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On This Day: 1990

Aviation events for 1990

January 9: 64th U.S. manned space mission STS 32 (Columbia 10) launches into orbit.
January 10: First flight of the McDonnell Douglas MD-11F.
January 20: North American Airlines began operations.
January 20: US 64th manned space mission STS 32 (Columbia 10) returns from space.
January 21: Last SR-71 (962) left Kadena AFB. Tail art was a tombstone which read: "DET 1 RIP 1968-1990"
January 25: On January 25, 1990, Avianca Flight 52, a 707-321B, crashed after running out of fuel in Long Island, New York. The 707 was delayed numerous times because of heavy fog in New York. A total of 73 people died.
January 26: The first of two new VC-25 aircraft, the 747 variant used as Air Force One, is delivered to the United States Air Force.
February 9: Galileo flies by Venus.
February 14: Space probe Voyager 1 takes photograph of entire solar system.
February 25: Smoke-free flights become mandatory throughout North America for all US airlines.
February 28: U.S. 65th manned space mission STS 36 (Atlantis 6) launches into orbit.
March 4: U.S. 65th manned space mission STS 36 (Atlantis 6) returns from space.
March 6: What was to be the final flight of an SR-71 (972) set 4 international speed records whilebeing delivered to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at Dulles International Airport. LosAngeles to Washington DC, 2,404 miles, 67 minutes 54 seconds, 2404 miles at an average speed of 2124MPH. Over Kansas City to Washington DC in 26 minutes. Over St. Louis to Cincinnati in 8 minutes, 32seconds, a new city to city aviation record. It was also the first time that a sonic boom had transversed theentire length of the United States. Pilot Ed Yeilding and RSO T. “JT” Vida. SR-71s were retired fromservice. The SR-71 was the only operational military aircraft never to be shot down or lose a singlecrewman to enemy fire. (Q)
March 27: An Uzbek Civil Aviation Administration Ilyushin IL-76D (CCCP-78781) stalls on final and crashes before reaching Kabul, Afghanistan. All 11 aboard are killed.
March 27: An Angolan Government CASA C-212 Aviocar 300 is shot down near Kuito, Angola by UNITA forces, killing all 25 on-board.
April 13: First flight of the Sukhoi Su-27IB prototype.
April 21: Aeritalia joins the Airbus consortium as a partner.
April 24: Space Shuttle Discovery launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida on mission STS-31 carrying the Hubble Space Telescope.
April 25: Hubble Space Telescope - USA & Europe Telescope launched. The Hubble Space Telescope has returned high-resolution images of Mars and the other outer planets of the Solar System. In July 1994, it photographed the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter.
May 1: First flight of the McDonnell Douglas MD 520N.
May 5: A Douglas DC-6 (N84BL) operated by Aerial Transit Company crashes after takeoff from Guatemala City, Guatemala, killing all 3 on the aircraft and an additional 24 on the ground. The cargo flight, destined for Miami, develops engine trouble and strikes the ground while trying to make its way back to the airport.
May 7: Air India Flight 132 catches fire on landing at Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport in India. An improperly installed fuse pin on the #1 engine on the Boeing 747 causes a fuel line to rupture after the reverse thrust is activated on landing. All 215 people on the aircraft escape with their lives, although the aircraft is completely destroyed.
May 22: The German Luftwaffe flies the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter for the last time before it is withdrawn from service; the airplane was nicknamed “the widow-maker” because of its terrible safety record – in its five years of service, 110 Starfighter pilots were killed.
June 10: British Airways Flight 5390, a BAC One-Eleven flight between Birmingham and Málaga, suffered a windscreen blowout due to the fitting of incorrect bolts the previous day. The Captain suffered major injuries after being partially sucked out of the aircraft, however the co-pilot landed the plane safely at Southampton Airport. The captain, Tim Lancaster, despite the physical trauma he suffered, fully recovered and five months later he returned to duty.
June 22: Bombardier purchases Learjet for $US 75.85 million.
August 7: Operation Desert Shield begins, as the first American air patrols, troops and equipment land in Saudi Arabia to discourage an Iraqi invasion. Iraq had annexed neighboring Kuwait five days earlier.
August 27: Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed in the crash of a Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter near East Troy, Wisconsin.
August 27: First flight of the Northrop YF-23.
September 27: United Air Lines is the first airline to introduce satellite communications for its aircraft.
September 29: First flight of the YF-22 Raptor.
October 2: 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.
October 10: First flight of the Learjet 60.
October 11: First flight of the Rockwell/MBB X-31.
October 31: the Australian airline industry is deregulated. Airlines are allowed to select their own routes and set their own fares.
November 26: First flight of the Delta II rocket.
November 29: Finnair receives its first McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
December 3: Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 (a DC-9 registered N3313L) collides with Northwest Airlines Flight 299 (a 727-200 registered N287US) on a runway in Detroit, killing 8 people aboard Flight 1482. The DC-9 made two wrong turns, putting them on a runway that the 727 was using to depart. The DC-9 was destroyed completely by fire, and the 727 was able to stop safely and only experienced wingtip damage.
December 7: n Alaska Airlines Boeing 727 takes off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in visibility of only 500 ft (152 m), the lowest for any airliner takeoff in the US.
December 19: Northwest Airlines buys a 25% share in Hawaiian Airlines.
December 21: Kelly Johnson dies at age 80, at St Joseph Medical Center after an illness of manyyears. Kelly is buried at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California.

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