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FEB12

On This Day in Aviation History February 12 th
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1879 - Birth of of José Luis Sánchez Besa, Aviation Pioneer and seaplane designer from Chile.

1898 - Birth of Eberhard Mohnicke, German WWI flying ace.

1898 - Birth of Paul Marie Raphael Santelli, French WWI Balloon buster.

1900 - Birth of Ioan Sandu, Romanian WWII flying ace

1900 - Birth of Risdon MacKenzie Bennett, british WWI flying ace.

1910 - 1st flight of the Faccioli N° 3, Early italian biplane, over Venaria Reale

1912 - Birth of Fusata Iida, Sino-Japanese and WWII Japanese flying ace.

1914 - Igor Sikorsky's giant four-engined biplane, the Ilya Muromets N°107 flies in Russia with 16 passengers aboard. It is an improved version of last year's Bolshoi Baltiskii. 

1917 - German Leutnants Peter and Frohwein, in a DFW CV aircraft, record the 1st night fighting victories when they shoot down two enemy bombers at Malzeville.
 
1918 - WWI Canadian fighter aces William George Barker and Harold Byrn "Steve" Hudson shoot down 5 Balloons each on a single mission over Fossamento, Italy, with their Sopwith Camels.

1919 - Belvin (Melvin) Womble Maynard, American early aviator, Army pilot and raid pilot, broke the record for outside loops when he made 318 in 67 minutes.

1926 - Death of Arthur Roy 'Art' Smith, Early american aviator, aircraft designer who also perfected the art of night time sky writing, WWI Instructor, and Airmail pilot, Killed in a crash on his airmail route in Montpelier, Ohio.

1928 - Lady Heath (formerly Mrs. Elliot-Lynn) takes off for becoming the 1st woman to fly solo from Cape Town, South Africa to London, England in an Avro Avian 594 Avian III.

1931 - 1st flight of The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk, American biplane fighter aircraft that was carried by the US Navy airships USS Akron and Macon as a parasite fighter.

1935 - USS Macon (ZRS-5), US Navy rigid airship ran into a storm off Point Sur, California. It Crashed following structural failure.

1940 - 1st flight of the Caudron C-880, French high wing single engine scout aircraft prototype.

1945 - Death of Kenji Kato, Japanese WWII flying ace.

1947 - 1st flight of The Sikorsky S-52, American 2 seater utility helicopter, 1st US helicopter with all-metal rotor blades.

1959 - Last bomber Convair B-36 "Peacemaker", US strategic bomber in operational USAF service, is retired to Amon Carter Field, where it is put on display; Strategic Air Command is now equipped with an all-jet bomber force.

1961 - 1st flight of the Morane-Saulnier MS-880B 'Rallye' (Rallye 100S), French twin seat Training version of the initial MS-880A, low wing single engine aircraft

1961 - Launch of Venera 1, 1st planetary probe launched to Venus by the Soviet Union

1961 - Death of Frank Ormond "Mongoose" Soden, Canadian WWI fighter ace who stayed and served in the RAF until the end of WWII.

1961 - Launch of Veronique, 1st French space Rocket.

1962 - The wreckage of the Avro Avian 5 'Southern Cross Minor' is discovered in the Algerian desert. The aircraft crashed while piloted by Captain William N. Lancaster, who flew the aircraft from Lympne airfield on 11 April 1933 in an attempt to set a new London to Cape Town record. Lancaster's body had been mummified, and his diary and personal effects had survived intact.

1963 - Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 705 Boeing 720-051B crashed into The Everglades shortly after take-off from Miami International Airport in a severe thunderstorm killing all 43

1965 - 1st hovering for the Dassault Mirage III V, VTOL version of the French jet fighter.

1965 - Death of John Hays Hammond, Jr.,  American inventor known as "The Father of Radio Control" .

1969 - The Mil Mi12, the world's largest helicopter, establishes a number of load-to-height records.

1973 - Death of Edward S. Forman, Early American rocket pioneer and co-founder of Aerojet.

1979 - Air Rhodesia Flight 827 Vickers Viscount 'Umniati' is shot down by Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) guerrillas using a Strela 2 missile soon after take-off, killing all 59.

1981 - Max Anderson and Don Ida make a failed attempt to circumnavigate the world by balloon. Their craft, the 'Jules Verne', only covers 2,900 miles (4,667 km) from Luxor to New Delhi

1985 - 1st flight of The Aermacchi M-290 TP RediGO, Italian turboprop-powered military basic trainer aircraft, originally manufactured by Valmet of Finland as the L-90 TP Redigo.

1997 - Launch of HALCA (Highly Advanced Laboratory for Communications and Astronomy), or VSOP (VLBI Space Observatory Programme), or MUSES-B, Japanese radio telescope satellite.

2000 - Launch of Garuda 1, Indonesian communications satellite

2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touchdown in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros becoming the 1st spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

2002 - Iran Air Tours Tupolev Tu-154M hit high ground in the Sefid Kouh mountains with adverse rain, snow and dense fog , while descending for Khorramabad, Iran, killing all 119.

2004 - Ted Airlines, "airline within an airline" divisional brands of United Airlines, begins operations.

2005 - 1st successful launch of the Ariane 5 ECA, carrying XTAR-EUR (Spanish Communication Satellite), Maqsat-B2 (European Navigation Technology Satellite) and SLOSHAT (Netherlands Navigation Technology satellite).

2009 – Colgan Air Flight 3407 Bombardier DHC8-402 Q400 crashes into a house in Clarence Center, New York while on approach to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport

2012 - Katanga Express Gulfstream IV business jet crashed into a ravine about 20 metres from Kavumu Airport as it was attempting to land, killing 4 over 7 an,d 2 on ground.