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On This Day: 2006

Aviation events for 2006

January 5: Independence Air ceases operations.
January 15: Stardust space mission returns dust from a comet to earth.
January 19: Jet Airways announces its purchase of Air Sahara, creating the largest domestic airline in India.
February 1: UAL. Corp, United Airlines' parent company emerges from bankruptcy after being in such position since December 9, 2002, the longest such filing in history.
February 11: Steve Fossett broke the record for absolute longest distance flight without landing by taking off from Kennedy Space Center on 8 February, heading around the world eastbound, and then upon returning to Florida airspace, continued across the Atlantic for a second time to land in Bournemouth, England after a 76 hour 43 minute flight covering 42,469.46 km.
February 16: Kobe Airport (UKB), built on a man-made island near Kobe, Japan, opens for airline service.
February 17: Aloha Airlines emerges from 14 months of bankruptcy protection. They would file for Chapter 11 again a little over two years later and cease passenger operations soon after that.
March 4: The final attempt to contact Pioneer 10 results in no response, more than three years after the last contact was made from the spacecraft. It is considered to be the first human-built object to be on a solar system-leaving trajectory.
March 10: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enters Mars orbit.
March 25: The Hyshot III scramjet engine designed to fly at 7-times the speed of sound, is tested successfully in South Australia.
March 26: Hooters Air (operated by Pace Airlines) ends service to both Orlando and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
May 1: Song (airline) turned down all operations to Delta Air Lines.
May 4: Hawaiian Airlines announces service to the mainland destinations of San Diego, Seattle and Portland with their four additional Boeing 767-300 airliners.
May 5: Siberia Airlines renames itself to S7 Airlines and repaints its to a bright green, which is partly so the aircraft can be spotted among the tundra of Russia in the event of a crash.
May 6: SkyValue USA and their fleet of one Boeing 737 (leased from Xtra Airways) ceases operations, citing poor demand and even blaming hot weather forcing them to fuel-stop on flights from Las Vegas to Mesa and Phoenix, AZ (Hot weather in the desert? Surely you jest!)
May 6: The U.S. Air Force retired the last Lockheed Martin C-141 Starlifter The Hanoi Taxi landed for the last time and was received in a formal retirement ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at WPAFB in Riverside, Ohio near Dayton.
May 18: The world's biggest passenger jet, the Airbus A380, lands at Heathrow Airport for the first time, making its UK debut.
June 23: The RAF Retire the Canberra from service after 55 years.
August 10: A plot to detonate several airliners over the Atlantic Ocean is foiled. Tightened security measures in the UK and USA and flight cancellations which happened afterwards caused severe chaos at several London airports.
August 25: Rollout of first Block 20 RQ-4 Global Hawk at Northrop Grumman's Plant 42 manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California.
August 27: Comair/Delta Connection Flight 5191, a Bombardier CRJ-200, runs off the end of a runway and crashes at Lexington-Blue Grass Airport (LEX) while attempting an early morning departure, killing all but one of the 50 people on board, the lone survivor being the First Officer, James Polehinke. The crash is soon blamed on the crew mistakenly turning onto runway 26 rather than the assigned runway 22, with the plane having been unable to get airborne within the confines of the short 3500ft runway. The crash breaks a then unprecedented safety streak among commercial airlines in the United States, the last major accident having been the American Airlines Flight 587 crash in New York nearly five years earlier.
August 27: Boeing 737-900ER/9GP, is shown, with the first operator being Lion Air.
United Airlines Boeing 737-924(ER) (N28478) at  Los Angeles - International, United States
September 1: First flight of the Boeing 737-900ER.
September 12: First flight of the Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter.
September 22: The F-14 Tomcat is retired from the Navy. Being first deployed in 1974 on the USS Enterprise, replacing the F-4 Phantom II, the F-14 was replaced by the F/A-18 super Hornet. The F-14 is known in popular culture as being the aircraft flown in the 1980s movie classic Top Gun.
September 29: Gol Transportes AĆ©reos Flight 1907, a Boeing 737, collides with an Embraer Legacy business jet and crashes in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The Embraer Legacy, with seven on board, lands safely with no reported injuries. All 154 people on board the Boeing 737 perished.
October 11: New York Yankees baseball pitcher Cory Lidle's Cirrus SR20 aircraft crashes in New York City, killing Lidle and his flight instructor.
October 30: Arik Air commences operations.
October 30: Mango, the low-cost South African airline is founded.
November 7: FedEx announces the first cancellation of the Airbus A380. Instead FedEx orders 15 Boeing 777 Freighters.
November 7: The Royal Australian Air Force's first C-17 Globemaster III makes its maiden flight.
easyJet Airbus A319-111 (G-EZGL) at  Innsbruck - Kranebitten, Austria
November 14: EasyJet announces an order for 52 Airbus A319.
Mango Boeing 737-8BG (ZS-SJK) at  Johannesburg - O.R.Tambo International, South Africa
November 15: Mango, the South African airline commences flight operations.
December 8: NASA F/A-18 Hornet modified with Active Aeroelastic Wing is designated the X-53.
December 15: Lufthansa becomes the first airline to order the Boeing 747-8 passenger jet with an order for 20 planes and options for an additional 20 planes.
December 15: First flight of a U.S. Air Force aircraft, a B-52 Stratofortress, powered solely by a blend of synthetic jet fuel, produced by Syntroleum.
December 15: First flight of the F-35 Lightning II.
Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-8BK (9Y-PBM) at  Philipsburg - Princess Juliana International, Netherland Antilles
December 31: Caribbean Airlines is founded. Read more...

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