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On This Day: 1977

Aviation events for 1977

January 15: Linjeflyg Flight 618, a Vickers 838 Viscount (registered SE-FOZ) crashes on approach to Stockholm-Bromma Airport. The plane entered a steep dive from an altitude of 1,150ft due to ice that had developed on the horizontal stabilizer, killing all 22 aboard.
January 31: First flight of the Cessna Citation II.
February 2: Burn up of Salyut 4 Space Station (U.S.S.R.)
February 4: Kenya Airways begins service from Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi.
February 18: The converted Boeing 747 space shuttle carrier makes its first flight with the shuttle Enterprise on its back, at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.
February 26: 1st flight of Space Shuttle (atop a Boeing 747).
March 10: Astronomers James L. Elliot, Edward W. Dunham, and Douglas J. Mink discover rings around Uranus.
March 27: The Tenerife Disaster, the deadliest plane crash in history, takes place on a foggy day at Tenerife North Airport (then known as Los Rodeos Airport). Several aircraft, including a KLM Boeing 747-200 (PH-BUF) and Pan Am Boeing 747-100 (N736PA “Clipper Victor”), divert to Tenerife because of a bombing at their original destination, Las Palmas Airport in Gran Canaria, Spain. Tenerife, being a small airport with only one runway and taxiway, requires that the 5 or so diversions park on the taxiway, and then back-taxi and turn around on the runway when it came time to depart. The KLM aircraft taxied into takeoff position while the Pan Am taxied down the runway from the other end, but they are not visible due to each other due to the very dense fog. The KLM Captain either misunderstands ATC or decides on his own, commences takeoff. Only in the final moments do they realize they are on a collision course. The Pan Am attempts to vacate the runway unsuccessfully as the KLM rotates early, dragging its tail, but the belly of the KLM 747 rips into the main cabin and its right engines go right through the upper deck of the Pan Am aircraft. The KLM continues almost a quarter-mile before bursting into flames with its full fuel tanks. All 248 aboard the KLM aircraft perish and there are only 61 survivors among the 335 Pan Am occupants…a total death toll of 583.
April 1: The Canadian Snowbirds aerobatic team officially becomes the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron.
April 4: Southern Airways Flight 242 crash-landed on a highway after engine failure, 62 out of 85 aboard killed, 8 ground fatalities.
April 18: The Vickers Viscount becomes the first turboprop airliner to see 25 years in service.
April 27: American Airlines Flight 625, a Boeing 727 (N1963) goes off the end of the runway while attempting to land at Harry S. Truman Airport on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT) killing 37 of the 88 people on board. The crew of the flight, which originated in Providence, Rhode Island (PVD) with a stop in New York (JFK) attempted a go around after touching down more than half the distance down the short 4,658 foot runway. When the captain felt no acceleration after pushing the throttles, he panicked and applied full brakes, without pushing the nose down nor applying reverse thrust. The aircraft went off the end with a nose up attitude of 9 degrees, at a speed of 132 knots, and hit a Shell gas station.
April 28: An Aviateca Convair 240 crashes near Guatemala City, Guatemala killing all 28 people on board.
May 3: First flight of the Bell Model 301 NASA702.
May 20: First flight of the Sukhoi T-10 (prototype of Sukhoi Su-27).
May 21: The Concorde makes a special trip from New York to Paris to mark the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight on the same route in the Spirit of St. Louis; the airliner takes just 3 hours, 44 minutes, compared with Lindbergh’s time of 33 hours, 29 minutes.
June 27: First flight of the CASA C.101 Aviojet.
June 29: Italian Professor Enrico Forlanini’s steam-powered helicopter is tested at Alexandria, Egypt.
June 30: US president Jimmy Carter cancels the B-1 Lancer program.
July 11: The UK government agrees to fund development of the BAe 146.
July 23: After threats of shutting down transatlantic air traffic, the U.S. and British governments reach the Bermuda II accord, giving British airlines additional ports of entry in the United States and removing American airlines' rights to carry passengers beyond London and Hong Kong.
August 1: Francis Gary Powers dies in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles. Read more...
August 12: Space Shuttle Enterprise makes its first atmospheric test flight.
August 20: he Voyager 2 unmanned interplanetary spacecraft is launched aboard a Titan IIIE/Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral, tasked mainly with photographing Venus, Neptune and Saturn. As of today, Voyager 2 is still beaming messages back to Earth from 12 hrs 47 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth.
August 23: The Gossamer Condor, the world’s first successful human-powered aircraft capable of controlled flight, wins the Kremer prize by completing a figure-eight course designed by the Royal Aeronautical Society at Shafter Field in California.
August 31: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 reaches a record altitude of 123,523.62 ft. (23.39 miles) over Podmoskovnoye, USSR.
September 15: Air Seychelles established.
September 26: Laker Airways inaugurates its no-booking "Skytrain" service between London and New York.
October 6: First flight of the Mikoyan MiG-29.
October 17: The US ban of the Concorde was lifted when the Supreme Court of the United States declined to overturn a lower court's ruling rejecting the Port Authority's efforts to continue the ban.
October 22: First flight of the Antonov An-72 SSSR-19774.
October 26: A Pan Am Boeing 747SP takes off on a flight to circumnavigate the globe over both poles.
October 31: a Pan Am Boeing 747SP circumnavigates the world over the two poles.
November 1: The Tupolev Tu-144 enters service with Aeroflot.
November 19: A TAP Air Portugal Boeing 727 overruns the runway at Funchal in the Madeira Islands and explodes, killing 131.
December 1: First flight of the Lockheed Have Blue, predecessor to the F-117.
December 13: A National Jet Services Douglas DC-3 charter plane crashes on takeoff from Evansville, Indiana, en route to Nashville International Airport (BNA), killing all 29 on board, including all but one player and all of the coaches of the University of Evansville men's basketball team. Not long afterwards, the lone player who was not on the flight dies in an automobile accident.
December 14: First flight of the Mil Mi-26.

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