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On This Day: 1983

Aviation events for 1983

Eastern Air Lines Boeing 757-225 (N504EA) at  Toronto - Pearson International, Canada
January 1: The Boeing 757 enters service with Eastern Airlines.
January 23: Russian radioactive satellite falls into Indian Ocean.
January 25: The Swedish-US Saab-Fairchild 340 transport, the first aircraft built by collaboration, makes its first flight.
January 25: Infrared telescope satellite launched into polar orbit.
January 30: Sun Country Airlines begins operations.
February 1: Boeing announces it will stop producing the 727. The 1,832nd, and final 727, would roll off the line in 1984.
February 9: British Airways becomes the second airline to fly the Boeing 757, about five weeks after Eastern Air Lines pushed the new jet into service.
February 24: The youngest pilot known to have made a solo flight in a powered, heavier-than-air, flying machine takes to the air for the first time at age of 9 years 316 days. The flight takes place near Mexicali, Mexico and the aircraft the boy pilots is a Cessna 150.
March 4: a Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin Il-62M strays off course and overflies important American buildings two days in a row.
March 16: A Boeing 767 lands after a nonstop flight of 5,499 miles from Lisbon, Portugal to set a distance record for a twin-jet airliner in commercial service.
April 4: Space Shuttle Challenger makes its maiden voyage into space on mission STS-6. During the mission, the crew would perform the shuttle program’s first space walk.
April 7: STS-6, using space Shuttle Challenger, launches. The mission is the first perform to a spacewalk.
April 11: NASA launches RCA-F.
April 25: NASA exploration spacecraft Pioneer 10 flies past the orbit of Pluto.
May 5: Eastern Airlines Flight 855, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar (N334EA), avoids disaster after experiencing trouble on all three of its engines on a flight from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. In a move that would later be pivotal to their survival, the crew shuts down the #2 engine after it receives a low oil pressure warning light while descending through 15,000ft. The crew decides to return to their Miami base on the remaining two engines, which should not be a problem until the same light illuminates for engines #1 and #3, both of which soon flame out five minutes apart. Since the #2 tail engine is the only one intentionally shut down as a precaution, it still has enough oil to restart as the aircraft glides toward the ocean through 4,000ft, preparing the ditch. Miraculously, the Tristar is able to make a one-engine landing at Miami, saving the lives of all 172 people aboard. The cause is attributed to mechanics who failed to install all the O-ring seals on the master chip detector assemblies, leading to the loss of lubrication on the engines. Read more...
May 9: The first all-woman flight crew to fly a round trip across the Atlantic is the Air France C-141 crew form the 18th Military Airlift Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.
May 10: Airspur Helicopters introduces the Westland 30 helicopter into scheduled airline service.
May 18: American Airlines carries its 500 millionth passenger.
May 26: a Learjet 55 sets a world speed record in its class of 448 mph (722 km/h) over the 5,655 mile (9,101 km) between Los Angeles and Le Bourget.
June 1: Singapore Airlines announces it has bought six Boeing 747s and four Boeing 757s, making it the first Asian airline to buy the 757.
June 2: An Air Canada McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, Fin 720 C-FTLU had an electrical fire in the aft lavatory during flight, resulting in an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. During emergency exiting, the sudden influx of oxygen caused a flash fire throughout the cabin, resulting in the deaths of 23 of the 41 passengers, including Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers. All five crew members survived. The captain was the last person to get out of the plane.
June 2: Venera 15 - USSR Venus Orbiter launched. Venera 15 arrived at Venus on October 10, 1983. Its high-resolution imaging system produced images at 1-2 kilometers in resolution. Venera 15 and 16 produced a map of the northern hemisphere from the pole to 30°N. They found several hot spots, possibly caused from volcanic activity.
June 5: Death of Kurt Waldemar Tank (b.February 24, 1898) was a German aeronautical engineer and test pilot, heading the design department at Focke-Wulf from 1931-45. He designed several important aircraft of World War II, including the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter aircraft.
June 7: Venera 16 - USSR Venus Orbiter launched. Venera 16 arrived at Venus on October 14, 1983. Its high-resolution imaging system produced images at 1-2 kilometers in resolution. Venera 15 and 16 produced a map of the northern hemisphere from the pole to 30°N. They found several hot spots, possibly caused from volcanic activity.
June 13: Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit boundary of Pluto. Launched March 3, 1972, Pioneer 10 flew by Jupiter on December 1, 1973. It passed 132,250 kilometers from Jupiter's cloud tops. It returned over 500 images of Jupiter and its moons. Pioneer 10's greatest achievement was the data collected on Jupiter's magnetic field, trapped charged particles, and solar wind interactions. It has now left the solar system.
June 20: First flight of Bombardier Dash 8.
July 8: General Dynamics rolls out the 1,000th F-16 Fighting Falcon.
July 23: An Air Canada Boeing 767-233, Fin 604 C-GAUN glided to an emergency landing in Gimli after running out of fuel 12,300 meters (40,400 ft) above Red Lake, Ontario. Few people suffered minor injuries during the evacuation due to the steep angle of the escape chute at the rear of the plane; caused by the collapsed nose at the front.
July 27: First flight of the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia PT-ZBA.
August 1: America West Airlines commences operations. Read more...
August 24: A Canadair Challenger 601 flies 4,364.2 miles from Calgary to London, setting a new distance record for a business jet.
August 29: First flight of the Beech Model 115 Starship.
September 1: Korean Air Boeing 747 (Korean Air Flight 007) is downed by Soviet National Air Defense Forces Sukhoi Su-15s. According to investigations, the Korean Air plane had strayed off course and into Soviet airspace near Sakhalin Island, and Soviet pilots claimed the plane had ignored warnings before being shot down. All 269 on board died. Read more...
September 14: The U.S. House of Representatives votes, 416 to 0, in favor of a resolution condemning Russia for shooting down a Korean Air Flight 007.
September 15: First flight of the Agusta A129 Mangusta MM590.
October 18: Pan Am and American Airlines announce they will trade aircraft; Pan Am will send 15 McDonnell Douglas DC-10s to American in exchange for 8 Boeing 747s. It is the first time in history two airlines agree to a swap.
October 26: Pan Am celebrates the 25th anniversary of their first Boeing 707 with a 707 flight from JFK International Airport to Paris.
November 11: First flight of the CASA CN-235.
November 28: Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off on its sixth mission and the ninth shuttle mission overall, STS-9.
December 9: Delta receives the 1,000th Boeing 737 made, a 737-232Adv registered N306DL.
December 20: Ozark Air Lines Flight 650, a DC-9-31 registered N994Z, crashes at Sioux Fall Regional Airport on landing after striking a snow plow on the runway. The only fatality was that of the plow driver, and the aircraft later returned to service.

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