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On This Day: January 24

Aviation events for January 24

1932: French pilots Paul Codos and Henri Robida land in Paris after flying from Hanoi in French Indochina in a record time of 3 days 4 hours.
1950: First flight of the North American YF-93.
1961: A US Air Force B-52G on a 24-hour alert mission breaks up and crashes near Goldsboro, North Carolina. The crew safely ejects, but the plane manages to drop both of its Mark 39 nuclear bombs in the process. One of the warheads manages to complete 5 of the 6 steps needed to detonate, but thankfully does not. The other hits the ground at high speed and disintegrates, with the radioactive core burying itself deep underground to the point that it cannot be recovered. The USAF purchased the surrounding land to prevent theft.
1962: Two United States Navy F-4 Phantom IIs are seconded to the United States Air Force as the Air Force plans to adopt the type.
1966: Air India Flight 101, a Boeing 707 (reg VT-DMN, Katchenjunga) enroute to New York from Bombay via Delhi, Beirut and Geneva, crashes into Mont Blanc on the France/Italy border, killing all 106 passengers and 11 crew. While on approach to Geneva, air traffic controllers instructed the crew to begin their descent after passing Mont Blanc. Unfortunately, the captain began descending too soon, believing they had already flown over the 15,781ft peak. The plane impacted the southwest face of the mountain near the top, at 15,585 feet. TRIVIA: AI uses Flight 101 today to designate their Delhi-New York service.
1966: First flight of the Learjet 24.
1968: First A-12 flight over North Korea to observe the USS Pueblo. Pilot Frank Murray. The ship had been seized the day before (23 JAN 68). (Q)
1975: First flight of the Aerospatiale SA 365 Dauphin F-WVKE.
1978: Kosmos 954, a nuclear-powered Soviet reconnaissance satellite, falls out of orbit and breaks up, scattering bits of its nuclear reactor along a 300-mile swath of northern Canada. A U.S.-Canada task force manages to recover only 12 pieces and 1% of the nuclear fuel after searching a 48,000 sq. mi. area, for which the USSR is mailed a bill for $6,041,174.70.
1986: The American spacecraft Voyager 2 makes its closest approach to Uranus, passing within 50,600 miles.
2002: BMIbaby is founded.
2010: A Taban Air Tu-154 carrying 157 people crash-lands and catches fire at Mashhad International Airport in northeastern Iran, injuring 46 people.

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