1982 Master Index 1984

1983 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

January 1983

  • January —France agrees to supply Iraq with five Dassault-Breguet “Super Étendard” strike fighters capable of firing the “Exocet” anti-ship missile. [1]

  • January 1 —Eastern Air Lines makes its first Boeing 757 revenue flight. [1]

  • January 2 —In the Iran-Iraq War, Iraqi Air Force aircraft in the Persian Gulf attack a convoy of merchant ships from the Iranian port of Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, setting fire to the Singaporean cargo ship Eastern and the Liberian cargo ship Orient Horizon, forcing them both to run aground. [1]

  • January 5 —United Airlines begins the first scheduled nonstop service between the continental United States and Maui. [1]

  • January 16 —The Turkish Airlines Boeing 727-2F2 “Afyon”, operating as Flight 158, lands short of the runway in driving snow at Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, Turkey. The plane breaks up and catches fire, killing 47 of the 67 people on board. [1]

  • January 18 —The Iraqi Air Force conducts a major raid against civilian and economic targets in Iran, claiming to have dispatched 66 sorties but actually sending more. The raid is made with inadequate fighter escort for attack aircraft and poor crew training in evading Iranian ground antiaircraft defenses, and some aircraft are lost due to insufficient maintenance or because they have been sent to targets that are too far away, causing them to run out of fuel on the way home. [1]

  • January 25-30 —The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force attacks civilian and economic targets in Iraq. [1]

  • January 30 —Sun Country Airlines begins operations. [1]

  • January 31 — Iran has lost 55 aircraft in combat since January 1, while Iraq has lost 80. [1]

  • January 31 —The Ayres “Turbo Thrush NEEDS” crop-duster plane officially joins the United States' “war on drugs”. [1]

February 1983

  • February 1 —Boeing announces it will stop producing Boeing 727 airliners. [1]

  • February 7 —The airfield at Sydenham, Belfast, reopens to commercial flights as the Belfast Harbour Airport. [1]

  • February 9 —British Airways begins Boeing 757 service. [1]

March 1983

  • March 4-5 —A Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin Il-62M “Classic” airliner strays off course and overflies important American buildings two days in a row. [1]

  • March 16 —A Boeing 767 lands at Boeing Field in the U.S. State of Washington, after a record breaking non-stop flight from Lisbon, Portugal. The 5,499 miles (8,850 km) flown non-stop constitute a record for twin-engine airliners. [1]

  • March 25 —As a consequence of the incidents on March 4 and March 5, the United States Government bans use of American airspace by Cubana de Aviación for 14 days. [1]

May 1983

  • May 5 —Eastern Air Lines Flight 855, a Lockheed L-1011 “TriStar” with 172 people on board, experiences the involuntary shutdown of all three engines in mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean during a flight from Miami International Airport to Nassau International Airport in the Bahamas. The pilot, Richard Boddy, barely avoids disaster when he is able to restart one engine and land safely at Miami International Airport. [1]

  • May 15 —Iraqi aircraft make a missile attack on the Panamanian oil tanker Pan Oceanic Sane, setting her on fire. Her crew abandons her in the channel at Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, Iran. [1]

  • May 25 —Iraqi aircraft attack the Panamanian platform supply vessel Seatrans-21 in the Persian Gulf, inflicting slight damage on her. [1]

  • May 26 —A Learjet 55 sets a world speed record in its class of 448 mph (722 km/h) over the 5,655 miles (9,101 km) between Los Angeles, California, and Paris - Le Bourget Airport, France. [1]

  • May 31 —A missile attack by Iraqi aircraft in the Persian Gulf near the Iranian port of Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni seriously damages the Indian bulk carrier Ati Priti. [1]

June 1993

  • June 1 —Singapore Airlines announces it has bought six Boeing 747s and four Boeing 757s, making it the first Asian airline to buy the 757. [1]

  • June 2 —Air Canada Flight 797, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, experiences an in-flight fire and makes an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky. When the plane's doors are opened on the ground, a fire flashover occurs, killing 23 and injuring 16 of the 46 people on board. The accident prompts the installation of smoke detectors and emergency lighting leading to exits aboard airliners, as well as increased fire fighting training and equipment for airline crews. [1]

  • June 11 —The first aircraft carrier designed as such to be built in Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi, is launched by Italcantieri at Monfalcone. [1]

  • June 24 —The Space Shuttle “Challenger” glides to a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, bringing the first American woman in space, astronaut Sally K. Ride, Back to Earth. [1]

  • June 27 —Ballooning record-setter Maxie Anderson and his co-pilot Don Ida die in a balloon accident near Bad Brückenau, West Germany, during the 1983 Gordon Bennett Cup balloon race. [1]

July 1983

  • July 1 — A North Korean Ilyushin Il-62M “Classic” en route Conakry Airport in Guinea crashes into the Fouta Djall Mountains in Guinea-Bissau, killing all 23 people on board. [1]

  • July 1 —Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz warns that Iraq will begin to attack economic targets in Iran if Iran does not halt such attacks on Iraq. [1]

  • July 7 —A standard production Learjet 55 sets six time-to-climb records. [1]

  • July 8 —General Dynamics rolls out the 1,000th General Dynamics F-16 “Fighting Falcon”. [1]

  • July 11 —The TAME Boeing 737-2V2 “Advanced Ciudad de Loja”, flying over a mountainous region in heavy fog with an unqualified flight crew, crashes into a mountain while on final approach to a landing at Mariscal Lamar Airport in Cuenca, Ecuador, killing all 119 people on board. It is TAME's first crash and remains its deadliest; the crash also remains the deadliest aviation accident in the history of Ecuador. [1]

  • July 15 —A bomb planted in a suitcase by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) explodes at the Turkish Airlines check-in counter at Paris-Orly Airport in Paris, France, killing eight people and injuring 55. [1]

  • July 16 —A British Airways Sikorsky S-61 helicopter crashes in thick fog in the southern Celtic Sea near St. Mary's in the Isles of Scilly, killing 20 of the 26 people on board in the deadliest civilian helicopter accident in the United Kingdom prior to 1986. [1]

  • July 22 —Dick Smith achieves the first solo circumnavigation of the globe in a helicopter. Smith makes the 56,742-kilometer (35,258 mi) journey in stages using a bell “Jetranger III” named “Australian Explorer”. [1]

  • July 23 —Air Canada Flight 143, a Boeing 767-200 with 69 people on board, runs out of fuel over Canada at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 m) during a flight from Ottawa, Ontario, to Edmonton, Alberta. Its flight crew glides the aircraft to a landing at Gimli, Manitoba. All on board survive, and only 10 suffer minor injuries. The aircraft involved returns to service and is nicknamed the “Gimli Glider”. [1]

August 1983

  • August 1 —America West Airlines begins flying, operating from Phoenix, Arizona. [1]

  • August 12 —Iraq declares a formal “exclusion zone” in the Persian Gulf in which ships are subject to attack by the Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Navy. [1]

  • August 15 —Iraq warns foreign merchant ships to keep clear of Iranian waters or risk attack. [1]

  • August 24 —A Canadair “Challenger 601” business jet arrives at London, England, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, setting a world non-stop distance record for a business jet of 4,364.2 miles (7,023.5 km). [1]

September 1983

  • September —Iraq takes delivery of five Dassault-Breguet “Super Étendard” strike fighters capable of firing the “Exocet” anti-ship missile in accordance with their January 1983 agreement. They will begin combat operations in March 1984. [1]

  • September 1 —Soviet National Air Defense Forces Sukhoi Su-15 “Flagon” fighters shoot down Korean Air Flight 007, a Boeing 7474-230B, killing all 269 people on board. According to investigators, the Korean Air plane had strayed off course and into Soviet airspace near Sakhalin Island, and the attacking Soviet pilots claim it had ignored warnings before they shot it down. [1]

  • September 23 —A bomb apparently planted by the Abu Nidal organization explodes in the baggage compartment of Gulf Air Flight 771, a Boeing 737-200. The airliner crashes near Mina Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, killing all 112 people on board. [1]

October 1983

  • October 2 —During an Iranian offensive, Iraq apparently experiments with the use of Mil Mi-8 “Hip” helicopters and Soviet-made attack aircraft to drop mustard gas. [1]

  • October 18 —Pan American World Airways and American Airlines announce they will trade aircraft; Pan Am will send 15 McDonnell Douglas DC-10s to American in exchange for eight Boeing 747s. It is the first time in history two airlines agree to a swap. [1]

  • October 25 —Iraq again apparently experiments with the dropping of mustard gas on Iranian forces by Mil Mi-8 “Hip” helicopters and attack aircraft. [1]

  • October 26 —Pan American World Airways celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first Boeing 707 flight with a 707 flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, New York, to Paris, France. [1]

  • October 31 —Iraqi aircraft make a missile attack against a convoy of merchant ships escorted by Islamic Republic of Iran Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf near the Iranian port of Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, causing a fire aboard the Greek cargo ship Avra. [1]

November 1983

  • November 8 —A TAAG Angola Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashes just after take off from Lubango Airport in Lubango, Angola, killing all 130 people on board. Angolan authorities identify technical failure as the cause, but the UNITA guerrilla group claims to have shot down the airliner with a surface-to-air missile. [1]

  • November 9-11 —During the last three days of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Able Archer 83 command post exercise, the Soviet Union places its forces on alert - including Sukhoi Su-24 “Fencer” bombers of the Soviet Air Force's 4th Air Army at cockpit readiness - out of fear that NATO is about to attack the Warsaw Pact. It is the closest that the world comes to the outbreak of a nuclear war between the Cuban Missile Crisis on 1962 and the end of the Cold War in 1991. [1]

  • November 18-19 —Seven young Georgians hijack Aeroflot Flight 6833, a Tupolev Tu-134A “Crusty” with 57 people on board, in an attempt to force it to fly them to Turkey. The aircraft's pilot and co-pilot refuse to meet their demands and use sharp maneuvers to spoil the hijackers' aim and force them out of the cockpit, and several people are injured in a clash between the hijackers and the other people on the plane. The plane circles, then lands at Tbilisi in the Soviet Union, where on the next day the KGB's counter-terrorist Spetsnaz Alpha Group storms it, killing three crew members, two passengers, and three hijackers. [1]

  • November 21 —Iraqi aircraft make a missile attack against a convoy of merchant ships escorted by Islamic Republic of Iran Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf near the Iranian port of Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, sinking the 13,000-gross-ton Greek bulk carrier Antigoni. [1]

  • November 27 —Avianca Flight 011, a Boeing 747-283B, crashes into a hill while descending for a landing at Madrid, Spain, killing 181 of the 192 people on board. [1]

December 1983

  • December 4 —In reprisal for an attack on United States military bases in Beirut, Lebanon, 28 United States Navy Grumman A-6 “Intruders” attack suspected terrorist bases in Libya. [1]

  • December 8 —Iraqi aircraft make a missile attack in the Persian Gulf, damaging the 16,000-gross-ton Greek bulk carrier Iapetos near the Iranian port of Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni. The crew of Iapetos abandons her, but she later is repaired. [1]

  • December 9 —Delta Air Lines receives the 1,000th production Boeing 737 at Boeing's headquarters. [1]

  • December 20 —Ozark Air Lines Flight 650, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, strikes on snow plow on the runway while landing during a snowstorm at Sioux Falls Regional Airport at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The collision rips off the airliner's right wing and starts a fire, causing a fireball to engulf the snow plow, killing its driver. No one aboard the airliner dies, although two flight attendants suffer minor injuries during the emergency evacuation of the aircraft. [1]

1983 Aircraft First Flights

  • January 25 —Saab 340 (SE-ISF). [1]

  • April 9 —Piper PA-48 “Enforcer”. [1]

  • April 25 —Dornier Do.24TT (D-CATD). [1]

  • June —HALSOL (“High-Altitude Solar”) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype. [1]

  • June 17 —Robin ATL. [1]

  • June 20 —de Havilland Canada “Dash 8” (C-GDNK). [1]

  • July 27 —Embraer EMB 120 “Brasilia” (PT-ZBA). [1]

  • August 23 —Boeing “Skyfox”. [1]

  • August 29 —Beech Model 115 “Starship”. [1]

  • September 11 —Agusta A129 “Mangusta” (MM590). [1]

  • October 6 —Bell OH-58D “Kiowa” (Bell Model 406). [1]

  • November 11 —CASA CN-235. [1]

1983 Aircraft Entering Service

  • January 1 —Boeing 757 with Eastern Air Lines. [1]

  • April —Airbus 310 with Lufthansa and Swissair. [1]

  • May 10 —Westland 30 with Airspur Helicopters. [1]

  • November —McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A (single-seat) and F/A-18B (two-seat) “Hornets” with United States Navy. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1983 in Aviation

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