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On This Day: February 16

Aviation events for February 16

374: 9th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
1903: Traian Vuia presents to the Academy of the Sciences of Paris the possibility of flying with a heavier-than-air mechanical machine, but it was rejected for being impossible, receiving the response, “The problem of flight with a machine which weighs more than air cannot be solved and it is only a dream.” Traian Vuia would later take his first flight on a very short, 12-meter flight, on March 18, 1906.
1912: Frank Coffyn takes aerial views of New York City with a cinema camera while controlling his airplane with his feet and knees.
1949: British Midland International begins operations as Derby Aviation Limited.
1960: The Vought F8U-2N Crusader interceptor makes its maiden flight in Dallas, Texas.
1961: U.S. satellite Explorer 9 is launched.
1965: Pegasus 1 launched to detect micro-meteors.
1982: The first production Airbus Industrie A310 is rolled out at the factory in Toulouse, France, destined for Swissair as the launch customer.
1982: Assembled STS-3 vehicle moves from Vandenberg AFB to launch pad.
1998: China Airlines Flight 676, an Airbus A300-622R (B-1814), crashes after a failed go-around on approach to Chiang Kai Shek International Airport in Taiwan in light rain and fog. Trying to climb again at a pitch of over 40 degrees, the plane stalled at an altitude of 2,750ft, crashing just off airport property. All 196 on the plane and six people on the ground were killed.
1998: Gulfstream II carrying film director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, Men in Black II, and Wild, Wild West), slid off runway at Van Nuys, California; Sonnenfeld was uninjured.
2006: Kobe Airport (UKB), built on a man-made island near Kobe, Japan, opens for airline service.
2009: An entire South African Airways crew is arrested at London Heathrow Airport after five kilos of cocaine are allegedly discovered in a bag. It is the second drug arrest of an entire SAA crew for drug smuggling within three weeks.

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