The term naval aviator is adapted for U. S. Navy officer pilots to replace the identification navy air pilot in official terminology. This term is still in use today.
A Pan American Grace Airlines Ford 5 (NC407H) crashes in Lima, Peru, killing 3 of 15 on the aircraft.
First flight of the Lockheed T-33.
A Maritime Central Airways Douglas C-47 disappears two hours after departing St. John’s Airport in Newfoundland, Canada with four people on-board. The wreckage is found almost a year and a half later on August 27, 1953.
A Douglas DC-6 (PH-TBJ) being operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines crashes into a forest while navigating its approach to Frankfurt International Aircraft in Germany. There are 3 survivors among the 47 on-board.
Avianca Flight 676, a Douglas C-47 (DC-3) crashes into Sugar Loaf Mountain shortly after departure from Bogota-Eldorado Airport in Colombia at an elevation of 7,200ft. All 29 on the aircraft are killed due to the pilot continuing to fly by (VFR) Visual Flight Rules in unfavorable conditions.
First flight of the Antonov An-12s and An-22s airlift the first Soviet troops into Afghanistan. 5,000 arrive in the first 24 hours.
Soyuz 39 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Mongolian) to Salyut 6.
Space Shuttle Columbia departs on STS-3, its third mission. This is the first Shuttle launch with an unpainted external fuel tank, and the only mission to land at White Sands Space Harbor near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Pacific Western Airlines Flight 501 catches fire on takeoff, with no fatalities among the 119 passengers on-board (there would be 27 injuries). A popping sound heard 20 seconds into the departure roll of the Boeing 737-200 (C-GQPW) caused the flight crew to abort, thinking a tire had blown. Instead, an intense fire on the left wing occurred due to a faulty compressor disc that ruptured a fuel tank. The aircraft is almost completely destroyed and later written off.
NASA launches Intelsat VA.
The first and only Antonov An-225 built establishes 106 new Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) world records in several classes, most important of which is a speed of 813.09 km/h (505.2 mph) carrying a payload in the 70 –155 metric ton (154,320 – 341,710 lb.) class around a closed circuit of 2,000 km (1,243 miles).
USAir Flight 405, a Fokker F-28 (N485US) departing New York’s La Guardia Airport, crashes into Flushing Bay, killing 27 of its 51 occupants. Departing on runway 13 about 34 minutes after its last de-cing, the aircraft stalls due to ice contamination and on its left wing. Though the Captain also did not use the appropriate USAir-approved V1 speed, the crash is also attributed to lack of regulations regarding elapsed time after de-icing.
STS-76 (Atlantis 16), launches into orbit.
Comet Hale-Bopp Closest Approach to Earth (1.315 AU).
Philippine Airlines Flight 137, an Airbus A320 (RP-C3222), overshoots the runway at Bacolod City Airport. The #1 engine’s thrust reverser was inoperative, and the cockpit crew fails to compensate properly after applying full reverse thrust to engine #2 on landing. This causes runway excursion and an overshoot of the runway. Though there are no fatalities on the aircraft, the Airbus hits some shanties which results in 3 deaths.
BMIbaby commences operations.
A Pilatus PC-12 (N128CM) operated by Eagle Cap Leasing Inc. dives into the ground 500 feet short of the runway at Bert Mooney Airport in Butte, Montana, killing all 14 occupants (including 7 children).
Aviastar-TU Flight 1906, operated by Tupolev Tu-204 RA-64011 crashed on approach to Domodedovo International Airport, Moscow. The aircraft was written off, the first hull loss for Aviastar and the first of a Tu-204.