Crossair Flight 498 crashes in Niederhasil, Switzerland, killing all 10 aboard. The Saab 340 (registered HB-AKK) lost control about 10 minutes after departure for reasons unknown, though it is speculated that cellphone interference may have been involved.
STARDUST, Deep Space Maneuver 1A (DSM-1), Successful.
Kenya Airways Flight 431, an Airbus A310 (5Y-BEN) departing Abidjan, Ivory Coast, crashes just after takeoff following the flight crew’s failure to properly respond to a false stall warning. The aircraft crashed into the water, where 10 of the 179 aboard were pulled from the ocean alive.
Alaska Airlines Flight 261, an MD-83, plunged into the Pacific Ocean near Point Mugu, California while preparing to attempt an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport en route from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to San Francisco and Seattle, killing all 88 people on board. In its final report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the cause of the accident to be failure of the horizontal stabilizer trim system jackscrew acme nut threads due to insufficient lubrication of the jackscrew assembly by Alaska Airlines. NTSB further determined that the insufficient lubrication resulted from Alaska's extended lubrication and inspection intervals and from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) approval of those intervals. NTSB also found that the lack of a fail-safe mechanism for the failure of the acme nut threads on the MD-80 design contributed to the accident. This incident, along with the earlier ValuJet crash, led to closer FAA oversight of airline maintenance operations.
JetBlue Airways (B6) starts operations from JFK.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1455, a Boeing 737-300 (N668SW) overruns runway 8 at Burbank-Glendale Pasadena Airport on landing after a flight from Las Vegas McCarran International. The accident is blamed on the pilot’s failure to abort landing after approaching too fast and too high. The pilot was heard on the cockpit voice recorder moments afterward saying “Well, there goes my career.” Thankfully, all 142 occupants survive.
AeroPerlas de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter (HP-1267APP) crashes into a hill in Kuna Yala, Panama, killing all 10 on the aircraft while on a flight from Panama City to Puerto Obaldia.
Uralex Antonov An-32 (D2-MAJ) crashes after experiencing a brake failure on takeoff after trying to avoid a hole on the runway. The aircraft loses control, hits another hole and breaks into two pieces. Of the 33 occupants, 3 are killed.
An Avialinii ARR Antonov An-26 (UR-79170) chartered by the Sri Lankan Air Force carrying soldiers injured during fighting with Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels crashes in Sir Lanka. Reports indicate the aircraft may have reported engine troubles shortly before the crash. All 40 on the aircraft are killed.
Asteroid 2000 EH26 had a Near-Earth Flyby (0.041 AU).
EADS is formed by the merger of Aérospatiale-Matra, Dornier, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA), and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA).
Hapag-Lloyd Airlines Flight 3378, an Airbus A310, lands 500 meters short of the runway in Vienna after running out of fuel in flight. There are no serious injuries or fatalities.
Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde (registration F-BTSC) charter departing from De Gaulle airport in Paris bound for New York's JFK Airport crashed just after takeoff into a hotel in Gonesse, France. All 109 people on board died, along with four people on the ground. According to the accident investigation report, the probable cause was the destruction of one of the aircraft's main wheel tires, as a result of passing at high speed over a part lost by a pre-departing Continental Airlines DC-10 during the takeoff run. The piercing of one of the fuel tanks by a piece of the exploding tire ignited the leaking jet fuel and caused a loss of thrust in engine number one and two in quick succession.