1997 Master Index 1999

1998 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1998 Events

  • 1998 — Cirrus Aircraft successfully flight-tests the CAPS ballistic emergency aircraft parachute. [1]

  • 1998 — Adam Aircraft Industries founded. [1]

  • 1998 — Eclipse Aviation founded. [1]

January 1998

  • January 4 — A passenger aboard Olympic Airways Flight 417, a Boeing 747 flying from Athens, Greece, to New York, New York, dies after exposure to secondhand smoke during the flight. The incident highlights a health danger of smoking aboard airliners and results in a USD $1.4 million court judgment against Olympic Airways. [1]

  • January 13 — An Ariana Afghan Airlines Antonov An-12 “Cub” crashed near Tor Kach, Pakistan after it ran out of fuel in poor weather. All 51 people on board died. [1]

  • January 27 — A Myanma Airways Fokker F27 “Friendship” crashed while taking off from Yangon, Myanmar killing 16 of the 45 people on board. [1]

February 1998

  • February 2 — Cebu Pacific Flight 387 crashes into a mountain near Pagalungan in the Philippines. All of the 104 passengers and crew members are killed. [1]

  • February 3 — A USMC Northrop-Grumman EA-6B “Prowler” electronic warfare aircraft of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) (VMAQ-2) strikes a cable supporting the aerial tramway at Cavalese, Italy, causing one of the tramway's cars to plunge over 80 meters (262 feet) to the ground, killing all 20 people in the car. The Northrop-Grumman EA-6B “Prowler” lands safely. [1]

  • February 16 — China Airlines Flight 676, an Airbus A300-60DR, crashes into a residential area while attempting to land in Taipei, Taiwan. All 196 people on board are killed, in addition to seven more on the ground. Among the dead is the president of Taiwan's central bank president, Sheu Yuan-dong. [1]

March 1998

  • March 19 — An Ariana Afghan Airlines Boeing 727 hits a mountain near Charasyab, Afghanistan while descending to land. All 45 on board die. [1]

  • March 22 — Philippine Airlines Flight 137, an Airbus A320-214 with 127 people on board, overshoots the end of the runway while landing at Bacolod City Domestic Airport in Bacolod City in the Philippines, plowing through several houses. All on board the airliner survive, but three people on the ground die; 89 people are injured in the accident. [1]

April 1998

  • April 20 — Air France Flight 422, a Boeing 727, crashes into a mountain near Bogotá, Colombia, in foggy weather shortly after takeoff from El Dorado International Airport, killing all 53 people on board. [1]

May 1998

  • May 25 — Three armed men belonging to the Baloch Students Organization hijack Pakistan International Airlines Flight 544, a Fokker F27 “Friendship” with 35 other people on board, just after takeoff from Gwadar International Airport in Gwadar, Pakistan, and attempt to force it to fly to New Delhi, India, but Pakistan Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcons” force the airliner to land at Hyderabad Airport in Hyderabad, Pakistan. After seven hours, Pakistani Army commandos storm the plane early on May 26 and arrest the hijackers without injury to anyone. [1]

  • May 26 — An MIAT Mongolian Airlines Antonov An-24 “Coke” crashes into a mountain near Erdenet, Mongolia. All 28 people on board die. [1]

June 1998

  • June 1 — “MetroJet”, operated by US Airways, began operations. [1]

July 1998

  • July 1 — JAL Express, operated by Japan Airlines, commenced operations. [1]

  • July 6 — Hong Kong's Kai Tak Airport was closed at 1:28 am with the lights of its 13/31 runway being switched off. Operation of the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok commenced on the same day, with the first commercial flight landing at 6:25 am. [1]

August 1998

  • August 6 — The NASA “Pathfinder-Plus” unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sets a national altitude record for both solar-powered and propeller-driven aircraft, reaching 80,201 feet (24,445 meters) during a flight from the United States Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. [1]

  • August 21 — An Insitu Aerosonde named “Laima” becomes the first UAV to cross the Atlantic Ocean, completing the flight in 26 hours. [1]

  • August 21 — A Lumbini Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-6 “Twin Otter” crashes in a mountainous region near Ghorepani, Nepal. All of the 18 people on board are killed. [1]

  • August 24 — Myanma Airways Flight 635, a Fokker F27 “Friendship”, crashes in Manibagi, Myanmar, during poor weather while on approach to Tachilek Airport in Tachilek, Myanmar (Burma), killing all 36 people on board. It has been reported that there may have been survivors that were tortured to death by local villagers that thought the aircraft carried military personnel. [1]

  • August 29 — A Cubana de Aviación Tupolev Tu-154 “Careless” crashes during takeoff into buildings in Quito, Ecuador. Seventy-five of the 90 people on board die, as do 10 people on the ground. [1]

September 1998

  • September 2 — Swissair Flight 111, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, crashes into the sea near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, due to smoke in the cockpit caused by insulation burning in the shell. All 229 people on board perish. [1]

  • September 2 — UNITA rebels shoot down a Permaviatrans Antonov An-26 “Curl” over Angola. All 24 people on board die. [1]

  • September 25 — A Paukn Air BAe 146 crashes near Nador, Morocco, killing all 38 people on board. [1]

  • September 29 — Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels shoot down a Lion Air Antonov An-2 “Colt”. It crashes into the sea off Mannar, Sri Lanka, killing all 55 people on board. [1]

October 1998

  • October 1 — United States Navy Boeing E-6 “Mercury” TACAMO aircraft replace USAF Boeing EC-135C aircraft in carrying out “Operation Looking Glass” for United States Strategic Command. [1]

  • October 10 — A “Strela 2” (NATO reporting name SA-7 “Grail”) surface-to-air missile fired by rebel forces strikes a Lignes Aériennes Congolaises Boeing 727-100 three minutes after the airliner takes off from Kindu Airport in Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. While the flight crew is attempting to return to the airport for an emergency landing, the airliner crashes in dense jungle, killing all 41 people on board. [1]

November 1998

  • November 13 — U.S. President Bill Clinton orders air attacks against Iraq because of an Iraqi refusal to allow United Nations weapons inspectors to work in Iraq. [1]

  • November 14 — Clinton rescinds his order for air attacks on Iraq after Iraq agrees to allow United Nations weapons inspectors to resume their work. The aircraft are already in the air, but abort their attacks. [1]

December 1998

  • December 10 — Captain Michael VandenBos of the Canadian Snowbirds aerobatic team dies in a midair collision between two Canadair CT-114 “Tutors” during training near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. [1]

  • December 11 — Thai Airways International Flight 261, an Airbus A310-300, crashes on its third attempt to land at Surat Thani Airport near Surat Thani, Thailand, in heavy rain, killing 101 of the 146 people on board and leaving all 45 survivors injured. [1]

  • December 15 — France suspends its participation in the “Operation Southern Watch” no-fly zone over southern Iraq, arguing that it had been maintained for too long and was ineffective. [1]

  • December 16 — Citing Iraq's failure to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, U.S. President Bill Clinton orders “Operation Desert Fox”, a four-day air campaign against targets all over Iraq. The operation begins an increased level of combat in the “Operation Southern Watch” no-fly zone which will lasted until the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. [1]

  • December 30 — Iraqi 2K12 “Kub” (NATO reporting name Grumman A-6 “Gainful”) surface-to-air missile sites fire at American aircraft. USAF Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcons” bomb the sites in response.

1998 Aircraft First Flights

  • January — AEA “Explorer”. [1]

  • February 28 — Ryan (now Northrop Grumman) RQ-4 “Global Hawk”. [1]

  • March 6 — Bell “Eagle Eye” scaled prototype tiltrotor UAV. [1]

  • March 12 — X-38 Crew Return Vehicle atmospheric test prototype. [1]

  • July 26 — Scaled Composites “Proteus”. [1]

  • November 10 — NASA “Centurion” (full-scale version). [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1998 in Aviation

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