History’s first mid-air collision takes place near Milan, Italy. One pilot is injured, but both survive.
The Kettering Bug pilotless airplane being developed by Charles F. Kettering makes its first successful unmanned flight test, albeit for only nine seconds.
German pilot Heini Dittmar sets an airspeed record of 1,004 km/h (624 mph) flying a Messerschmitt Me 163A. Due to the secret nature of the program, however, the record is unofficial.
The Bukken Bruse disaster takes place in Norway as the Short S.25 Sandringham 5 flying boat (registration LN-IAW) flips over while landing in bad weather, killing 19 of the 43 people on board.
The Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod enters service with the Royal Navy.
A Martin 4-0-4 (registered N464M), carrying the Wichita State University football team, crashes into a mountain near Silver Plume, Colorado, killing 31 of the 40 on-board. The crash was attributed to poor pre-flight planning after the co-pilot chose a more scenic route without considering terrain limitations.
An Aeroflot IL-18 crashes on takeoff in Adler, Russia, killing 109 people.
A Westland Sea King helicopter rescues 22 passengers from the Swedish ship Finneagle in the North Sea.
President Ronald Reagan announces the order of 100 Rockwell B-1B Lancer strategic bombers, re-starting the stalled program.
McDonnell Douglas is awarded a $438 million contract to develop the T-45 Goshawk jet trainer.
Xiamen Airlines Flight 8301 (registration B-2510), hijacked by a man seeking political asylum, collides with two aircraft on the ground while landing in Hong Kong, killing a total of 128 people. The hijacker wanted to go to Taiwan, but the aircraft did not have enough fuel, and he agreed to go to Hong Kong instead. On approach, the hijacker took control of the aircraft and landed at a high rate of speed, crashing into a China Southern 757-200 (Registered B-2812) and a China Southwest 707-300 (registered B-2402). Aboard the three aircraft, 96 people survive.
Aeroperu Flight 603, a 757-200 (registered N52AW), crashes into the Pacific Ocean killing all 70 on board. The aircraft had been giving erratic and erroneous aircraft speed and altitude information during the night flight, and not knowing their true altitude, the crew clipped the water and crashed after a struggle to recover. The crash was attributed to tape left over a static port after aircraft cleaning.
Once known as the “Flying Bank” thanks to its exemplary financial stability, Swissair grounds its fleet after running out of cash. The failure is the culmination of a series of bad investments combined with the sales downturn following the September 11th attacks. Most of its routes and planes would eventually be taken over by Swiss.