1961 Master Index 1963

1962 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1962 Events

  • Early 1962 — In Operation High Jump, the United States Navy McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II fighter sets a number of world climb-to altitude records: 34.523 seconds to 3,000 meters (9,842 feet), 48.787 seconds to 6,000 meters (19,685 feet), 61.629 seconds to 9,000 meters (29,527 feet), 77.156 seconds to 12,000 meters (39,370 feet), 114.548 seconds to 15,000 meters (49,212 feet), 178.5 seconds to 20,000 meters (65,616 feet), 230.44 seconds to 25,000 meters (82,020 feet), and 371.43 seconds to 30,000 meters (98,424 feet). [1]

  • 1962 — The United States Navy develops vertical replenishment (VERTREP) techniques to supply ships at sea by helicopter, as Sikorsky HSS-2 Sea King (later redesignated SH-3A Sea King) antisubmarine helicopters from the general stores issue ship USS Altair and fleet oiler USS Mississinewa resupply ships of the United States Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. [1]

January 1962

  • January — United States Army Piasecki H-21C Shawnee transport helicopters deploy to Da Nang, South Vietnam. They are the first American aircraft to operate from Da Nang. [1]

  • January 9 — The de Havilland DH.121 Trident makes its maiden flight from Hatfield in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. [1]

  • January 10-11 — A Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is flown from Okinawa to Madrid, establishing a new distance record of 12,532 miles (20,168 km). [1]

  • January 15 — The U.S. Army suffers its first combat fatalities in an aircraft in Vietnam when an Piasecki H-21C Shawnee transport helicopter is shot down by Viet Cong ground fire near Dak Roda, South Vietnam, with three killed. [1]

  • January 16 — A South Vietamese Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain crashes at Pleiku, South Vietnam, killing 33. [1]

  • January 24 — Two United States Navy McDonnell F4H Phantom IIs are seconded to the United States Air Force as the Air Force plans to adopt the type as the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. [1]

February 1962

  • February 2 — A U.S. Air Force Fairchild C-123 Provider crashes while spraying defoliant near Biên Hòa, South Vietnam, with the loss of three crew members. It is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft lost in Vietnam. [1]

  • February 10 — The Soviet Union exchanges captured American Lockheed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers - shot down over Soviet territory in 1960 - for Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher, also known as Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States. [1]

  • February 12 — French troops discover the mummified body of William N. "Bill" Lancaster and the wreckage of his Avro Mark VIA Avian Southern Cross in the Sahara Desert. Lancaster had disappeared on April 12, 1933, during an attempt to set a world speed record for a flight from England to South Africa. He is determined to have died on April 20, 1933, while awaiting rescue. The wreckage of the aircraft will be recovered in 1975 and placed on exhibit in 1979. [1]

  • February 20 — John Glenn becomes the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in Mercury Atlas 6. [1]

  • February 25 — An Avensa Fairchild F27 Friendship crashes into San Juan mountain on Venezuela's Isla Margarita in the Caribbean, killing all 23 people on board. [1]

March 1962

  • March 1 — Los Angeles Airways becomes the first civil operator of the Sikorsky S-61 helicopter. [1]

  • March 1 — American Airlines Flight 1, a Boeing 707-123B, crashes into Jamaica Bay shortly after taking off from Idlewild Airport in New York City, killing all 95 people on board; it is the sixth fatal accident involving a Boeing 707 and the deadliest 707 accident thus far. Among the dead are John Dieckman, an international champion flyfisher and caster; retired Admiral Richard Lansing Conolly, USN, the president of Long Island University and a two-time Deputy Chief of Naval Operations; W. Alton Jones, a multi-millionaire former president and chairman of Cities Service Company and close personal friend of former General of the Army and President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower; Arnold Kirkeby, a millionaire realtor and former head of the Kirkeby chain of luxury hotels; Louise Lindner Eastman, whose daughter Linda Eastman would later marry Paul McCartney of The Beatles; Irving Rubine, producer of the film The Guns of Navarone; Emelyn Whiton, a 1952 Olympic sailing gold medalist; and the Broadway stage manager Bob Paschall. In addition, 15 abstract paintings by the artist Arshile Gorky in the plane's cargo hold are destroyed. [1]

  • March 4 — Caledonian Airways Flight 153, the Douglas DC-7 Star of Robbie Burns, crashes in a swamp shortly after takeoff from Douala International Airport in Douala, Cameroon, killing all 111 people on board. [1]

  • March 5 — A Convair B-58A Hustler of the U.S. Air Force's 43rd Bombardment Wing sets three speed records during a round-trip flight between New York City and Los Angeles, California, completing the trip in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 15 seconds at an average speed of 1,044.46 mph (2,708 km/hr). Its crew receives both the MacKay Trophy and the last Bendix Trophy awarded for speed. [1]

  • March 8 — A Turkish Airlines Fairchild F-27 crashes in the Bolkar Mountains of the Taurus mountain range in Adana Province, Turkey, killing all 11 people on board. [1]

  • March 16 — Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation chartered by the United States Military Air Transport Service and carrying 97 United States Army personnel, three South Vietnamese, and a crew of 11, vanishes over the western Pacific Ocean with the loss of all 107 people on board. No wreckage or bodies are ever found. [1]

April 1962

  • April 15 — The United States Marine Corps' involvement in the Vietnam War begins when Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 (HMM-362), equipped with Sikorsky HUS-1 Seahorse transport helicopters, arrives at Sóc Trang, South Vietnam, to begin Operation Shufly. [1]

  • April 25 — The United States Department of Defense announces its choice of the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter for its Military Assistance Program. [1]

  • April 26 — Louis Schalk pilots the first unofficial flight of the A-12 Article 121. [1]

  • April 30 — Louis Schalk pilots the first official flight of the A-12 Article 121. [1]

  • Late April — The U.S. Army's 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) arrives at Nha Trang, South Vietnam, introducing the Bell HU-1 Iroquois helicopter into combat for the first time. Nicknamed the "Huey," the UH-1 (as the HU-1 will be redesignated in September 1962) will become iconic of the Vietnam War. [1]

May 1962

  • May 4-5 — During the Carupanazo revolt against Venezuelan President Rómulo Betancourt, Venezuelan Air Force aircraft attack rebel positions at Carúpano. [1]

  • May 22 — To kill himself and allow his family to collect his life insurance payment, passenger Thomas G. Doty detonates a dynamite bomb in a rear lavatory of Continental Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 707-124, near Centerville, Iowa, blowing off the tail section of the plane. The aircraft crashes near Unionville, Missouri, killing Doty and all of the other 44 people on board. United States Medal of Freedom recipient Fred P. Herman is among the dead. [1]

June 1962

  • June 2 — During the Porteñazo revolt of the Venezuelan Marine Corps against Venezuelan President Rómulo Betancourt, Venezuelan Air Force aircraft attack marine corps positions at Puerto Cabello. [1]

  • June 3 — The Air France Boeing 707-328 Chateau de Sully, operating as Air France Flight 007, crashes shortly after take-off from Paris-Orly Airport in Paris, killing 130 of the 132 people on board. [1]

  • June 18 — To reduce the chances of Viet Cong forces slipping away from large South Vietnamese ground units by fleeing operations areas in small groups, U.S. Marine Corps helicopters operating in South Vietnam begin to use the "Eagle Flight" tactic, in which Marine transport helicopters circle contested areas and drop off South Vietnamese troops when and where they are needed to block escaping Viet Cong forces. It will become a proven tactic by the middle of July. [1]

  • June 19 — Four West German Luftwaffe Lockheed F-104 Starfighters collide and crash, killing all four pilots. [1]

  • June 22 — While on final approach to land at Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, Air France Flight 117, a Boeing 707-328, strays 15 km (9.3 miles) off course and crashes 25.5 km (15.5 mi) west-northwest of the airport, killing all 113 people on board. It is Air France's second Boeing 707 disaster of the month. [1]

  • June 30 — An errant anti-aircraft missile that has gone astray during a Soviet air defense exercise accidentally shoots down Aeroflot Flight SSSR-42370, a Tupolev Tu-104, over Beryozovsky District, Krasnoyarsk Krai, in the Soviet Union's Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. All 84 people on board die in the subsequent crash. [1]

July 1962

  • July 7 — A Soviet Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152 sets a new airspeed record of 2,681 km/h (1,666 mph). [1]

  • July 8 — Alitalia Flight 771, a Douglas DC-8-43, crashes 11 km (6.8 mi) northwest of Junnar, India, while on approach to a landing at Bombay 84 km (52 mi) to the northeast. All 94 people on board die. [1]

  • July 17 — U.S. Air Force Major Robert M. White pilots a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 314,750 feet (59.6 miles, 96 km). He reaches a maximum speed of 3,784 mph (6,093 km/hr) during the flight. [1]

  • July 19 — United Arab Airlines Flight 869, a de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C, crashes on Khao Yai mountain in Thailand while on approach to Bangkok, killing all 26 people on board. [1]

  • July 22 — The Bristol Britannia Empress of Lima, operating as Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 301, experiences problems with an engine just after takeoff from Honolulu International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii. Returning to the airport on three engines, it aborts its first landing attempt and begins a go around, during which it crashes, killing 27 of the 40 people on board. It is the worst commercial air accident in the history of Hawaii. [1]

  • July 25 — On Okinawa, the U.S. Army forms its first armed helicopter company, the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company (UTTHCO) using Bell HU-1A ("Huey") helicopters equipped with machine guns and air-to-ground rockets. They are the first attack helicopters. [1]

August 1962

  • August 1 — The U.S. Marine Corps loses a helicopter in Vietnam for the first time when a South Vietnamese Air Force fighter skids off a runway at Sóc Trang, South Vietnam, and damages an Sikorsky HUS-1 Seahorse transport helicopter beyond repair. [1]

  • August 29 — An American Lockheed U-2 photographs the entire island of Cuba, revealing for the first time the presence of eight Soviet surface-to-air missile sites along Cuba's northwest coast designed to provide strategic air defense of Cuba from the United States. [1]

  • August 30 — Two Cuban patrol boats fire on a U.S. Navy Grumman S2F Tracker manned by three United States Naval Reserve personnel on a training flight 15 nautical miles (28 km) off Cárdenas, Cuba. [1]

September 1962

  • September 8 — Two Cuban Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco fighters make simulated firing runs against two U.S. Navy S2F Tracker aircraft over international waters. Two McDonnell Douglas F4H-1 Phantom II fighters of U.S. Navy Fighter Squadron 41 (VF-41) scramble from Key West, Florida, to intercept, but the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Frescoes flee before the McDonnell Douglas F4H-1 Phantoms can arrive. [1]

  • September 18 — By order of the United States Department of Defense, the United States Armed Forces begin use of a unified designation system, the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system, for their aircraft. The biggest change is that the Department of the Navy's designation system employed by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard is abandoned, with all aircraft brought under the system employed by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army. [1]

  • September 18 — U.S. Marine Corps helicopters fly a combat mission from Da Nang, South Vietnam, for the first time, airlifting South Vietnamese troops into the hills south of Da Nang. [1]

October 1962

  • October — The U.S. Army begins a six-month test of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois in an armed escort role, evaluating the operations of the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company's operations escorting Piasecki CH-21C Shawnee transport helicopters in South Vietnam. It is the first combat evaluation of the value of attack helicopters. [1]

  • October 1 — U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., begins preparation of a plan for air strikes against known Soviet missile bases in Cuba, with orders to have the plans ready by October 20. [1]

  • October 6 — The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy suffer their first helicopter fatalities in Vietnam when a Marine Corps Sikorsky UH-34 Seahorse crashes 15 miles (24 km) from Tam Ky, South Vietnam, killing five Marines and two Navy personnel. [1]

  • October 14 — A U.S. Air Force Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance flight over Cuba reveals the presence of launch pads for medium-range ballistic missiles, triggering the Cuban Missile Crisis. [1]

  • October 22 — President John F. Kennedy announces a naval blockade - termed a "quarantine" - of Cuba, and U.S. military forces worldwide are ordered to Defense Condition (DEFCON) 2. The U.S. Navy has 250 aircraft cooperating with 46 ships in blockading Cuba; the attack aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) and USS Independence (CVA-62) and the antisubmarine carriers USS Essex (CVS-9) and USS Randolph (CVS-15) are among the ships taking part. The United States has a combined 156 aircraft in Florida poised to strike targets in Cuba, capable of flying an estimated nearly 1,200 sorties on the first day of such strikes. [1]

  • October 23 — In Operation Blue Moon, six U.S. Navy Vought RF-8 Crusader photographic reconnaissance aircraft flying from Key West, Florida, conduct the first American low-level flights over Cuba, flying at 400 mph (644 km/hr) only a few hundred feet off the ground. [1]

  • October 24 — The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff order the U.S. military forces worldwide to Defense Condition (DEFCON) 2, with preparations to strike Cuba, the Soviet Union, or both. The U.S. Air Force has 1,436 strategic bombers and 134 intercontinental ballistic missiles on constant alert, with one-eighth of the bombers airborne at all times. [1]

  • October 24 — U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., asks the U.S. Air Force to assist in providing aerial surveillance of the sea approaches to Cuba. Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General Curtis LeMay agrees to do so, adding that Air Force Strategic Air Command crews will find all Soviet shipping in the area in four hours. Several Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers and Boeing RB-47K Stratojet weather reconnaissance aircraft and 16 Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker aerial tankers make surveillance flights, but their crews' inexperience in maritime reconnaissance leads them to report American, British, and Greek cargo ships as Soviet ones. [1]

  • October 26 — The last Boeing B-52 Stratofortress off the production line is delivered to the U.S. Air Force. [1]

  • October 27 — A Lockheed U-2 of the U.S. Air Force's 4080th Strategic Wing piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson. Jr., is shot down over Cuba, killing Anderson. Anderson posthumously will become the first recipient of the Air Force Cross. [1]

November 1962

  • November — The British and French governments agree to collaboration between British Aircraft Corporation and Sud-Aviation in the development of a supersonic airliner. The agreement will lead to the develop of the Concorde. [1]

  • November — A model of the Bell UH-1B Iroquois helicopter specifically modified at the factory to serve in an attack helicopter role - the first such U.S. Army helicopter - begins to arrive in South Vietnam. [1]

  • November — U.S. Marine Corps transport helicopters in South Vietnam begin to employ "Tiger Flight" tactics, in which Marine Corps helicopters fly to nearby bases to embark South Vietnamese troops as a quick-reaction force to reinforce ground operations. [1]

  • November 9 — A serious landing accident virtually destroys North American X-15 (AF 56-6671) and injures National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) pilot John B. McKay. [1]

  • November 18 — President John F. Kennedy lifts the blockade ("quarantine") of Cuba. [1]

  • November 23 — United Airlines Flight 297, a Vickers Viscount 754D, strikes a flock of whistling swans and crashes north of what would later become Columbia, Maryland, killing all 17 people on board. [1]

  • November 27 — Boeing rolls out the first Boeing 727 airliner at its Renton, Washington, plant. [1]

  • November 30 — Eastern Air Lines Flight 512, a Douglas DC-7B, crashes while trying to land in heavy fog at Idlewild Airport in New York City. Twenty-five of the 51 people on board die. [1]

December 1962

  • December 8 — British troops are airlifted to Borneo to quell uprisings in the region. [1]

  • December 15 — The U.S. Navy reports that the last Soviet offensive weapons - 15 crated Ilyushin Il-28 (NATO reporting name "Beagle") bombers - have been removed from Cuba. [1]

1962 First Flights

  • January 9 — Hawker Siddeley Trident. [1]

  • April 14 — Bristol Type 188. [1]

  • April 26 — Lockheed A-12 Oxcart. [1]

  • April 26 — Jovair J-2. [1]

  • June 29 — Vickers VC10 (G-ARTA). [1]

  • July 16 — Lightning F.3, third production model of the English Electric Lightning. [1]

  • August — Kawasaki KH-4. [1]

  • August 10 — Bell 533. [1]

  • August 12 — Beagle B.206Y, fully developed seven-seat prototype of the Beagle Basset. [1]

  • August 13 — Hawker Siddeley HS.125 (G-ARYA). [1]

  • September 19 — Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy. [1]

  • October 12 — Dassault Balzac (tethered flight). [1]

  • October 28 — Westland Wasp. [1]

  • December 7 — Aérospatiale Super Frelon. [1]

  • December 22 — Lockheed A-12. [1]

  • December 24 — Aérospatiale N 262. [1]

1962 Aircraft Entering Service

  • 1962 — Antonov An-24 ("Coke") with Aeroflot (crew training only). [1]

  • March — Aviation Traders Carvair with British United Air Ferries. [1]

  • March 18 — Convair CV-990 with American Airlines. [1]

  • June — McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II with United States Marine Corps All-Weather Marine Fighter Squadron 314 (VMF(AW)-314). [1]

  • July 1 — Boeing Vertol 107 with New York Airways. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1962 in aviation.

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