You are at netAirspace : On This Day : 1966

<
>
On This Day: 1966

Aviation events for 1966

January 7: The SR-71 Blackbird enters operational service with the US Air Force.
 
January 20: The Short Belfast enters service with No. 53 Squadron RAF.
 
January 24: Air India Flight 101, a Boeing 707 (reg VT-DMN, Katchenjunga) enroute to New York from Bombay via Delhi, Beirut and Geneva, crashes into Mont Blanc on the France/Italy border, killing all 106 passengers and 11 crew. While on approach to Geneva, air traffic controllers instructed the crew to begin their descent after passing Mont Blanc. Unfortunately, the captain began descending too soon, believing they had already flown over the 15,781ft peak. The plane impacted the southwest face of the mountain near the top, at 15,585 feet. TRIVIA: AI uses Flight 101 today to designate their Delhi-New York service.
 
January 24: First flight of the Learjet 24.
 
January 25: SR-71 (952) came apart at Mach 3.17 and 80,000 feet due to pitch up accident. Pilot BillWeaver and RSO Jim Zwayer ejected. Jim Zwayer was killed. Lost north of Tucumcary NM. (Q)
 
January 27: First flight of the Fairchild FH-227.
 
January 31: USSR Lunar Soft Lander launched. Luna 9 landed on the lunar surface and retuned the first photographs from the surface.
 
February 3: Luna 9, an unmanned Soviet spacecraft, makes the first successful landing on the Moon.
 
February 3: 1st operational weather satellite, ESSA-1 launched US.
 
February 4: All Nippon Airways Flight 60, operated by Boeing 727 JA8302 was landing at Tokyo Haneda Airport when it crashed into Tokyo Bay, with the loss of all 133 passengers and crew.
 
February 8: Freddie Laker founds Laker Airways after quitting British United to start his own airline.
 
February 17: A B-52 Stratofortress collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker during aerial refueling near Palomares, Spain, resulting in the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash. Seven crewmembers are killed in the crash, and two of the B-52's nuclear weapons rupture, scattering radioactive material over the countryside. One bomb lands intact near the town, and another is lost at sea. It is later recovered intact five miles (8 km) off shore.
 
February 17: French satellite Diapason D-1A launch into Earth orbit.
 
February 22: USSR launches Kosmos 110 with Veterok and Ugolek, 1st 2-dog crew.
 
February 23: First flight of the Dornier Do 28D Skyservant D-INTL.
 
March 1: Venera 3 becomes 1st man-made object to impact on a planet (Venus).
 
March 4: Canadian Pacific Airlines Flight 402 falls shorts of the runway and strikes a seawall while trying to land at Tokyo International Airport. The pilots of the Douglas DC-8-43 (CF-CPK) are suspected to have had difficulty landing in poor visibility, causing 64 of the 72 people aboard to perish.
 
March 5: First successful launch of the Tagboard Drone (#503) from M-21 (941). Blackbird pilot BillParks. Takeoff from Groom Lake. Launched Drone over Pacific Ocean at 80,000 feet, Mach 3.2.Successful launch. Drone traveled 150 miles and ran out of fuel. Launch Control Officer was HeithBeswick. (Q)
 
March 5: BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707-436 (GAPFE) enroute to Kai Tak International, crashes shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport, killing all 124 people aboard. The aircraft encounters severe turbulence, resulting in structural failure, beginning with separation of the vertical stabilizer. The crash comes one day after Canadian Pacific Fligth 402 crashed at Tokyo Airport, with the BOAC 707 taxiing past the smoldering wreckage minutes before their own crash. Similarly, the Canadian Pacific aircraft crashed while returning from Kai Tak.
 
March 6: A BOAC Flight 911, a 707-436 en route from Tokyo to Hong Kong, encountered clear air turbulence close to Mount Fuji; the sudden violent gusting caused the vertical stabilizer to detach from the aircraft, following which the aircraft entered an uncontrolled dive. The 707 progressively broke up as a result of aerodynamic over-stressing of the airframe, then struck the ground near the foot of the mountain. All those on board died.
 
March 7: France withdraws from the military structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, although it remains a political member of the alliance.
 
March 16: Gemini 8 launched with Armstrong and Scott, aborted after 6.5 orbits.
 
March 17: First flight of the Bell X-22.
 
March 18: United Arab Airlines Flight 749 crashes outside Cairo, Egypt , killing all 25 passengers and 4 crew. The Antonov AN-24 (SU-AOA) was on approach from Nicosia Airport in Cyprus when unexpected weather forced the aircraft into IFR conditions for which the flight crew was not prepared for. That, along with a crack in a cockpit window and discrepancies between the two altimeters is thought to lead to the crash.
 
March 31: Luna 10, USSR Lunar Orbiter launched. Probe is currently in a lunar orbit.
 
April 2: Soviet Union's Luna 10 becomes 1st spacecraft to orbit Moon.
 
April 4: British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) opens its first scheduled service to Mexico, flying to Mexico City via Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica.
 
April 8: OAO 1, 1st orbiting astronomical observatory, launched.
 
April 12: U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses strike targets in North Vietnam for the first time.
 
April 12: First flight of the Pilatus PC-7. Read more...
 
April 13: Boeing announces in Seattle an order worth $525 million from Pan Am for 25 Model 747 jumbo jets.
 
April 25: Two YF-12 were flown to Eglin AFB in Florida for firing trials. On the same day JimEastham fired an unarmed AIM-47 against a QB-47 flying 60,000 feet below. The missile passed throughthe QB-47s horizontal stabilizer. The YF-12s scored an impressive 6 hits out of 7 attempts. The single miss was attributed to missile gyro defects.
 
April 30: Surveyor 1 - USA Lunar Soft Lander launched. Surveyor 1 was the first American soft landing on the lunar surface.
 
May 2: British European Airways (BEA) opens the first jet service between London Heathrow and Glasgow, using de Havilland Comet 4Bs.
 
May 18: The first round-the-world solo flight by a woman is made by British pilot Sheila Scott. She flies 29,000 miles (46,670 km) in stages in her Piper Commanche 'Myth Too'.
 
May 31: Luna 10, USSR Lunar Orbiter launched. Probe is currently in a lunar orbit.
 
June 8: A U.S. Air Force XB-70 Valkyrie bomber prototype is destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane.
 
June 22: First flight of the Dassault Mirage IIIV second prototype, experimental VTOL fighter design.
 
June 25: The 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing it was changed to 9th Strategic ReconnaissanceWing. The 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was organized as the unit to fly the SR-71.
 
July 1: The Fairchild FH-227 enters service with Mohawk Airlines.
 
July 12: First flight for the Northrop M2-F2, a heavyweight lifting body based on studies at NASA's Ames and Langley research centers.
 
July 18: Gemini 10, the first mission to complete a double rendezvous with other spacecraft, is launched from Cape Canaveral.
 
July 29: Freddie Laker commences operations for Laker Airways out of Gatwick Airport.
 
National Nuclear Security Administration Douglas DC-9-33(RC) (N45NA) at  Miami - International, United States
August 1: First flight of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30.
 
August 2: First flight of the Sukhoi Su-17 prototype Su-7IG. Read more...
 
August 6: Braniff Airways Flight 250, a BAC-111 flying from Omaha to Kansas City, crashes near Falls City, Nebraska, killing all 42 on board. The plane had flown directly into a violent thunderstorm, which damaged the flight control surfaces and wings, causing it to fall out of the sky. Read more...
 
August 12: First flight of the Learjet 25.
 
August 14: YF-12 (934) is written off after an a landing accident at Edwards AFB. The rear of this YF-12 was used to build 61-7981, an SR-71C which became known as “The Bastard”. This SR-71C is on display at Hill AFB Museum, Utah.
 
August 29: First flight of the McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62.
 
August 31: First flight of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier.
 
September 1: Britannia Airways Flight 105, a Bristol 175 Britannia, crashed on landing at Ljubljana, Slovenia due to pilot error after a flight from Luton, England. Of the 117 onboard 98 died. Read more...
 
September 9: The Concorde's Rolls-Royce Olympus engine begins flight tests underneath an Avro Vulcan bomber.
 
September 22: The Surveyor 2 crashes on Moon due to a mid-course correction failure.
 
October 1: West Coast Airlines, Flight 956 crashed with 18 fatalities. This was the first crash of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9.
 
October 21: First flight of the Yakovlev Yak-40.
 
November 7: First flight of the Pilatus PC-11.
 
November 18: Captain William J. Knight flies the North American X-15 to a record speed of Mach 6.33 (4,250 mph, 6,840 km/h). Captain William J. Knight flies the North American X-15 to a record speed of Mach 6.33 (4,250 mph, 6,840 km/h).
 
December 6: The West German Luftwaffe grounds its fleet of F-104s to investigate continuing accidents with the type.
 
December 21: Longest flight of a A-12 was flown by Bill Park. Lasted just under 6 hours and covered 10,198 miles. This mission was used to demonstrate the A-12s capabilities to support the BLACK SHIELD project in Okinawa.
 
December 22: The Northrop HL-10 lifting body makes its first gliding flight at Edwards Air Force Base
 
December 22: The Dassault Breguet Mirage F1-E makes its first flight, in the hands of Guy Mitaux-Maurourard.
 
December 23: First flight of the Dassault Mirage F1.
 
December 24: A United States military chartered Canadair CL-44 crashes into a village in South Vietnam, killing 129 people.
 
 
 

Explore by day

Jump to
 
 

Explore by year

Jump to year
 
 

LEFT

RIGHT
CONTENT