1973 Master Index 1975

1974 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1974 Events

  • Spring 1974 — Under an international agreement to clear the Suez Canal of naval mines in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, United States Navy Sikorsky RH-53D “Sea Stallion” mine sweeping helicopters of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12 (HM-12) operating from the amphibious assault ships USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) and USS Inchon (LPH-12) use Mark 105 hydrofoil mine sweeping sleds to sweep 120 square miles of water between Port Said and Suez, Egypt, in “Operation Nimbus Star”. [1]

January 1974

  • January 24 — A Togolese Air Force Douglas C-47 “Skytrain” carrying several notable political figures including President of Togo Gnassingbé Eyadéma crashes at an isolated location near the village of Sarakawa in northern Togo. Eyadéma survives, but the French pilot and three passengers die. [1]

  • January 26 — The Turkish Airlines Fokker F28-1000 “Fellowship” Van stalls shortly after takeoff from Izmir Cumaovasi Airport in Izmir, Turkey, crashes, and catches fire, killing 66 of the 73 people on board. [1]

  • January 30 — The Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-321B “Clipper Radiant”, operating as Flight 806, crashes during a heavy rainstorm on approach to Pago Pago International Airport in Pago Pago, American Samoa, killing 97 of the 101 people on board and injuring all four survivors. [1]

February 1974

  • February 17 — Upset at failing in helicopter training and wanting to show his piloting skills, United States Army Private First Class Robert K. Preston steals a U.S. Army Bell UH-1 “Iroquois” helicopter at Fort Meade, Maryland, and hovers it over the White House in Washington, D.C. before landing on the White House's South Lawn. He later takes off, is pursued by two Maryland State Police helicopters, uses maneuvering to force one of them down, then returns to the White House, where police gunfire induces him to land and surrender. [1]

  • February 22 — Samuel Byck attempts to hijack Delta Airlines Flight 523, a Douglas DC-9, before it leaves the gate at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, with a goal of crashing it into the White House in Washington, D.C. to assassinate U.S. President Richard Nixon. He kills two people and wounds a third before himself being killed, all without the plane ever leaving the gate. [1]

  • February 22 — U.S. Navy Lieutenant, junior grade, Barbara Ann Allen is designated a naval aviator, becoming the first female aviator in the United States Armed Forces. [1]

March 1974

  • March 3 — The Turkish Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 “Ankara”, operating as Flight 981, crashes into the Ermenonville Forest forest and the commune of Fontaine-Chaalis, France, after a cargo door blows off, causing damage which cuts control cables. All 346 people on board die. At the time, it is the worst aviation disaster in history, and it remains the deadliest aviation accident in France, the deadliest McDonnell Douglas DC-10 accident, and the deadliest single-plane crash with no survivors. [1]

  • March 31 — British Airways commences operations after BOAC and BEA merge to create the new airline. [1]

April 1974

  • April 2 — The U.S. Navy retires its last Douglas C-54 “Skymaster”. Entering service on March 24, 1945, the Douglas C-54Q “Skymaster ” (BuNo 56501), had flown 2,500,000 nautical miles (4,629,630 km) in almost 15,000 hours of flight time. [1]

  • April 18 — During its takeoff roll at London Luton Airport in London, England, Court Line Flight 95, a BAC One-Eleven 518 carrying 91 people, collides with a McAlpine Aviation Piper PA-23 “Aztec” which has entered the runway without permission. The collision destroys the Piper PA-23 “Aztec”, kills its pilot, and injures his passenger, but the One-Eleven's flight crew manages to abort their takeoff successfully and all aboard the airliner evacuate without injury via evacuation slides. [1]

  • April 22 — The Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-321B “Clipper Climax”, operating as Flight 812, crashes in mountainous terrain on approach to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 42.5 nautical miles (78.7 km) north-west of the airport. All 107 people on board die. [1]

June 1974

  • June 4 — Construction of North American Rockwell OV-101, the first Space Shuttle, begins. It later will be named “Enterprise”. [1]

  • June 11 — Northrop YF-17 “Cobra” (AF 72-01569) becomes the first American fighter to break the sound barrier in level flight when not in afterburner. [1]

July 1974

  • July — Cuts in American military aid to South Vietnam force austerity measures there, including the storage of 200 South Vietnamese Air Force aircraft and the reduction of helicopter lift capacity by 70 percent; shortages, of fuel, ammunition, and spare parts also begin to plague South Vietnamese aviation of all types. [1]

  • July 20 — The Turkish Air Force supports “Operation Atilla”, a Turkish invasion of Cyprus, as a war over the island between Turkey and Greece and the Greek Cypriots breaks out. Turkish aircraft join with Turkish Navy in sinking a Greek Cypriot torpedo boat which attempts to attack the approaching Turkish naval flotilla, and Turkish aircraft support the amphibious landing. [1]

  • July 21 — 28 Turkish Air Force strike aircraft mistakenly attack the Turkish Navy destroyers Kocatepe, Adatepe, and Maresal Fevzi Çakmak off Paphos, Cyprus, with 750-lb (340-kg) bombs, sinking Kocatepe with the loss of 54 lives and damaging the other two ships. [1]

  • July 21 — Twelve Turkish paratroopers parachute into Cyprus to ambush a convoy carrying the Greek Cypriot commander of the Cypriot Navy, Commander Papayiannis. They wound him in an ambush, but are wiped out by his security detail. [1]

  • July 21 — In “Operation Niki”, Greece's Hellenic Air Force attempts a covert airlift of a battalion of Greek commandos from Souda, Crete, to Cyprus using 15 “Noratlas” aircraft. Greek Cypriot anti-aircraft artillery mistakenly fires on the planes at Nicosia International Airport, shooting down one with the loss of four crew members and 29 commandos, and damages two others, but some of the commandos arrive successfully to defend the airport. [1]

  • July 22 — The United States Navy and Marine Corps evacuate 500 people from Cyprus. [1]

  • July 28 — A U.S. Air Force Lockheed SR-71A “Blackbird” sets two records for non-rocket-powered aircraft, an absolute altitude record of 85,069 feet (25,929 m) and an absolute speed record of 2,193.2 mph (3,531.7 km/hr). [1]

August 1974

  • August 6 — Turkish Air Force aircraft support a Turkish offensive at Karavas, Cyprus. [1]

  • August 9 — Three Syrian surface-to-air missiles strike “Buffalo 461”, a Canadian Armed Forces De Havilland Canada DHC-5 “Buffalo” assigned to the United Nations Emergency Force in support of peacekeeping operations in Syria. The plane crashes near Ad Dimas, Syria, killing all nine people on board. [1]

  • August 9 — A Royal Air Force No. 41 Squadron McDonnell Douglas “Phantom II FGR.42” and a Piper “Pawnee” crop duster aircraft collide over Fordham Fen, Norfolk, England, killing both crew members of the McDonnell Douglas “Phantom II FGR.42” and the pilot of the Piper “Pawnee”. It is the first collision between a civil and a military aircraft in the United Kingdom low-flying military training system. [1]

  • August 14-16 — Turkish Air Force aircraft support the final major Turkish offensive on Cyprus. [1]

September 1974

  • September 1 — The U.S. Air Force Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird (AF 61-17972), flown by Major James Sullivan (pilot) and Major Noel F, Widdifield (reconnaissance systems officer), crosses the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to London in a world record 1 hour 54 minutes 56 seconds at an average speed of 1,806.96 mph (2,909.76 km/h). [1]

  • September 8 — A terrorist bomb detonates in the cargo hold of Trans World Airlines Flight 841, a Boeing 707-331B on a flight from Athens, Greece, to Rome, Italy. The plane crashes into the Ionian Sea, killing all 88 people on board. [1]

  • September 11 — In dense fog, Eastern Air Lines Flight 212, a Douglas DC-9-31, crashes while on an instrument approach to Douglas Municipal Airport (now Charlotte/Douglas International Airport) in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 72 of the 82 people on board. Among the dead are the father and two older brothers of American comedian Stephen Colbert; United States Navy Rear Admiral Charles W. Cummings, acting Commandant of the 6th Naval District; three executives of Charleston's The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston, South Carolina; Wayne Seal, an anchorman at the Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, television station WCIV; and John Merriman, news editor for the CBS Evening News. [1]

  • September 13 — The U.S. Air Force Lockheed SR-71A “Blackbird” (AF 61-17972), flown by Captain Harold B. “Buck” Adams (pilot) and Major William C. Machorek (reconnaissance systems officer), flies 5,447 miles (8,771 km) from London to Los Angeles in a world record 3 hours 47 minutes 39 seconds at an average speed of 1,435.59 mph (2,311.74 km/h). [1]

  • September 15 — A man holding two hand grenades hijacks Air Vietnam Flight 706, a Boeing 727-121C on a flight from Da Nang, South Vietnam, to Saigon, South Vietnam, shortly after takeoff from Da Nang and demands to be flown to Hanoi, North Vietnam. The plane approaches Phan Rang Air Base at Phan Rang, South Vietnam, as if to land, overshoots the base leg, begins a left turn, and crashes, killing all 75 people on board. [1]

November 1974

  • November 20 — Lufthansa Flight 540, a Boeing 747-130, stalls and crashes just after takeoff from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 59 of the 157 people on board. It is the first crash of a Boeing 747. [1]

December 1974

  • December 1 — While on approach to Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, Trans World Airways Flight 514, a Boeing 727-231, crashes into Mount Weather in Clarke County, Virginia, killing all 92 people on board and severing the underground main telephone line of the United States Government's Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, to which the crash brings undesired attention. As a result of the accident, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will mandate that a ground proximity warning system be installed on every turbine-engine and turbojet-engine airplane operated in the United States. [1]

  • December 1 — Northwest Airlines Flight 6231, a Boeing 727-251 chartered to fly to Buffalo, New York, to pick up the Baltimore Colts National Football League team, stalls and crashes near Haverstraw, New York, after icing disables its pitot tube, causing its flight crew to receive incorrect airspeed readings. There are no passengers aboard, but all three crew members die. [1]

  • December 4 — Martinair Flight 138, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8, crashes into a mountain near Maskeliya, Sri Lanka, killing all 191 people on board. All of the airliner's 182 passengers are Indonesian hajj pilgrims on their way to Mecca. [1]

  • December 22 — Both engines of Avensa Flight 358, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, shut down five minutes after takeoff from Maturín Airport at Maturín, Venezuela. The flight crew loses control of the airliner, which crashes near Maturín. killing all 77 people on board. [1]

1974 First Flights

  • 1974 — Antonov An-30 “Clank”. [1]

  • January 9 — WSK-Mielec M-15 (SP-1974). [1]

  • January 20 — General Dynamics YF-16 (AF 72-01567), prototype of the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” (“inadvertent“ flight to avoid damage during faulty taxiing run). [1]

  • February 2 — General Dynamics YF-16 (AF 72-01567), prototype of the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” (official first flight). [1]

  • February 16 — Atlas C4M “Kudu” (civil prototype). [1]

  • February 21 — HTM “Skyrider” (D-HHTF). [1]

  • June 9 — Northrop YF-17 “Cobra” (AF 72-01569). [1]

  • June 24 — Aerospatiale AS.350 “Ecureuil” (F-WVKH). [1]

  • August 14 — Panavia MRCA (later “Tornado”) (D-9591). [1]

  • August 21 — Hawker-Siddeley “Hawk” (XX154). [1]

  • August 22 — Shorts 360 (G-BSBH). [1]

  • September 11 — Bell 206L “LongRanger” (N206L). [1]

  • September 25 — Northrop F-5F “Tiger II” (AF 73-0889). [1]

  • October 17 — Sikorsky YUH-60 (AF 73-21650). [1]

  • October 28 — Dassault “Super Étendard”. [1]

  • October 31 — IAR-93 RO-001 / J-22 Orao 25001. [1]

  • November 8 — IA 58 “Pucará”. [1]

  • November 29 — Boeing Vertol YUH-61 (AF 73-21656). [1]

  • December 23 — Rockwell B-1A “Lancer” (AF 74-0158”. [1]

1974 Aircraft Entering Service

  • 1974 — Vulcan SR.Mk 2, strategic reconnaissance version of the Avro “Vulcan”, with No. 27 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Royal Air Force. [1]

  • 1974 — Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name “Fencer”) with Soviet Air Force. [1]

  • Early 1974 — Beechcraft “Super King Air Model 200”. [1]

  • February 20 — Lockheed S-3A “Viking” with Antisubmarine Squadron 41 (VS-41) AT Naval Air Station North Island, California. [1]

  • May 30 — Airbus A300 with Air France. [1]

  • September 17 — Grumman F-14 “Tomcat” with Fighter Squadrons 1 (VF-1) and 2 (VF-2) aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65). [1]

  • November 14 — McDonnell Douglas F-15A “Eagle” with the United States Air Force 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Luke Air Force Base. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1974 in Aviation

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