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On This Day: 1999

Aviation events for 1999

January 3: NASA’s Mars Polar Lander is launched aboard a Boeing Delta II booster from Cape Canaveral. The MPL is scheduled to touch down in the Martian southern polar region in December.
February 7: Stardust - USA Comet Sample Return launched. Stardust rendezvoused with comet P/Wild 2 in January 2004, studied the object, and collected material for analysis on Earth. The return capsule arrived back on Earth on January 15, 2006.
February 24: China Southwest Airlines Flight 4509, a Tupolev TU-154M (B-2622) airliner crashes into a field on approach to Wenzhou airport in eastern China, killing all 61 on board. Witnesses saw the plane nosedive from around 2,300 feet.
March 3: United Airlines Flight 585 crashes 4-miles short while on approach to Denver’s runway 35, killing all 25 aboard. The Boeing 737-200 (N999UA) experiences a sudden dive, and the initial investigation comes up with nothing. It is later speculated that a rudder power control unit is at fault.
March 18: An ALIANSA Colombia Douglas DC-3 (HK-337) disappears on a flight from Cucuta to El Yopal. After four days, the crash site is found on a hill, along with its 8 deceased passengers and crew.
March 24: Kiwi International Air Lines ceases operations.
March 27: A Soviet anti-aircraft missile(SA-2 Guideline) takes down an F-117 Nighthawk in the Kosovo War for the first and only time thus far in its career.
April 7: Turkish Airlines Flight 5904, a Boeing 737-400 on a ferry flight to Saudi Arabia, crashes in poor weather shortly after departure. It is suspected that the pitot static anti-ice system was not activated, creating false airspeeds that led to the deaths of all 6 on-board.
April 28: Hamburg International commences operations.
May 25: The first flight of Airbus A319-133X ACJ, or Airbus Corporate Jet, an airliner-sized business jet takes place.
May 28: First flight Airbus A319.
June 1: American Airlines Flight 1420, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, overran the runway while landing during a storm at Little Rock, Arkansas; the aircraft's captain and 10 of the passengers were killed.
August 30: Last flight of Reno Air.
August 31: LAPA Flight 3142, a Boeing 737-200, crashes on takeoff from Buenos Aires, killing 65 and injuring 34. The crash is blamed on the crew not properly extending flaps for departure.
September 1: The Boeing 717 receives FAA Certification under Part 25. Read more...
September 9: Afriqiyah Airways formed.
September 14: Britannia Airways Flight 226A, a Boeing 757-200 from Cardiff, crashed on approach to Girona Airport, Spain whilst landing in poor weather conditions. Torrential rain, and the extinguishing of runway lights hindered the landing of the airplane, which bounced and then landed with its nose pointing down on its second attempt. Fifty five people were injured out of 245 passengers and crew.
September 16: the Boeing 717 receives JAA(EASA) certification.
September 23: NASA announces that it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter after it descended to a low altitude in Mars’ orbit and was destroyed by atmospheric stresses.
September 23: Qantas Flight 1, a 747-400 registered VH-OJH, overruns a runway in Bangkok during a storm. While some passengers receive minor injuries, it is still the worst accident in Qantas history.
October 9: First flight of the Boeing 767-400.
October 9: Completing a career during which she set scores of speed and altitude records, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird makes its final flight.
October 15: Allegiant Air commences operations.
October 25: Crash in South Dakota of a Learjet 35 killing professional golfer and 1999 U.S. Open winner Payne Stewart and five others.
October 25: Crash in South Dakota of a Learjet 35 killing professional golfer and 1999 U.S. Open winner Payne Stewart and five others.
October 31: EgyptAir Flight 990, a Boeing 767 on its way Cairo, Egypt, was deliberately crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Nantucket, Massachusetts by the co-pilot as a way of committing suicide. All 217 passengers and crew members on board were killed.
December 3: NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.
December 22: Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509, a 747-2B5F registered HL7451, crashes on takeoff from London Heathrow. The cockpit crew had ignored comparator warning alarms after takeoff, and crashed from an altitude of 2,500ft, killing all 4 crewmembers.
December 24: Indian Airlines Flight 814 is hijacked by five Pakistani nationals while enroute from Nepal to Delhi, India. The Airbus A300 (registered VT-EDW) makes stops in multiple countries before finally arriving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where demands are made to release three militants from prison. Indian negotiators agree, and the hostages are later released. One of the militants released is Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. Sound familiar? He killed Daniel Pearl and is said to have participated in the planning of the September 11th attacks.

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