1998 Master Index 2000

1999 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

January 1999

  • January 5 — In two separate incidents, four Iraqi Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 “Foxbats” violate the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. Two USAF Boeing F-15 “Eagles” and two United States Navy Northrop Grumman F-14 “Tomcat” participating in “Operation Southern Watch” fire a total of six air-to-air missiles at the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 “Foxbats” but score no hits. [1]

  • January 12 — Five Iraqi Air Force jets violate the no-fly zone over southern Iraq and two others violate the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. The United States claims that Iraqi aircraft have violated the two no-fly zones a total of 70 times since “Operation Desert Fox” took place in mid-December 1998. [1]

February 1999

  • February 16 — A “Gulfstream II” carrying film director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, Men in Black II, and Wild, Wild West), slides off a runway at Van Nuys, California. Sonnenfeld is uninjured. [1]

  • February 24 — China Southwest Airlines Flight 4509, a Tupolev Tu-154 “Careless”, crashes into a field in Ruian, China, while descending to land at Wenzhou Airport in Wenzhou. All 61 passengers and crew members are killed. [1]

March 1999

  • March 1 — The hot-air balloon Breitling Orbiter 3, with pilots Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, begins the first non-stop, round-the-world balloon flight. They will complete the flight on March 19, setting a new distance record for any type of aircraft of 40,804 kilometers (25,360 miles). [1]

  • March 24-25 (overnight) — At dusk, Boeing F/A-18 “Hornet” of the Spanish Air Force are the first NATO planes to bomb Belgrade and perform suppression of enemy air defenses operations as NATO begins Operation Allied Force, a bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War involving 1,000 aircraft operating from air bases in Italy and Germany and from the USN aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) in the Adriatic Sea. [1]

  • March 25 — Five Yugoslav Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum” fighters get airborne to oppose the NATO attack. USAF fighters - one of them an Boeing F-15C “Eagle” - shoots down two of them, and a Royal Netherlands Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16AM “Fighting Falcon” damages a third Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum”, which never flies again. Yugoslav air defense forces mistakenly shoot down a Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum” with a 2K12 “Kub” (NATO reporting name “Gainful”) surface-to-air missile in a friendly fire incident, and only one of the Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum”s returns to base safely. [1]

  • March 25 &mdash During a low-level attack on Kosovo Liberation Army positions in Kosovo, a Yugoslav Soko J-22 “Orao” crashes into a hill, killing its pilot. Yugoslavia also loses a Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum” destroyed in a landing accident at Ponikve Airbase. [1]

  • March 25 — Two USAF Boeing F-15 “Eagles” intercept two Yugoslav Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrums”; one of the Boeing F-15 “Eagles” shoots down both Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrums”. [1]

  • March 27 — After Yugoslav air defense operators find that they can detect USAF Lockheed F-117A “Nighthawk” stealth attack aircraft using supposedly obsolete Soviet-made radars operating on long wavelengths, the 3rd Battalion of the Yugoslav 250th Missile Brigade shoots down an Lockheed F-117A “Nighthawk”with an S-125 Neva/Pechora (NATO reporting name “SA-3 Goa”) surface-to-air missile; its pilot ejects and is rescued by search-and-rescue forces near Belgrade. It is the first, and so far the only, time a stealth aircraft has been shot down. [1]

  • March 29 — The Number Two Northrop Grumman RQ-4 “Global Hawk” prototype crashes at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. [1]

April 1999

  • April 7 — Flying in bad weather, the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-4Q8 “Trakya”, operating as Flight 5904, a repositioning flight with no passengers aboard, crashes near Hamdilli in the Ceyhan district of Adana Province, Turkey, killing the entire crew of six. [1]

May 1999

  • May 2 &mdash The 3rd Battalion of the Yugoslav 250th Missile Brigade shoots down a USAF Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcon” near Šabac, Yugoslavia, with an S-125 Neva/Pechora (NATO reporting name “SA-3 Goa”) surface-to-air missile. Its pilot is rescued. [1]

  • May 2 — A Yugoslav “Strela 2” (NATO reporting name SA-7 “Grail”) shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile heavily damages a USAF Fairchild A-10 “Thunderbolt II” over Kosovo, forcing it to make an emergency landing at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport in Skopje, Macedonia. [1]

  • May 4 — Two USAF Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcons” shoot down a Yugoslav Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum” at low altitude over Valjevo, Yugoslavia. [1]

  • May 7-8 (overnight) — USAF Northrop-Grumman B-2A “Spirit” bombers of the 509th Bomb Wing flying directly from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, attempt to bomb a Yugoslav warehouse in the Belgrade district of Novi Beograd with JDAM bombs but, because the Central Intelligence Agency has provided incorrect coordinates, instead hit the nearby embassy of the People's Republic of China with five JDAMs, killing three Chinese journalists and injuring 20 people. The United States apologizes for the attack, which outrages China. [1]

June 1999

  • June 1 — American Airlines Flight 1420, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-82 (N215AA) overruns the runway upon landing in Little Rock, Arkansas, and crashes, killing 11 and injuring 110. [1]

  • June 10 — “Operation Allied Force ”, the NATO bombing campaign in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War, comes to an end after 78 days. NATO aircraft have flown over 38,000 sorties without the loss of any of personnel to enemy action. [1]

July 1999

  • July 16 — A Piper “Saratoga ” piloted by John F. Kennedy, Jr. - the son of President John F. Kennedy - crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, killing all three people on board: Kennedy, his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette. [1]

  • July 23 — Wielding a knife, passenger Yuji Nishizawa hijacks All Nippon Airways Flight 61, a Boeing 747. After he fatally stabs the captain, he is overpowered by the crew and the co-pilot lands the plane safely at Haneda, Japan. [1]

August 1999

  • August 7 — TACV Flight 5002, a Dornier Do.228 chartered from the Cape Verde Coast Guard, crashes into a cliff on Santo Antão, Cape Verde, during poor weather. All 18 people on board die. [1]

  • August 10 — Two Indian Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 “Fishbed” fighters shoot down a Pakistan Naval Air Arm Breguet “Atlantique” maritime patrol aircraft, killing all 16 men aboard the Breguet “Atlantique. ” The Breguet “Atlantique” crashes in the Great Rann of Kutch inside Pakistan, although India claims it had violated Indian airspace. [1]

  • August 22 — Mandarin Airlines Flight 642, an McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, crashes on landing at Hong Kong during Tropical Storm Sam. Of the 315 people on board, three die and 208 are injured, 44 of them seriously. [1]

  • August 24 — Aboard a Uni Air McDonnell-Douglas DC-9 over Hualien, Taiwan, a fire starts in an overhead luggage compartment after fumes from a bottle of household cleaner accidentally ignite. One person dies. [1]

  • August 31 — A LAPA Boeing 737 overshoots the runway in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and crashes into a golf course. Of the 103 people on board, 64 are killed, as are 10 people on the ground. [1]

September 1999

  • September 4-12 — The 11th FAI World Rally Flying Championship takes place in Ravenna, Italy. Individual winners are: 1st, Krzysztof Wieczorek and Waclaw Wieczorek (Poland); 2nd, Janusz Darocha and Zbigniew Chrzaszcz (Poland); 3rd, Nigel Hopkins and Dale de Klerk (South Africa). Team winners are: 1st, Poland; 2nd, Czech Republic; 3rd, France. [1]

  • September 14 — Britannia Airways Flight 226A, a chartered Boeing 757-204 with 245 people on board, crashes on landing at Girona-Costa Brava Airport in Girona, Spain, killing one person and injuring 43, two of them seriously. [1]

  • September 23 — Qantas Flight 1, a Boeing 747, overshoots the runway upon landing in Bangkok, Thailand. None of the 410 people on board are seriously injured. [1]

October 1999

  • October 11 — Chris Phatswe, a disgruntled and suicidal Air Botswana pilot, commandeers an empty ATR-42 airliner belonging to the airline and circles Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana, for two hours before crashing his plane into the airline's other two ATR-42s, which are parked on the ground, killing himself and destroying all three airliners. The incident destroys three of Air Botswana's four planes and leaves it with no operational aircraft. [1]

  • October 25 — A Learjet 35 loses cabin pressure in flight, incapacitating everyone on board. It flies for almost four more hours, covering almost 1,500 miles (2,415 km), on autopilot before crashing due to fuel exhaustion near Aberdeen, South Dakota. All six people on board die, including professional golfer and 1999 U.S. Open winner Payne Stewart and golf course architect Bruce Borland. [1]

  • October 31 — The co-pilot of EgyptAir Flight 990, a Boeing 767 on its way Cairo, Egypt, deliberately crashes the airliner into the Atlantic Ocean off Nantucket, Massachusetts, as a way of committing suicide. All 217 people on board die. [1]

November 1999

  • November 9 — TAESA Flight 725, a McDonnell-Douglas DC-9, crashes near Uruapan, Mexico killing all 18 on board. [1]

  • November 13 — The longest missing-aircraft search in New Hampshire's history ends after almost three years when the wreckage of an Aircraft Charter Group, Inc., Learjet 35A that had disappeared in fog and rain near Dorchester, New Hampshire, on December 24, 1996, finally is found near Smarts Mountain in Grafton County, New Hampshire, about 20 miles (32 km) from where it took off at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Its two-person crew had died in the 1996 crash. [1]

December 1999

  • December 7 — Asian Spirit Flight 100, a Let L-410 “Turbolet”, crashes into a mountainside between the municipalities of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, and Cabarroguis, Quirino in the Philippines, killing all 17 people on board. The wreckage is not found until the next day. [1]

  • December 11 — A SATA International British Aerospace APT crashes on São Jorge Island in the Azores. All 35 people on board die. [1]

  • December 14 — The United States Border Patrol arrests the would-be “Millennium Bomber,” Ahmed Ressam, when he arrives from Canada by ferry at Port Angeles, Washington, with timing devices and 130 pounds (59 kg) of explosives in his car. He had planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, on the upcoming New Year's Eve. [1]

  • December 21 — Cubana de Aviación Flight 1216, a McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, overshoots the runway in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and crashes into homes, killing 16 of the 314 people on board and two people in the homes. [1]

  • December 22 — Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509, a Boeing 747-2B5F cargo aircraft, crashes into Hatfield Forest near Great Hallingbury, England, shortly after takeoff from London Stansted Airport, killing its entire crew of four. [1]

  • December 24 — Five gunmen hijack Indian Airlines Flight 814, an Airbus A300 with 188 other people on board, over India during a flight from Kathmandu, Nepal, to Delhi, India. The plane lands at Amritsar, India, to refuel, but takes off again without refueling before security forces can immobilize it. It then refuels at Lahore, Pakistan, and flies on to Dubai, where the hijackers release a mortally wounded man they had stabbed and 27 other passengers. The hijackers then force the plane to fly to Kandahar International Airport in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where, after several days of negotiations, they release all the remaining hostages on December 31 in exchange for the release of three senior Islamic fighters held by India. [1]

  • December 25 — Cubana de Aviación Flight 310, a Yakovlev Yak-42 “Clobber”, crashes into a mountain near Bejuma, Venezuela, killing all 22 people on board. [1]

  • December 31 — Fear of the Y2K computer bug and possible in-flight consequences for those planes flying during the night of December 31, 1999, and the early morning of January 1, 2000, spreads around the airline industry. [1]

1999 Aircraft First Flights

  • February 8 — Tupolev Tu-334. [1]

  • March 1 — Hot air balloon “Breitling Orbiter 3”, with pilots Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, begins the first non-stop, round the world balloon flight. This sets a new distance record for any type of aircraft of 40,804 kilometers (25,360 miles). [1]

  • July 28 — Rotary Rocket “Roton” ATV. [1]

  • September 8 — NASA “Helios” Prototype. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1999 in Aviation

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