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On This Day: 1985

Aviation events for 1985

January 1: Eastern Air Lines Flight 980, a Boeing 727, crashed into Mount Illimani at an altitude of 19,600 feet. All 29 crew and passengers on board were killed. The flight, flight number 980, was flying from Silvio Pettirossi International Airport and destined for El Alto International Airport. Read more...
January 21: Galaxy Airlines Flight 203, a Lockheed L-188 Electra (reg N5532) crashes just after takeoff from Reno, Nevada. The small air-start door on the right wing had not not secured properly by ground crews, causing a vibration felt by the crew. The pilots then eased back on the engines to try to isolate the noise, which resulted in a stall as they tried to continue climbing. There was only one survivor among the 70 people on the aircraft.
January 27: 15th Space Shuttle (51-C) Mission-Discovery 3 returns to Earth.
February 1: TWA is the first airline to operate a twin-engine jet on scheduled trans-atlantic services, with the Boeing 767.
February 15: STS 51-E vehicle moves to launch pad.
February 19: China Airlines Flight 006, a 747SP (N4522V) flying from Taipei to Los Angeles experiences a #4 engine failure, leading the aircraft to roll and take a 30,000ft dive before regaining control. The aircraft received significant damage to the horizontal stabilizer, and its right main gear became deployed while it also lost a large amount of hydraulic fluid. The aircraft diverts to San Francisco with only two injuries among the 274 people aboard.
February 19: Iberia Flight 610, a 727-200 (EC-DDU) crashes after striking a television antenna while on approach to Bilbao, Spain, killing all 148 on-board. The Captain was heard to have yelled “Shut up” several times as the Ground Proximity Warning System told him to pull up.
March 15: American Eagle Airlines, a commuter subsidiary of American Airlines, begins service.
March 15: Pan Am puts the Airbus A300B airliner into service, on its route from Miami, Florida to Mexico City.
March 22: NASA launches Intelsat VA.
March 28: International Cometary Explorer measures solar wind ahead of Halley.
March 28: STS-51-D vehicle moves to launch pad.
April 13: Atlantis ferried to Kennedy Space Center via Ellington AFB, Texas
April 15: Challenger moves to launch pad for 51-B mission.
April 22: Pan Am sells its Pacific division to United Air Lines for $750 million; the deal includes all Pan Am’s Pacific routes as well as its complete fleet of long-range 747SPs, half its TriStars and one DC-10.
June 6: Soyuz T-13 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 7 space station.
June 15: Amal guerrilla gunmen hijack TWA Flight 847 en route from Rome to Athens. The plane, which includes some Jewish passengers, is then re-routed and taken to Algiers, Beirut, and Algiers again before setting in Beirut. The 39 passengers and crew are freed on July 1 after Israel agrees to free 700 Shiite prisoners. This event was the inspiration for The Delta Force.
June 23: Air India Flight 182, a Boeing 747, explodes off the Irish coast, killing all 329 on board. A terrorist bomb is suspected, but never confirmed.
July 19: Sharon Christa McAuliffe is chosen by NASA to be the first private citizen passenger in the history of space flight.
July 29: The eighth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger, and 19th shuttle flight overall, lifts off from Cape Canaveral for mission STS-51-F. Five minutes and 45 seconds into its ascent, main engine number one shuts down due to a malfunctioning high temperature sensor, forcing the crew to abort its originally planned orbit and coast to a lower orbit. Receiving more attention than the Spacelab 2 module on board was the “Carbonated Beverage Dispenser Evaluation,” a test financed by Coca-Cola and Pepsi to determine if carbonated soft drinks could be enjoyed in space using specially designed cans. The verdict: No.
August 2: Delta Air Lines 191, a Lockheed L-1011, On a Fort Lauderdale-Dallas/Fort Worth- Los Angeles route, the plane crashed due to severe microburst-induced wind shear. One civilian was killed as the plane crossed a highway. The crash would later become the subject of a television movie. Numerous changes to pilot wind shear training, weather forecasting, and wind shear detection were made as a result of this crash. Read more...
August 12: Japan Air Lines Flight 123, a 747-100SR flying from Tokyo to Osaka, crashes into Mount Takamagahara in Japan following an explosion of the rear bulkhead, which tears off the vertical stabilizer and knocks out all four of the aircraft’s hydraulic systems. All 520 on board are killed, and it remains the deadliest single-aircraft crash in history. It is believed a tail-strike eight years earlier caused the damage which led to the accident.
August 21: Sir Freddie Laker accepts a £UK 8 million in a settlement with British Airways. Laker had sued twelve airlines for conspiring to drive Laker Airways out of business.
August 22: A Boeing 737 of British Airtours explodes in Manchester before taking off, killing 55 of the 137 people on board and punctuating commercial aviation's worst month in history.
August 26: TWA is purchased by Jordan Cahill and associates.
October 25: Emirates operates its first revenue flight, from Dubai to Karachi using an Airbus A300 leased from Pakistan International Airlines.
October 25: Emirates operates its first revenue flight, from Dubai to Karachi using an Airbus A300 leased from Pakistan International Airlines.
November 18: Cessna is purchased by General Dynamics.
November 18: The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, is flown to Washington Dulles International Airport atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to the Smithsonian Institution for eventual museum display. Although lacking engines and a heat shield and never having flown in space, it has been used for shuttle portability, gliding, vibration, and launch pad tests and on publicity tours.
November 23: EgyptAir Flight 648 is hijacked after take-off from Athens, and commandeered to Cairo. The next day, Egyptian forces storm the plane that was hijacked, starting a gun battle with the hijackers. Sixty people die in the cross-fire.
December 3: The ATR-42 enters service with Air Littoral.
December 12: An Arrow Air DC-8,Arrow Air Flight 1285, carrying American military personnel on a charter flight home for Christmas, crashed in Newfoundland, killing all 248 passengers on board and 8 crew members.
December 25: USAF lieutenant Thomas Tiller is rescued from the Atlantic Ocean by a boat after his plane, a F-4 Phantom had an accident seven days before.
December 31: Singer-songwriter and actor Ricky Nelson and six others die in the crash of a Douglas DC-3 near DeKalb, Texas.

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