffered a heart attack while on approach and the co-pilot was unable to regain control.

1974 – First flight of the Bell Model 214A “Big Lifter,” an American medium-lift helicopter derived from Bell’s ubiquitous UH-1 Huey series.

1987 – Death of Edward Peck “Ted” Curtis, American World War I flying ace, World War II officer; he was considered one of the architects of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Updated: March 13, 2014 — 10:14 AM
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