On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1899 – Birth of Joseph Marie Le Brix, French raid aviator.

1932 – During the Shanghai Incident, three Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima A1N2 fighters from the aircraft carrier Kaga score the first air-to-air kill in Japanese history, shooting down a Nationalist Chinese Boeing fighter piloted by an American volunteer.

1954 – First flight of the Convair R3Y Tradewind (XP5Y-1 shown), an American turboprop-powered flying boat.

1974 – An unemployed tire salesman named Samuel Byck attempts to hijack a Delta Air Lines DC-9 at Baltimore/Washington International Airport using a .22 caliber handgun and a suitcase filled with gasoline bombs. His attempt to crash the plane into the White House and assassinate President Richard Nixon fails. The plane never leaves the gate, although he does shoot and kill a police officer and one of the pilots and wounds another pilot. After being wounded by police, Byck commits suicide.

1980 – Death of Sadaaki Akamatsu, Japanese Sino-Japanese War and World War II fighter ace.

2013 – The U.S. Defense Department grounds all 51 U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps F-35 Lightning II fighters after an inspection of a USAF F-35A at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., reveals a cracked engine blade.

Updated: February 22, 2016 — 12:30 PM
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