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On This Day: April 12

Aviation events for April 12

1911: Pierre Prier makes the first non-stop passenger flight, traveling from London to Paris.
1911: Lt. T. Gordon Ellyson becomes the Navy’s first pilot.
1918: The Loughead brothers fly their seaplane, the F-1, from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
1935: The Bristol Blenheim, a British light bomber, makes takes off from Filton, England on its maiden test flight. Read more...
1937: Sir Frank Whittle conducts ground-tests of the world’s first jet engine designed specifically to power an aircraft. Read more...
1951: Korean War: 48 US B-29 Superfortresses bomb the Sinuiju Railway Bridge spanning the Yalu River.
1961: At 9:07 am, Moscow time, the Soviet rocket Vostok 1 takes off from Tyuratam in central Asia, launching Flight-Major Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin into space and the history books. After a single orbit, the first human in space lands safely back at the space center at Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Read more...
1966: U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses strike targets in North Vietnam for the first time.
1966: First flight of the Pilatus PC-7. Read more...
1971: The US Air Force’s 31st Aerospace Rescue Squadron evacuate Charles Lindbergh and a group of scientists from Mindanao Island, Philippines, after their helicopter had crashed.
1972: Members of the USAF’s 31st Aerospace Rescue Squadron pick up Charles Lindbergh and a scientific team from the jungle on Mindanao Island, Philippines, after their helicopter crashed while on an anthropological survey.
1981: The US Space Shuttle program takes off with the first launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-1. The flight crew, consisting of only two—Commander John W. Young and Pilot Robert Crippen—spend 54 1/2 hours in orbit. Read more...
1989: British Airways Concorde loses a large piece of its rudder on a flight between Christchurch and Sydney.
2010: Jamaican airline Air Jamaica ceases operations. All services taken over by Caribbean Airlines.
2011: Air France Airbus A380 F-HPJD was involved in a ground collision with Comair Bombardier CRJ-700 N641CA AT John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, spinning the latter through 90°. The Airbus sustained slight damage, whilst the CRJ-700 was substantially damaged.

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