United States Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphins and US Navy H-3 Sea Kings help rescue people trapped inside the Dupont Plaza hotel in Puerto Rico after a fire there on December 31, 1986.
Astronomers at University of California see 1st sight of birth of a galaxy.
French Air Force jets attack the Libyan Air Force base in Ouadi Doum to avenge a raid by Libya against the French military three days before.
People’s Express Airlines ceases operations.
People Express flies its last service from Newark, New Jersey, to New York; it has been taken over by Continental Airlines.
Following its privatization, British Airways shares begin trading on the London Stock Exchange.
Supernova 1987A in LMC 1st seen; 1st naked-eye supernova since 1604.
Pioneer 9, USA Solar Probe (November 8, 1968 - March 3, 1987) died. Still in solar orbit.
First flight of the Yakovlev Yak-141.
NASA launches Fltsatcom-6, it failed to reach orbit.
Tu-160 enters service with the Soviet Air Forces (184th Guards Heavy Bomber Regiment in Pryluki).
A Royal Air Force Vickers VC-10 sets a new record time between the United Kingdom and Australia, landing in Perth, Australia, after a flight of 16 hours 1 minute.
The first full-scale prototype of Saab’s hi-tech JAS 39 Gripen fighter is unveiled in Sweden.
The USSR launches the Polyus spacecraft, designed to destroy American “Star Wars” satellites with high-powered lasers, but it fails to reach orbit.
Mathias Rust, 19 years old, a West German pilot, shocks people by landing his Cessna 172 plane in Red Square, Moscow.
Northwest Airlines Flight 255, an MD-82 (N312RC) crashes on takeoff from Detroit (DTW), killing all but one of the 155 people on board, as well as two people on the ground. The lone survivor is a four year old girl. The crash would be blamed on the crew’s failure to set the flaps for takeoff, and an electrical failure that prevented an alarm from sounding that would have warned the crew that the plane was not configured properly for takeoff.
A Eurocopter Panther sets new time-to-altitude records for helicopters in its class.
A Douglas DC-9 of Continental Airlines crashes in Denver, Colorado on take-off during a snowstorm; 26 lose their lives and 56 are gravely injured.
A South African Airways Boeing 747-200 Combi operating Flight 295 catches fire and crashes, killing 159.
South African Airways Flight 295, a Boeing 747-200 Combi, crashes into the Indian Ocean as the result of a fire, killing all 159 on board.
Korean Air Flight 858, a Boeing 707 flying from Baghdad to Seoul with a stop in Abu Dhabi, crashes off the coast of Burma, killing all 115 on board. The catastrophe would later be blamed on a bomb planted by agents of Kim Jong-il, then the son of the President of North Korea.
A PSA BAe 146 crashes after a former USAir employee shoots the pilots, killing forty-three.