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On This Day: September 14

Aviation events for September 14

1938: The Graf Zeppellin II makes its maiden flight. A number of events, including the Hindenburg disaster and a United States refusal to provide helium, prevent the most technologically advanced airship of its day from fulfilling its role as a passenger transport. 19 months later it would be scrapped.
1939: Igor Sikorsky pilots the first practical helicopter, the VS-300.
1944: The 1st successful flight into the eye of a hurricane is made by a three-man American crew flying a Douglas A-20 Havoc. They demonstrate that valuable scientific information can be obtained in this manner, which is still done today.
1959: The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.
1973: Israel shoots down 13 Syrian MIG-21s.
1976: A F-14 Tomcat rolls off the deck of USS John F. Kennedy and sinks in international waters. A major salvage operation is launched to retrieve the fighter lest it fall into Soviet hands.
1983: The U.S. House of Representatives votes, 416 to 0, in favor of a resolution condemning Russia for shooting down a Korean Air Flight 007.
1986: A bomb explodes in outside of Ginpo Airport, suburb of Seoul, South Korea, killing five and injuring twenty-nine.
1999: Britannia Airways Flight 226A, a Boeing 757-200 from Cardiff, crashed on approach to Girona Airport, Spain whilst landing in poor weather conditions. Torrential rain, and the extinguishing of runway lights hindered the landing of the airplane, which bounced and then landed with its nose pointing down on its second attempt. Fifty five people were injured out of 245 passengers and crew.
2001: Air Astana is founded.
2003: USAF Thunderbirds #6 solo crashes into the tarmac at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, while attempting its initial maneuver at the Gunfighter Skies 2003 air show. The pilot safely ejected just moments before impact. Pilot error (insufficient altitude) is determined as the cause and the pilot is reassigned to the Pentagon. Although the desert terrain is similar, the ground elevation at Mountain Home AFB is over 1000 feet higher than the Thunderbirds' home base at Nellis AFB.

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