On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1931 – First flight of the Berliner-Joyce XFJ (shown), a U.S. prototype carrier-based biplane fighter.

1930 – Death of Alfred William Saunders, Irish World War I fighter ace, in the crash of his de Havilland Gipsy Moth in Auckland, New Zealand.

1957 – A U.S. Air Force Convair B-36J Peacemaker, ferrying a Mark 17 nuclear bomb from Biggs AFB, Texas to Kirtland AFB, N.M., accidentally drops the Mark 17 through closed bay doors, impacting 4.5 miles south of Kirtland tower. Only the conventional trigger detonates, the bomb being unarmed, creating a huge crater.

1959 – Birth of Matevž Lenarcic, Slovenian raid aviator, alpinist, paraglider; he also was the first person to circle the world in an ultralight without a copilot.

1990 – The German Luftwaffe flies the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter for the last time before it’s withdrawn from service.

2010 – Air India Express Flight 812, a Boeing 737, overshoots the runway on landing, falls over a cliff and catches fire, spreading wreckage across the surrounding hillside. Of the 160 passengers and six crew members on board, only eight passengers survive the crash.


Updated: May 22, 2014 — 11:17 AM
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