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On This Day: 2002

Aviation events for 2002

January 15: First flight of the Airbus A318.
January 24: BMIbaby is founded.
January 27: Boeing’s 737, the world’s most widely use twin jet, becomes the first jetliner in history to amass more than 100 million flying hours. The 737 was launched onto the market in 1965.
January 28: TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-134 (HC-BLF) crashes into the side of the Cumbal Volcano in Colombia, killing all 94 aboard. The cause was attributed to the Captain’s decision to continue the approach into Colonel Luis. A Mantilla Airport in poor weather, and poor navigation as well.
February 11: First flight of the Airbus A340-500.
February 12: An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashes into mountains while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport in Iran, killing 119.
February 13: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) takes over responsibilities for airport security from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
February 13: SkyEurope commences flight operations.
February 19: First flight of the Embraer 170.
March 4: The second attempt of Ansett Australia ceases operations, and is liquidated afterward.
March 13: Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium commences flight operations.
March 15: An Aerotaxi Antonov AN-2 crashes in Baez, Cuba, killing all 16 passengers. The aircraft plunges into a pond after a wing separated.
March 22: BMIbaby commences operations.
March 31: Swissair ceases operations.
March 31: Swiss International Air Lines begins operations, taking over many routes from bankrupt Swissair.
April 27: Final successful telemetry is received from the Pioneer 10 space probe, floating nearly 7.5 billion miles from earth. After its launch in 1972, Pioneer 10 became the first probe to travel through the asteroid belt and the first to make direct observations of Jupiter.
April 29: First flight of the Saab JAS 39C Gripen.
May 4: EAS Airlines Flight 4226, a BAC-111 (5N-ESF) on a flight from Kano to Lagos, Nigeria, crashes half a mile away from the airport. Both engines fail due to the ingestion of dust and soil after the pilot overshoots the runway on its takeoff roll. A school, 23 houses and a mosque are destroyed, with fatalities including 71 of the 77 people on the aircraft and an additional 78 on the ground.
May 7: China North Airlines Flight 6163, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (B-2138) crashes into the bay near Dalian, China, after a passenger sets fire to the cabin. The man is said to have terminal cancer, and purchased seven insurance policies worth $1.4 million for himself just prior to boarding the flight, where he uses gasoline snuck onto the aircraft into a water bottle. The fiery crash kills all 112 people aboard, who die mostly from carbon monoxide inhalation.
May 15: Air Astana commences operations.
June 1: First flight of the Aero L159B.
July 1: First flight of the Pilatus PC-21.
July 17: Midway Airlines suspends operations.
July 18: First flight of the Boeing YAL-1A Airborne Laser (ABL).
July 27: Su-27 fighter plane crashes into a crowd of spectators at an air show in Sknyliv near Lviv, Ukraine killing 77.
July 29: Vanguard Airlines ceases operations. The next day it files for reorganization under Chapter 11 of US bankruptcy law.
July 31: First flight of the Boeing 747-400ER.
September 18: First flight of the GE90-115B, world's most powerful jet engine.
November 6: National Airlines, already operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, permanently ceases operations.
November 18: American Airlines and British Airways announce plans to codeshare some transatlantic flights, but the partnership is heavily restricted by US regulators.
December 9: United Airlines files for Chapter 11, making it the largest airline bankruptcy in history after losing $4 billion in the previous two years.
December 9: First flight of the Diamond Twin Star.
December 23: The first engagement of a conventional aircraft on an unmanned drone occurs when an Iraqi MiG-25 shoots down an MQ-1 Predator that was performing recon over the No-Fly Zone. The Predator fired a Stinger air-to-air missile at the MiG, which missed and was responded to with a missile from the Iraqi jet, destroying the drone.

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