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On This Day: 1991

Aviation events for 1991

January 15: The first hot-air balloon to cross the Pacific Ocean takes off from Japan and eventually lands in Canada.
January 18: Eastern Airlines Ceases operations.
February 12: Continental unveils their blue and gray paint scheme.
March 9: U.S. 70th manned space mission STS-39 (Discovery 12) launches into orbit.
March 26: Singapore Airlines Flight 1117, an Airbus A310 (9V-STP), is hijacked by four male passengers, who demand the release of Asif Ali Zardari, who today is the Pakistani President. After 8 hours and saying they are five minutes away from killing a hostage every ten minutes, commandos storm the aircraft and kill all four hijackers with no other fatalities.
April 4: United States Senator H. John Heinz III and six others are killed when his Piper Aerostar and a Bell 412 helicopter collide over Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, and crash.
April 11: Space Shuttle STS-37, Atlantis 8, lands. Read more...
April 26: Air Exel is formed in cooperation with KLM.
May 7: The brand new Space Shuttle Endeavour, built to replace the destroyed Challenger, arrives at Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
May 26: Lauda Air Flight 004, a Boeing 767-3Z9ER named "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart," was lost over Thailand shortly after take-off from Bangkok due to the un-commanded deployment of one of its thrust reversers, with the loss of 223 passengers and crew.
June 17: Alaska Airlines commences services to the Soviet Union.
July 8: US Navy F/A-18 Hornet is forced to shoot down an E-2 Hawkeye after its crew abandons it following an engine fire.
July 31: The United States Senate passes an amendment to a military spending bill that would remove the ban that prevents women from flying combat aircraft. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney does not oppose the change.
September 11: Continental Express Flight 2574, operated by Britt Airways on an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia (registered N33701), crashed on approach to Bush Interncontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, killing all 14 onb0ard. Missing screws on the horizontal stabilizer were determined to be the cause of the crash.
September 15: First flight of the C-17 Globemaster III.
October 25: First flight of the Airbus A340.
October 25: First flight of the Airbus A340.
November 26: Ed Heinamann passes away. A famed designer of the SBD Dauntless, A20 Havoc, A26 Invader, A1 Skyraider, A3 Skywarrior, A4 Skyhawk, F3D Skyknight, F4D Skyray Douglas Skystreak and the Skyrocket. He left Douglas Aircraft Company in 1960. In 1962 he joined General Dynamics where he oversaw the development of the F-16.
December 4: Pan Am World Airways goes out of business after 64 years of service. The sudden shutdown of this aviation pioneer strands many passengers and leaves about 9,000 employees out of work.

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