On This Day in Aviation History SEPTEMBER 16 th

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1819 - Death of John Jeffries, Boston physician, scientist, military surgeon and balloonist. Best known for accompanying Jean-Pierre Blanchard on his 1785 balloon flight across the English Channel.

1872 - Birth of Claude Givaudan, French Engineer, early aircraft designer.

1879 - Birth of Moss Lee Love, Early american aviator.

1881 - Birth of Henri Cobioni, Swiss aviation pionneer.

1883 - Birth of Frederick Erastus Humphreys, American aviator, one of the original three military pilots trained by the Wright brothers and the 1st to fly solo.

1887 - Birth of Jean Marie Emile Derode, French WWI flying ace -

1893 - Birth of Douglas John Bell, South african WWI flighter ace. -

1894 - Birth of Paul Augustin Edouard Barbreau, French WWI flying ace -

1895 - Birth of Franciszek Zwirko, Polish sport and military aviator.

1895 - Birth of Lewis Alonzo Yancey, American aviator and air navigator who toured America, Central America, and the Caribbean in a Pitcairn autogyro.

1898 - Birth of Claude Melnot Wilson, Canadian WWI flying ace. -

1910 - In her homemade flyer at Hempstead Plains, Bessica Medlar Raiche made the 1st solo airplane flight by a woman in the USA to be accredited by the Aeronautical Society of America.

1914 - A modified Maurice Farman two-seat pusher biplane of No.5 Squadron, the 1st Royal Flying Corps aircraft in France to carry a machine gun, is flown across the Channel.

1914 - Colonel Sam Hughes authorized the formation of the Canadian Aviation Corps composed of two officers and one mechanic.

1916 - Zeppelin LZ31 Took fire during refilling of gas in its hall at Fuhlsbüttel and burnt down together with LZ36.

1916 - Death of Noel Hugues Anne Louis de Rochefort, French WWI flying ace, from wounds received in action. -

1918 - Death of Heinrich Wessels, German WWI flying ace, from wounds received in action.

1918 - Death of Maurice Jean-Paul Boyau, French rugby union player, WWI flying ace and one of the most successful balloon busters, Killed in his Spad XIII near Mars-la-Tour. -

1922 - Birth of Robert John McIntosh, American WWII fighter pilot and polititcian.

1926 - The Lioré et Olivier 20 heavy bomber creates a sensation with a new world record distance carrying a 2'000 kilo bomb-load.

1932 - Cyril Frank Uwins set a new world altitude record, reaching a height of 43,976 ft (13,404m) flying a modified Vickers Vespa VII fitted with a supercharged Bristol Pegasus engine. -

1934 - The Challenge 1934, 4th and last FAI International Tourist Plane Contest (French: Challenge International de Tourisme) comes to an end in Warsaw, Poland, and is won by Polish Jerzy Bajan with a RWD-9S.

1934 - 2nd prototype of the Mitsubishi Ka-8, Japanese two-seat shipboard fighter, broke up in the air when pulling out of a dive over Yokosuka airfield. Project was abandonned.

1936 - A. B. Yumashev sets a record flight with a 10,000 kilograms (22,000 lb) payload to 6,605 metres (21,670 ft) with a Tupolev TB-3 (ANT-6).

1938 - Death of Kiyoto Koga, 1st JNAF (Japanese Naval Air Force) flying ace, from wounds sustained after crashing the day before during a night training flight with his Mitsubishi A5M 'Claude'.

1939 - Death of Sergey Ivanovich Gritsevets, Soviet fighter ace who served during the spanish war, sino japanese war and the beginning of WWII, his airplane rammed by another while taxiing in preparation for take off. -

1941 - The Luftwaffe begins leaflet raids on Leningrad, threatening immediate destruction unless the city surrenders.

1941 - Death of James Allen Ward VC, New-Zealander WWII bomber pilot, when his Wellington bomber was hit by flak, caught fire and crashed.

1943 - The Royal Navy battleship HMS Warspite is severely damaged off the Salerno landing beaches by Fritz-X radio guided glide bombs dropped by Dornier Do217 of Kampfgeschwader 100. Warspite has to be towed to Malta for repairs.

1946 - Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. is established

1948 - 1st flight of the Fleury RF-10 'Vedette', French high wing single seat sports aircraft prototype.

1949 - 1st flight of the 2nd prototype Sud-Ouest SO 6020 Espadon, french turbojet-powered single-seat fighter.

1951 – A damaged McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee jet fighter of VF-172, returning to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Essex, on its 1st Korean War cruise, misses the recovery net and crashes into several planes parked on the ship's deck, killing seven people and destroying four aircraft. This crash led the USN to equip all future carriers with angled flight decks for safer airplane recovery.

1953 - American Airlines Flight 723 Convair 240 crashed while attempting to land in fog at Albany Airport in upstate New York, killing all 28.

1955 – Gloster Meteor aircrafts of the Argentine Air Force attack the Argentine Navy destroyers Cervantes and La Rioja in the River Plate during the Revolución Libertadora against Juan Perón, inflicting numerous casualties. -

1956 - Birth of Kevin Richard Kregel, American test pilot an NASA astronaut,

1958 - 1st flight of The North American Sabreliner (later sold as the Rockwell Sabreliner), American mid-sized business jet

1960 - Death of Hilliard Brooke Bell, Canadian WWI flying ace and WWII pilot. -

1961 - 1st launch of the Cirrus, German 2 stages sounding rocket.

1963 - 1st full transition to horizontal flight of The Yakovlev Yak-36 'Freehand', Soviet technology demonstrator for a VTOL combat aircraft.

1975 - 1st flight of The Mikoyan MiG-31 (Foxhound), Soviet supersonic interceptor aircraft developed to replace the MiG-25 "Foxbat".

1979 - Thuringian families Strelzyk and Wetzel manages to escape from East Germany with the help of a homemade hot air balloon.

1980 - 1st flight of The AIDC AT-3 "Zìqiáng", Taiwanese advanced jet trainer developped in collaboration with US aircraft manufacturer Northrop.

1982 - Death of Yevdokia Bershanskaya, WWII soviet pilot. She and Yevgeniya Rudneva formed three women's air regiments, so fierce and accurate that the German soldiers began calling them Night Witches.

1992 - Five hot air balloons set off from the USA to cross the Atlantic in the Chrysler Transatlantic Challenge balloon race.

1994 - 1st flight of the ATR-42-500, French twin-turboprop, short-haul regional airliner improved version of the ATR-42 series. -

1996 - Launch of STS-79 Space Shuttle Atlantis mission to Mir.

2007 – One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 McDonnell Douglas MD-82 carrying 128 crew and passengers crashes in Thailand killing 89 people.

2008 - Death of John Fancy, British former airman whose tunnelling escapes from various German prisoner of war camps during WWII earned him the nickname 'The Mole', and inspired the book and film 'The Great Escape'.

2011 - Soyuz TMA-21 "Gagarin", Russian Soyuz flight to the International Space Station (ISS) is back on earth

2011 - At the Reno Air Races, a North American P-51D Mustang called The Galloping Ghost piloted by James Kent "Jimmy" Leeward (Air racer, Actor and stunt pilot) crashed into spectators, killing nine people including the pilot, and injuring at least 69. Leeward, the 74-year-old pilot, was in fourth place and had just rounded the last pylon when the airplane abruptly pitched up, rolled inverted, then pitched down.The aircraft hit the tarmac in the front of the grandstands in an area containing box seating.