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On This Day: March 17

Aviation events for March 17

1911: U.S. Navy Lt. John Rodgers reports to the Wright Co. at Dayton, Ohio for flying instructions. On March 9, the Wrights had offered to train one Navy pilot if that service bought a Wright flying machine at a cost $5,000. The conditional offer was later replaced by one that provided unconditional free training for one would-be Navy pilot.
1921: The first U. S. Marine airman to serve in the Pacific arrives on Guam with responsibility for supporting U. S. land and sea forces in the region. There, 10 pilots and 90 enlisted men operate seaplanes on reconnaissance duty as Flight L, Fourth Squadron, for 10 years.
1935: German authorities make the color-coding at vital aircraft parts obligatory; red for fire circuit-breakers, green for temperature regulators, yellow for throttles and brown for hydraulic circuits.
1936: Smoking in an airplane’s toilet is as serious an offense as smoking at school. An Imperial Airways passenger, caught red-handed while lighting up against airline regulations in a Handley Page HP.42 en route from Paris to London, is fined £10 in Craydon court, England.
1947: The first flight of the North American B-45 Tornado. The aircraft is the United States Air Force’s first jet bomber and the first jet to be refueled in midair. Only 143 were produced after it was replaced fairly quickly by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.
1957: A Douglas C-47 Skytrain crashes into Mount Manunggal in Cebu, Philippines, killing Ramon Magsaysay, the President of the Philippines, along with 23 others of the 25 on-board (one survivor). The exact cause is unknown, but it is suspected that fatigue in the drive shaft led to the aircraft not having enough power to clear the mountain range.
1958: Air Inter commences operations.
1958: Navy launches Vanguard 1 into orbit (2nd U.S.), measures Earth shape.
1960: Northwest Oreint Airlines Flight 710, a Lockheed L-188 Electra (N121US), crashes in Cannelton, Indiana, killing all 63 aboard. Wing separation and subsequent disintegration of the aircraft spread the wreckage over a very wide area. Multiple theories surround the crash, ranging from a bomb, metal fatigue and severe turbulence as being possible causes.
1966: First flight of the Bell X-22.
1974: An Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-9 is hijacked by a man who is later overpowered, with the aircraft diverting to Boston. The First Officer is killed in the struggle.
1976: A JAL Boeing 747 makes the first Tokyo to New York flight nonstop in 11.5 hours, covering 6,300 miles.
1979: An Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-104 crashes in Moska-Vnukovo, Russia, killing all 90 on-board. Blame is placed on the crew for failure to request de-icing before departure in an ice storm.
1988: Avianca Flight 410 strikes terrain at 6,200ft near Cucuta, Colombia leaving no survivors among the 143 on-board. The crash of the Boeing 727 (HK-1716) is the result of a non-crew pilot that was present in the cockpit and distracting the flight crew.
1992: Russian manned space craft TM-14, launches into orbit.
1995: An Intercontinental de Aviacion McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15 (HK-3564X) burns in Barranquilla, Coloumbia. Though the aircraft is completed destroyed in the fire, which begins after a short-circuit in the aft lavatory, all passengers survive.
1997: Pilot Linda Finch departs on her journey to complete Amelia Earhart’s 1937 flight around the world in a restored Lockheed Electra 10E. She goes on to complete the flight in 73 days.
2000: AeroPerlas de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter (HP-1267APP) crashes into a hill in Kuna Yala, Panama, killing all 10 on the aircraft while on a flight from Panama City to Puerto Obaldia.
2001: A SAL Express Beechcraft 1900C (S9-CAE) crashes into a mountain in Angola during heavy rainfall, with only one survivor among the 17 on-board.
2007: UTAir Flight 471 crashes short of the runway in Amara, Russia, while trying to land in poor weather. The Tupolev Tu-134 (RA-65021) hits the ground 1000ft short and rolls onto its back in flames, resulting in the deaths of 6 passengers among the 57 on-board. Poor planning and handling of the foggy conditions brings charges of negligence onto the pilots for which the Captain and First Officer received 6 and 2 years respectively.

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