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On This Day: February 19

Aviation events for February 19

1473: Born: Nicolaus Copernicus, Torun, Poland, astronomer, heliocentrism.
1912: One of the most successful pre-World War I airship operations begins with the first flight of the Zeppelin LZ II, Victoria Louise, and its introduction into service with the German airship company DELAG.
1934: The United States Army Air Corps begins flying US airmail after the government cancels all existing airmail contracts due to alleged improprieties by the previous administration during the negotiations of those contracts.
1937: Howard Hughes establishes a new transcontinental speed record of 7 hours 28 minutes 25 seconds from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey.
1955: TWA Flight 260, a Martin 4-0-4 (N40416) crashes into the Sandia Mountains while on a flight form Albuquerque to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Instrument failure giving poor direction is accredited with the deaths of all 16 on-board. The 10,678ft mountain is still the home to some of the wreckage, which can be seen from the Sandia Tram.
1965: Lufthansa signs up as the first customer for the forthcoming Boeing 737.
1970: First flight of the Canadair CL-84 CX8401.
1970: U.S.S.R. launches Sputnik 52 and Molniya 1-13 communications satellite.
1982: The first Boeing 757 takes to the air on its maiden flight. With capacity for between 178 and 239 passengers in a wide variety of configurations, it has a cruising speed of 528 mph and a range of 2,100 mi., or 5,343 mi. at economic cruise.
1985: China Airlines Flight 006, a 747SP (N4522V) flying from Taipei to Los Angeles experiences a #4 engine failure, leading the aircraft to roll and take a 30,000ft dive before regaining control. The aircraft received significant damage to the horizontal stabilizer, and its right main gear became deployed while it also lost a large amount of hydraulic fluid. The aircraft diverts to San Francisco with only two injuries among the 274 people aboard.
1985: Iberia Flight 610, a 727-200 (EC-DDU) crashes after striking a television antenna while on approach to Bilbao, Spain, killing all 148 on-board. The Captain was heard to have yelled “Shut up” several times as the Ground Proximity Warning System told him to pull up.
1986: U.S.S.R. launches Mir space station into Earth orbit.
1988: First flight of the Boeing 737-400.
2002: First flight of the Embraer 170.
2005: British Airways, the No. 2 engine of a Boeing 747–400 G-BNLG surged (whereby the airflow through the engine reverses) and suffered internal damage just after take off from Los Angeles on a flight to London Heathrow with 16 crew and 351 passengers on board.[150] The crew shut the engine down and continued the climb and continued the flight, in line with BA's standard operating procedures for 4 engined aircraft. Because it was unable to attain normal cruising speeds and altitudes, the aircraft diverted to Manchester Airport, England. The United States Federal Aviation Administration had been critical of the Captain's decision and accused BA of operating the aircraft in an non airworthy condition.] In June 2006 the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended that the UK and US authorities review the policy on flight continuation and give clear guidance. This has not happened but the FAA have accepted the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority’s determination that the aircraft was airworthy.

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