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On This Day: 1986

Aviation events for 1986

January 3: An Iranian C-130 Army transport crashes into a mountain while attempting to land at Zahedan Airport (ZAH) in southeastern Iran, killing all 103 on board.
January 9: the UK Defense Secretary, Michael Heseltine, resigns amidst a political furor over the future of Westland Helicopters. Two weeks later, Leon Brittan, the Trade and Industry Secretary, will also resign.
January 12: 24th space shuttle (61-C) mission-Columbia 7-launched.
January 17: Voyager 2 - USA Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus - Neptune Flyby (Launched August 20, 1977) flew by Uranus[/link. Voyager 2 flew by Jupiter on July 9, 1979, Saturn on August 26, 1981, Uranus on January 24, 1986, and Neptune on August 24, 1989.
January 18: 24th Space Shuttle (61-C) Mission-Columbia 7-returns to Earth.
January 23: Columbia returns to Kennedy Space Center via Davis-Monthan AFB.
January 24: The American spacecraft Voyager 2 makes its closest approach to Uranus, passing within 50,600 miles.
January 28: The Space Shuttle Challenger, operating mission STS-51L, explodes 73 seconds after launch at an altitude of 48,000ft. The disintegration is attributed to an O-ring failure on the solid rocket booster (SRB) joint affected by the cold, 36 degree temperature at launch. All 7 members of the crew died, including Christie McAuliffe, the first chosen in the Teachers In Space Program. The crash resulted in a 32-month hiatus on Shuttle flights.
January 30: First flight of the Boeing 767-300.
January 31: Boeing completes purchase of de Havilland Canada.
February 4: Pakistan International Airlines Flight 300, a 747-200 (AP-AYW) lands on its belly at Islamabad Airport because the crew forgot to lower the gear. All of the 264 aboard escaped unharmed. After Boeing repaired the aircraft, PIA flew her for another 19 years. Incidentally, New York-based startup Baltia Airlines took delivery of this airframe in 2010.
February 9: Halley's Comet reaches 30th perihelion (closest approach to Sun).
February 10: Air Atlanta Icelandic is formed.
February 11: United completes its purchase of Pan Am’s Pacific division for $715 million and begins service to an additional 11 cities for a total of 13 cities in 10 Pacific Rim countries.
February 19: U.S.S.R. launches Mir space station into Earth orbit.
February 20: Japan launches Tenma satellite to study x-rays (450/570 km).
March 1: Sakigake, Japan Comet Flyby made its comet flyby.
March 6: Japan Air Lines embarks the world’s heaviest man, an 880-lb Austrian flying from Frankfurt, Germany, as a passenger; 16 seats are removed from the cabin to make room for him.
March 6: USSR's Vega 1 flies by Halley's Comet at 8,889 km.
March 8: Suisei, Japan Comet Flyby made its flyby.
March 9: Vega 2, USSR Venus/Comet Halley Probe made its comet flyby.
March 9: NASA announces searchers found remains of Challenger astronauts.
March 11: Japanese probe Sakigake flies by Halley's Comet at 6.8 million km.
March 24: NASA publishes "Strategy for Safely Returning the Space Shuttle to Flight Status.”
April 2: A bomb planted by a Palestinian terrorist group explodes aboard a TWA Boeing 727 on a flight between Rome and Athens. Four passengers are killed and nine more injured, but the aircraft lands safely.
April 11: Halley's Comet makes closest approach to Earth this trip, 63 M km.
April 14: United States Air Force and United States Navy jets attack Libya in Operation El Dorado Canyon. The U.S. Air Force component of the raid is the first U.S. bomber mission launched from British soil since 1945.
April 18: Marcel Bloch, 94, dies. Under his professional name of Marcel Dassault he was the most famous of France’s airplane designers.
April 28: Pan Am returns to the Soviet Union, using a Boeing 747 from JFK International Airport in New York.
May 7: Aircraft designer Al Mooney dies at the age of 80.
May 16: Top Gun (film) opens in theaters in United States.
May 26: Helicopter prison escape from a Parisian jail. Escapee Michel Vaujour was flown to freedom via his wife, a newly graduated helicopter pilot.
June 2: The greatest distance achieved by a hang-glider is made by American Randy Haney who flies an unpowered hang-glider 199.75 miles (321.47 km) from his takeoff point.
June 17: Last flight ever by a Boeing B-47 Stratojet when B-47E-25-DT, 52-0166, was restored to flight status for a one-time-only ferry move from Naval Weapons Center China Lake, California to Castle Air Force Base, California for museum display.
July 4: First flight of the Dassault Rafale.
British Airways (Citiexpress) BAe Systems ATP (G-MANE) at  Manchester - International (Ringway), United Kingdom
August 6: First flight of the BAe ATP. Read more...
August 11: A modified Westland Lynx sets a new helicopter world speed record of 249 mph (401 km/h)
August 20: The General Electric GE-36 propfan engine makes its first test flight. A hybrid between a turbofan and a turboprop, also known as an unducted fan, a number of factors from noise issues to falling fuel prices eventually lead to the abandonment of the program before ever being delivered, despite impressive gains in fuel economy.
August 20: first test-flight of a propfan engine, the General Electric GE-36.
August 26: the CFM56 turbofan is flight tested for the first time.
August 31: Aeromexico Flight 498, a Douglas DC-9, while on approach to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) collides with a Piper PA-28-181 Archer over Cerritos, California. Both planes plummet to the earth, killing all 64 people on the DC-9, all three people on the Piper and 15 people on the ground.
September 13: First flight of the Piaggio P.180 Avanti.
September 14: A bomb explodes in outside of Ginpo Airport, suburb of Seoul, South Korea, killing five and injuring twenty-nine.
October 1: The AH-64 Apache enters service with the US 6th Cavalry Brigade.
October 21: British Airways is offered for public sale by the British government.
November 30: First flight of the Fokker F100.
December 2: A Concorde airliner carrying 94 passengers returns to Charles de Gaulle airport after an 18-day round-the-world journey; total flying time amounted to 31 hours 51 minutes.
December 23: First non-stop flight around the planet without refueling - the Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, on a distance of 26,366 statute miles (the FAI accredited distance is 40,212 km).
December 31: First flight of the IAI Lavi. Read more...

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