A Balkan Bulgarian Tupolev Tu-134 (registered LZ-TUR) crashes while flying from Berlin to Sofia, Bulgaria. The aircraft struck power lines after descending below the decision altitude.
Space Shuttle 41-B (STS-11) Challenger launched.
Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Caneveral on mission STS-41B, Challenger‘s fourth launch and the 10th shuttle mission overall. The mission would feature the first ever untethered spacewalk and the crew would deploy two communications satellites.
Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger become the first to use the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) in space during the first untethered space walk. Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II makes the most distant space walk from a spacecraft at 320 feet.
Soyuz T-10 launches with crew of 3 to Salyut 7.
10th space shuttle mission (41-B)-Challenger 4-returns to Earth.
Racing driver Henri Pescarolo and Air France pilot Patrick Fourticq land their Piper Malibu in Paris after a flight from New York, setting a speed record of 14 hours 2 minutes for a single-engined lift aircraft across the North Atlantic.
American Airlines sets an industry record by ordering 67 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 airliners, with options to order 100 more in the future.
Landsat 5 and ham satellite Oscar 11 launched into polar orbit.
STS-41-C vehicle moves to launch pad.
Pacific Western Airlines Flight 501 catches fire on takeoff, with no fatalities among the 119 passengers on-board (there would be 27 injuries). A popping sound heard 20 seconds into the departure roll of the Boeing 737-200 (C-GQPW) caused the flight crew to abort, thinking a tire had blown. Instead, an intense fire on the left wing occurred due to a faulty compressor disc that ruptured a fuel tank. The aircraft is almost completely destroyed and later written off.
British Airways inaugurates a Concorde service from London to Miami twice weekly. The service operates through Washington-Dulles, necessitating a 50-minute stopover. The overall trip lasts 6 hours 35 minutes, a saving approximately 2.5 hours over the direct flight by subsonic airliners. The round-trip fare is quoted a £2,509.
11th Space Shuttle Mission (41-C)-Challenger 5 is launched.
1st time 11 people in space.
Damaged Solar Max satellite snared by Challenger shuttle.
Challenger astronauts complete 1st in space satellite repair.
First flight of the Dornier SeaStar D-ICDS.
TWA starts services to ten new cities in one day, the largest single day expansion in the carrier's history.
The Pilatus PC-9, a low-wing tandem-seat turboprop training aircraft, makes its maiden flight.
The Airbus A-310 enters service with Air France.
U.S. missile shot down an incoming missile in space for 1st time.
The Saab 340 enters service with Crossair.
Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, begins services to North America, using Boeing 747s.
Air Florida suspends all their flights after going bankrupt.
Beverly Lynn Burns becomes the first female Boeing 747 airline captain, flying PEOPLExpress flight 604 from Newark to LAX. The achievement earned her extensive media attention, congratulatory honors from several local politicians–and even an invitation to President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration. By the time she retired from Continental in 2008, she had captained the 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and DC-10.
Venezuelan commandos storm an Aeropostal DC-9 on the ground in Curacao that had been hijacked after departing Caracas three days earlier. The hijackers, a Dominican and a Haitian who had demanded money, are both killed, and all 82 passengers are released unharmed.
First flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery concludes.
Joe Kittinger makes the first solo transatlantic balloon flight, from Carbon, Maine to Savona, Italy.
McDonnell Douglas is awarded a $438 million contract to develop the T-45 Goshawk jet trainer.
After her husband dies at the controls, 61-year-old Elaine Yadwin safely lands a Piper Cherokee Warrior II in Florida.
First flight of the FMA IA 63 Pampa.
British Airways and some other international airlines begin relief flights carrying food and supplies to Ethiopia. British Airways and some other international airlines begin relief flights carrying food and supplies to Ethiopia.
American Eagle Airlines began operations.
Space Shuttle astronauts snare a satellite, the first ever “space salvage.”
Intentional crash of Boeing 720 in the NASA Controlled Impact Demonstration program at Edwards AFB.
C-5 Galaxy of the USAF becomes airborne with 920,836 pounds (417,684 kg) aboard, setting a U.S. national record.