1974 Master Index 1976

1975 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

January 1975

  • January — A specially modified McDonnell Douglas F-15A “Eagle” sets eight time to climb records, including one of 3 minutes 27 seconds from standstill on the runway to a height of 30,000 metres (98,425 feet). [1]

  • January 9 — Golden West Airlines Flight 261, a de Havilland DHC-6 “Twin Otter”, collides with a Cessnair Aviation, Inc., Cessna 150 over Whittier, California. Both aircraft crash, killing all 12 people aboard the de Havilland DHC-6 “Twin Otter” and both people in the Cessna 150. There are no injuries on the ground, although the de Havilland DHC-6 “Twin Otter's” fuselage crashes on the grounds of Katherine Edwards Middle School, where 300 people are watching an outdoor basketball game. [1]

  • January 12 — British Airways begins Europe's first no-booking shuttle service, between London and Glasgow. [1]

  • January 14 — The General Dynamics F-16A “Fighting Falcon” is announced as the winner of the LWF (Light Weight Fighter) competition. [1]

  • January 16 — United States Air Force Major D. W. Petersen sets a new world absolute time-to-height speed record, flying a McDonnell Douglas F-15A “Eagle” to 15,000 meters (49,212 feet) in 77.02 seconds. [1]

  • January 20 — Terrorists hijack an Air France Boeing 707 and have it flown to Baghdad. [1]

  • January 30 — While the Turkish Airlines Fokker F28-1000 “Fellowship Bursa”, operating as Flight 345, is on approach to Istanbul YesilkÖy Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, the runway goes dark when the airport suffers a power failure. The flight crew initiates a missed approach but crashes into the Sea of Marmara while maneuvering for a second landing attempt, killing all 42 people on board. [1]

February 1975

  • February 1 — U.S. Air Force Major R. Smith sets a new world absolute time-to-height speed record, flying a McDonnell Douglas F-15A “Eagle” to 30,000 meters (98,425 feet) in 207.80 seconds. [1]

March 1975

  • March 31 — Western Airlines Flight 470, a Boeing 737-200, overruns the runway while landing at Casper/Natrona County International Airport near Casper, Wyoming, injuring four of the 99 people on board and damaging the aircraft beyond repair. [1]

April 1975

  • April — U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A “Tomcat” fighters fly combat missions for the first time, when Grumman F-14A “Tomcats” of Fighter Squadrons 1 (VF-1) and 2 (VF-2) aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) strafe North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam during the evacuation of Saigon. [1]

  • April 1 — The Republic of Singapore Air Force is formed. [1]

  • April 4 — The cargo door of a U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-5A “Galaxy” making the first flight of “Operation Babylift” opens explosively while the plane is flying over the South China Sea off Vung Tàu, South Vietnam. The plane crashes while attempting an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon, South Vietnam, killing 153 of the 328 people on board. Seventy-six of the dead are South Vietnamese orphans being airlifted to join care givers in the United States. It remains the deadliest accident involving a U.S. military aircraft. [1]

  • April 12 — United States Marine Corps helicopters from the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LPH-10) and the attack aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CVA-19) evacuate the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. [1]

  • April 19 — Making the last flight by a fixed-wing aircraft out of Saigon, a South Vietnamese Air Force Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” normally configured to seat 92 passengers and a crew of five carries a record load for a Lockheed C-130 “Hercules”of 452 passengers - South Vietnamese and Americans fleeing the North Vietnamese - and the pilot. Thirty-two of the passengers ride on the flight deck. [1]

  • April 30 — United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft evacuate 7,000 American and South Vietnamese officials from Saigon as Saigon falls at the end of the final North Vietnamese offensive of the Vietnam War. [1]

May 1975

  • May 12 — The “Mayaguez” incident begins. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft begin searching for the American container ship SS Mayaguez, which Cambodian Khmer Rouge forces seized earlier in the day in the Gulf of Thailand. [1]

  • May 13-14 — U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3 “Orion” patrol aircraft discover SS Mayaguez off Cambodia's Puolo Wai island. For two days, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft exchange fire with Khmer Rouge ground and sea forces in the vicinity of SS Mayaguez. [1]

  • May 15 — Eight U.S. Air Force helicopters carry a force of U.S. Marines in an assault on Cambodia's Koh Tang island in an attempt to rescue the crew of i; three are shot down. U.S. Navy Grumman A-6B “Intruder” and LTV A-7E “Corsair II” bombers and McDonnell Douglas F-4N “Phantom II” fighters from the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) strike Ream airfield and targets at Kompong Som in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge releases the SS Mayaguez crew, which actually is being held at Rong Som Lem island. [1]

June 1975

  • June 22 — Svetlana Savitskaya sets a new women's airspeed record of 2,683 km/h (1,667 mph) in the Mikoyan Ye-133, a modified Mikoyan MiG-25PU two-seat trainer. [1]

  • June 24 — Eastern Air Lines Flight 66, a Boeing 727-255, crashes on final approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York, killing 113 of the 124 people on board. American Basketball Association player Wendell Ladner is among the dead. [1]

  • June 30 — The United States Navy reclassifies all of its “attack aircraft carriers” (CVA) as “aircraft carriers” (CV); “nuclear-powered attack aircraft carriers” (CVA(N)) become “nuclear-powered aircraft carriers” (CVN). [1]

July 1975

  • July 12 — The U.S. Navy retires the last Douglas DC-3 variant in its inventory, a Douglas C-117 “Skytrain II”, after a final flight from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. [1]

August 1975

  • August 3 — A Royal Jordanian Airlines Boeing 707-321B chartered by Royal Air Maroc strikes a mountainside in the Atlas Mountains near Agadir, Morocco, while on approach to Inezgane Airport, killing all 188 people on board. It remains the deadliest accident in history involving a Boeing 707. [1]

  • August 9 — Japan Air Lines establishes Japan Asia Airways as a subsidiary. [1]

  • August 20 — CSA Flight 540, an Ilyushin Il-62, en route from Prague to Tehran via Damascus and Baghdad crashes into a sand dune while on approach to Damascus International Airport, Syria, killing 126 of the 128 people on board. It remains the deadliest accident in history of CSA. [1]

  • August 30 — Wien Air Alaska Flight 99, a Fairchild F-27B, crashes into Sevuokuk Mountain while on approach to Gambell, Alaska, in fog, killing 10 of the 32 people on board and injuring all 22 survivors. [1]

September 1975

  • September 2 — The unified Canadian Armed Forces merges its aviation services into a single command, the Canadian Forces Air Command. [1]

  • September 24 — Garuda Indonesia Flight 150, a Fokker F-28 “Fellowship”, crashes in bad weather and fog on approach to Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport in Palembang on Sumatra in Indonesia, killing 25 of the 61 people on board and injuring all 36 survivors. One person on the ground also dies. [1]

  • September 30 — Malév Hungarian Airlines Flight 240, a Tupolev Tu-154B, crashes in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lebanon, killing all 60 people on board. [1]

October 1975

  • October 30 — A chartered Yugoslavian McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 operating as Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 450 crashes in the suburb of Suchdol while on final approach to land at Prague, Czechoslovakia, in foggy weather, killing 75 of the 120 people on board. It is the deadliest aviation accident in the history of Czechoslovakia. [1]

December 1975

  • December 26 — The world's first supersonic transport enters service, when the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 makes its first commercial flight for Aeroflot, carrying air mail and freight. [1]

  • December 28 — The Soviet Union commissions the “heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser” Kiev, the first Soviet or Russian ship capable of operating fixed-wing aircraft. A hybrid ship combining a partial angled flight deck with the heavy anti-ship missile armament of a Soviet guided-missile cruiser, she operates only vertical or short takeoff and landing (VSTOL) jets and helicopters. [1]

  • December 29 — A bomb equivalent in power to 25 sticks of dynamite detonates in a Trans World Airlines locker at LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people and injuring 75; it is the deadliest bomb explosion in New York City since the Wall Street bombing of 1920. No one ever claims credit for the bombing, which remains unsolved. [1]

1975 Aircraft First Flights

  • January 24 — Aerospatiale SA.365 “Dauphin” (F-WVKE). [1]

  • January 25 — Birdman TL-1, lightest piloted powered aircraft. [1]

  • February 22 — Sukhoi T-8-1, prototype of the Su-25 attack aircraft. [1]

  • February 26 — Cessna 404 “Titan” (N5404J). [1]

  • March — Bellanca “Skyrocket II”. [1]

  • March 7 — Yakovlev Yak-42 (SSSR-1974). [1]

  • March 27 — de Havilland Canada DHC-7 (C-GNBX-X). [1]

  • April 21 — Dominion “Skytrader 800” (N800ST). [1]

  • May 21 — Rutan “VariEze” (N7EZ). [1]

  • June 3 — Mitsubishi F-1 (59-5107). [1]

  • June 15 — Akaflieg Stuttgart FS-29. [1]

  • June 16 — Atlas C4M “Kudu” (ZS-IZF) (military prototype). [1]

  • June 29 — Jeffair “Barracuda”. [1]

  • July 1 — Valmet L-70 “Vinka”. [1]

  • July 2 — Bowers “Namu II”. [1]

  • July 18 — Zlín Z-50. [1]

  • August 26 — Cessna 441 (N441CC). [1]

  • August 26 — McDonnell Douglas YC-15 (AF 72-1875). [1]

  • August 29 — Robinson R22. [1]

  • September 16 — Mikoyan Ye-155MP. [1]

  • September 30 — Hughes YAH-64 (AF 73-22248). [1]

  • October 1 — Bell YAH-63. [1]

  • October 29 — Harmon “Mister America”. [1]

  • November 13 — Fuji/Rockwell “Commander 700”. [1]

  • November 19 — AmEagle American “Eaglet”. [1]

  • November 23 — Schleicher ASW 19. [1]

1975 Aircraft Entering Service

  • Late 1975 — Beechcraft “Baron” Model 58P. [1]

  • Late 1975 — Beechcraft “King Air” Model B100. [1]

  • March 5 — Shin Meiwa US-1 with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. [1]

  • April 14 — IAF “Kfir” C.1 with two squadrons of the Israeli Air Force. [1]

  • October — Bell 206L “LongRanger”. [1]

  • December 26 — Tupolev Tu-144, the world's first supersonic transport, with Aeroflot. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1975 in Aviation

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