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On this Day in Aviation History: October 19

On this Day in Aviation History: October 19

1987:   In retaliation for Iranian attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. navy disables three of Iran’s offshore oil platforms during Operation Nimble Archer.


Air cover was provided by USS William H. Standley (CG-32), two F-14 Tomcat fighters and an E-2 Hawkeye from USS Ranger (CV-61)


1968:  USAF test pilot Major William “Pete” Knight wins the “Harmon International Aviator’s Trophy” for “exceptional individual piloting performance.”

He had more than his share of eventful flights in the X-15. While climbing through 107,000 feet at Mach 4.17 on June 29, 1967, he suffered a total electrical failure and all onboard systems shut down. After arching over at 173,000 feet, he calmly set up a visual approach and, resorting to old-fashioned “seat-of-the-pants” flying, he glided down to a safe emergency landing at Mud Lake, Nevada. For his remarkable feat of airmanship that day, he earned a Distinguished Flying Cross.


1954: Metal fatigue is blamed for the crash of the BOAC Comet 1


1942:   The Japanese submarine I-36 launches a floatplane for a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. The pilot and crew report on the ships in the harbor, after which the aircraft is lost at sea.


1901: Aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont launches his airship in a second attempt attempt to win the 50,000 Franc Deutsch de la Meurthe Prize.


1783 was a watershed year for hot-air ballooning. The Montgolfier Brotherss launched the first manned flight, a tethered balloon with humans on board, at the Folie Titon in Paris.


Updated: July 15, 2015 — 3:37 PM

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