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On This Day: February 12

Aviation events for February 12

1914: Igor Sikorsky’s giant four-engined biplane, the Ilya Muromets flies in Russia. It is an improved version of last year’s Bolshoi Baltiskii.
1921: The U.S. Army Air Service establishes the first in an expending series of airways – routes safely surveyed by the army civilian and commercial users linking towns and cities by air – by leasing land between Washington and Dayton, Ohio to facilitate a stopover.
1928: Lady Heath (formerly Mrs. Elliot-Lynn) becomes the first woman to fly solo from Cape Town, South Africa to London, England.
1935: The USS Macon, a US Navy scouting zeppelin with the ability to launch fighter aircraft, is damaged in a storm and sinks off the coast of California.
1955: Soviets decide space center to be built in Baikonur, Kazachstan.
1959: The last Convair B-36 bomber in operational USAF service is retired to Amon Carter Field, where it is put on display; Strategic Air Command is now equipped with an all-jet bomber force.
1960: A Delta Air Lines Convair 880 lands in Miami, Florida, from San Diego to set a new transcontinental speed record over the route of 3 hours 31 minutes.
1961: The U.S.S.R. launches Venera 1 towards Venus.
1963: A Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 705, a 720B, suffered an in-flight break-up over the Florida Everglades approximately 12 minutes after leaving Miami, bound for Chicago. All 35 passengers and eight crew died. The cause of the crash was determined to be an unrecoverable loss of control due to severe turbulence.
1974: Mars 5 - USSR Mars Orbiter entered into orbit around Mars. It acquired imaging data for the Mars 6 and 7 missions.
1979: Air Rhodesia Flight 827, a Vickers Viscount, is shot down by guerrillas between Kariba and Salisbury in South Africa with a Strela 2 missile, killing all 59 on-board.
1979: Kosmos 1076, 1st Soviet oceanographic satellite, launched.
1981: Max Anderson and Don Ida make a failed attempt to circumnavigate the world by balloon. Their craft, the Jules Verne only covers 2,900 miles (4,667 km) from Luxor to New Delhi.
1991: Continental unveils their blue and gray paint scheme.
2002: An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashes into mountains while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport in Iran, killing 119.
2004: Exactly four years and one day after the launch of JetBlue, United Airlines responds to its low cost competitors with Ted.
2009: Continental Connection Flight 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operated by Colgan Air (reg N200WQ), crashes into a house in Clarence Center, NY, while on approach to Runway 23 at Buffalo International Airport. All 45 passengers and 4 crew on board the aircraft are killed, while in the destroyed house one man is killed and four others are injured.

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