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On This Day: April 3

Aviation events for April 3

1915: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NASA forerunner) created.
1933: Two British-built aircraft, the prototype Westland Wapiti V modified into the Wallace (G-ACBR), become the first to fly over the top of Mt. Everest, at 29,802 ft. the highest point of land on earth, and to photograph the summit from above.
1944: German battleship Tirpitz is badly damaged by attacks by the Fleet Air Arm and RAF.
1948: Alitalia launches its first postwar service from Italy Rome-Ciampino to the UK LondonNortholt Aerodrome.
1953: BOAC launches weekly service to Tokyo aboard a de Havilland DH 106 Comet.
1954: Quantas introduces tourist-class services on its Kangaroo route from Sydney to London.
1959: 1st U.S. probe to enter solar orbit, Pioneer 4, launched.
1961: Naval Research Laboratory reported that Lofti, small piggyback satellite on Transit III-B launched on February 21, demonstrated that very low frequency radio signals pass through the ionosphere into space, thus opening new area for communications development.
1969: Apollo 9 launched for 151 Earth orbits (10 days).
1980: Crash of the prototype Bombardier Challenger 600 in the Mojave desert kills the pilot.
1981: Pan Am founder Juan Trippe dies in Los Angeles.
1982: First flight of the Airbus A310.
1996: A US Air Force CT-43A crashes into a hill on approach to Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia, killing US Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and all 29 other passengers and five crew on board. The military variant of the Boeing 737-200 had descended below the minimum approach altitude for the area, blamed on the crew being unfamiliar with the airport’s IFR NDB approach.
2008: ATA Airlines ceased all operations due to un-recovering bankruptcy.

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