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On This Day: 2008

Aviation events for 2008

British Airways Boeing 777-236(ER) (G-YMMM) at  London - Heathrow, United Kingdom
January 17: British Airways Flight 38, a Boeing 777-200ER G-YMMM, flying from Beijing to London, crash-landed approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) short of London Heathrow Airport's runway 27L, and slid onto the runway's threshold. This resulted in damage to the landing gear, the wing roots, and the engines, resulting in the first hull loss of a Boeing 777. There were 136 passengers and 16 crew on board. 1 serious and 12 minor injuries were sustained. The initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch stated that the engines repeatedly failed to respond to commands for more thrust from both the autothrottle system and from manual intervention, beginning when the aircraft was at an altitude of 600 feet (180 m) and 2 miles (3.2 km) from touchdown. In September 2008, it was revealed that ice in the fuel might have caused the crash. In early 2009, Boeing sent an update to aircraft operators, identifying the problem as specific to the Rolls-Royce engine oil-fuel flow heat exchangers.
February 14: Belavia Flight 1834, a Bombardier CRJ-100ER (EW-101PJ), crashes on takeoff in Yerevan, Armenia. The left wing had accumulated frost on the wing due to difference in temperature between the air and fuel inside the wing’s tanks, resulting in immediately stall as the aircraft became airborne. All 21 on-board survived, mostly as a result of the 50-second response time of the rescue team.
February 21: Continental adds 27 aircraft to its firm order positions at Boeing, including eight new 777s and 19 new 737NGs
February 21: Santa Barbara Airlines Flight 518 crashes into the side of a mountain just after takeoff on a flight from Merida, Venezuela to Caracas. The ATR-42’s navigational equipment was failing when the aircraft crashed, killing all 46 aboard.
February 23: A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit crashes at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. It is the first operational loss of a B-2. The crew of two ejects safely, but the aircraft would be the most expensive write-off in history, as each B-2 rings up to around $1.2 billion. The cause of the crash is later determined to have been moisture in the air-data pressure sensors, producing inaccurate speed readings and then an early rotation and subsequent stall.
February 25: Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 crashes short of the runway while on approach to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A faulty altimeter on the Boeing 737-800 (TC-JGE) led to a decrease in the autothrottle to idle. Noticing too late, the crew was unable to recover, and the aircraft broke apart while landing in the mud. Among the 135 people on-board, 9 die, including the two pilots.
March 8: Donald S. Lopez, Sr., passes away. A former U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force fighter and test pilot and until his death the deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space
March 12: Southwest Airlines grounds 44 aircraft for inspections, days after the FAA accuses as many as 117 of its 737s of flying without proper airworthiness certificates.
March 18: Delta Air Lines offers voluntary severance to 30,000 employees, which is half of their workforce.
March 19: Flydubai is founded.
March 25: Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 810, a Boeing 747-300 (TF-ARS) on wet-lease from Air Atlanta Icelandic catches fire on landing at Dhaka-Zia International Airport in Bangladesh. Though all 326 aboard escaped with their lives, the aircraft would be written off.
March 30: Ten days after filing for bankruptcy protection, Aloha Airlines announces that the next day will be their final day of operations.
March 30: Thomas Cook Airlines (Kestrel) is founded at Manchester Airport, UK.
March 31: Aloha Airlines ceases operations.
April 3: ATA Airlines ceased all operations due to un-recovering bankruptcy.
Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras Airbus A330-243 (PR-AIV) at  Ft. Lauderdale - International, United States
May 5: Brazilian-born David Neeleman, founder and former-CEO of JetBlue, starts Azul Lineas Aereas Brasileiras. Read more...
May 19: First flight of the Sukhoi Superjet 100.
May 30: Silverjet ceases operations.
May 30: TACA Flight 390, an Airbus A320-233, crashed in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with 5 casualties (two on the ground) and 65 injuries.
May 31: Champion Air ceased operations because of high fuel prices and fuel inefficiency, the main two reasons the airline was terminated.
August 12: Gemini Air Cargo ceases operations.
August 20: A Spanair McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft, flight number JK 5022, crashed with 165 passengers and nine crew members on board moments after takeoff at Madrid's Barajas Airport on a scheduled flight to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. 18 of the 172 on board survived. Initially 19 people survived, but one person died in hospital three days after the crash.
August 28: Zoom Airlines ceases operations due to financial struggles.
September 2: ExpressJet Airlines ended operations as an independent carrier.
September 7: Futura International Airways ceases operations.
September 12: British charter airline XL Airways UK, a subsidiary of the XL Leisure Group, ceases operations with immediate effect, due to a deteriorating financial position. 90,000 Britons holidaying abroad are left stranded. It had been the 3rd largest package holiday group in the UK. XL Airways France and Germany are sold and continue operations.
September 26: Yves Rossy, Swiss airline pilot and former fighter pilot, crosses the English Channel with his homemade jet-powered wing strapped on his back.
December 20: Continental Airlines Flight 1404, a 737-524 (N18611), crashes after an aborted takeoff at Denver International Airport. It is suspected that a 37mph gust of crosswind and a patch of ice caused the aircraft to veer to the left just as it was about to become airborne. It vacated the runway and came to rest down a hill, making it almost difficult for firefighters to find. All on-board escaped before fire consumed the aircraft.

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