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On This Day: May 5

Aviation events for May 5

1930: The first solo flight from England to Australia by a woman is made by British Amy Johnson in a De Havilland D.H.60G Moth. She flies from Croydon, England to Darwin, Australia in 19 days.
1958: A Royal Air Force Miles Marathon T.2 (XA253) crashes after landing at Topcliffe RAF Station in the UK after the crew accidentally retracts the landing gear instead of raising the flaps.
1961: Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., U.S. Navy, becomes the second man to explore space when he rides his Mercury Freedom 7 capsule, launched by a Redstone missile, to 115 miles above the Earth. It is three weeks since Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight.
1965: Iberia Flight 401 crashes on its second approach to runway 30 at Tenerife, Spain. The Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation (EC-AIN), attempting landing in weather below minimums, strikes construction equipment while initiating its second go-around. Of the 49 onboard, 30 perish. Read more...
1967: First delivery of the McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 to SAS.
1968: The first non-stop Atlantic crossing by an executive jet aircraft is made as a Grumman Gulfstream II lands in London, England after completing a 3,500-mile (5,633 km) flight from Teterboro, New Jersey.
1972: Eastern Airlines Flight 175 is hijacked by a man named Richard Hahneman after departing Allentown, PA, demanding $303,000 and 6 parachutes. After receiving the ransom after landing in Washington-Dulles, Hahneman insists on flying to New Orleans for fuel before heading to Honduras, where he would successfully parachute out. He is caught by Honduran soldiers a few days later.
1972: Western Airlines Flight 407 is hijacked by a 21-year-old Michael Lynn Hansen, who had sneaked on a .38 caliber pistol in a hallowed book, just after departure from Salt Lake City, Utah. Demanding to go to North Vietnam, the Boeing 737-200 first stops at its scheduled destination of Los Angeles for fuel. Hansen then changes his mind and says he’d rather go to Cuba, and a stop is made in Tampa for more gas before successfully continuing on to Havana. He would be extradited back to the United States in 1975.
1972: Alitalia Flight 112, a flight from Rome to Palermo, Italy, crashes into Mount Longa while approaching at night. The Douglas DC-8-43 (I-DIWB “Antonio Pigafetta”) had strayed from the published approach pattern, killing all 115 onboard. Read more...
1978: National Airlines Flight 193, a Boeing 727, landed 2750 feet short of the runway at Pensacola Regional Airport into Escambia Bay, killing 8 people. Read more...
1983: Eastern Airlines Flight 855, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar (N334EA), avoids disaster after experiencing trouble on all three of its engines on a flight from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. In a move that would later be pivotal to their survival, the crew shuts down the #2 engine after it receives a low oil pressure warning light while descending through 15,000ft. The crew decides to return to their Miami base on the remaining two engines, which should not be a problem until the same light illuminates for engines #1 and #3, both of which soon flame out five minutes apart. Since the #2 tail engine is the only one intentionally shut down as a precaution, it still has enough oil to restart as the aircraft glides toward the ocean through 4,000ft, preparing the ditch. Miraculously, the Tristar is able to make a one-engine landing at Miami, saving the lives of all 172 people aboard. The cause is attributed to mechanics who failed to install all the O-ring seals on the master chip detector assemblies, leading to the loss of lubrication on the engines. Read more...
1990: A Douglas DC-6 (N84BL) operated by Aerial Transit Company crashes after takeoff from Guatemala City, Guatemala, killing all 3 on the aircraft and an additional 24 on the ground. The cargo flight, destined for Miami, develops engine trouble and strikes the ground while trying to make its way back to the airport.
1993: Jet Airways commences flight operations. Read more...
1994: Clementine, USA Lunar Orbiter (launched January 25, 1994)left Lunar orbit. The official name for Clementine is 'Deep Space Probe Science Experiment' (DSPSE). It was a Department of Defense program used to test new space technology. Clementine was a new design using lightweight structure and propellant systems. It spent 70 days (between February 6 and May 5, 1994) in lunar orbit. Its four cameras mapped the surface of the Moon at 125-250 meters/pixel resolution. Clementine also used a laser to gather altimeter data which will make it possible to generate the first lunar topographic map.
1998: A Peruvian Air Force Boeing 737-200 (FAP-351) operating on lease to Occidental Petroleum crashes in a thunderstorm while on a non-directional beacon (NDB) approach, killing 75 of the 88 aboard.
2004: Air France and Netherlands-based KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) merge, the two airlines are now known as Air France-KLM.
2006: Siberia Airlines renames itself to S7 Airlines and repaints its to a bright green, which is partly so the aircraft can be spotted among the tundra of Russia in the event of a crash.
2007: Eos Airlines begins flights from London Stansted to Newark Liberty International Airport with their 48-seat, all-business class Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Read more...
2007: Kenya Airways Flight 507, a Boeing 737-800 (5Y-KYA) scheduled to fly to Nairobi, Kenya, crashes just after takeoff from Douala, Cameroon. All 114 occupants are killed after the pilot departs without clearance and then does not realize the aircraft is banking hard to the right in time for correction due to improper auto-pilot inputs. The aircraft strikes a forested swamp a few miles to the south of the airport, where a reporter would find one year later that aircraft wreckage and human remains are still present. Read more...
Azul - Linhas Aereas Brasileiras Airbus A330-243 (PR-AIV) at  Ft. Lauderdale - International, United States
2008: Brazilian-born David Neeleman, founder and former-CEO of JetBlue, starts Azul Lineas Aereas Brasileiras. Read more...
2019: An Aeroflot SSJ-100, apparently struck by lightning on departure from Moscow Sheremetyevo, catches fire during a hard landing. 40 passengers and one crew member are killed. Read more...

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