2000 Master Index 2002

2001 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

January 2001

  • January 23 — An unemployed Iraqi man uses a pen gun to hijack Yemenia Flight 448, a Boeing 727-2N8 with 100 other people on board flying from Sana'a International Airport in Sana'a, Yemen, to Taiz-Al Janad Airport in Ta'izz, Yemen, and attempts to force it to fly to Baghdad, Iraq, where he hopes to find work. The flight crew makes an emergency landing at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti and overpowers the hijacker. The only injury is to the flight engineer, who is grazed by a bullet. [1]

  • January 27 — A Beechcraft “Super King Air 200” serving as the team plane of the Oklahoma State University men's basketball team crashes near Strasburg, Colorado, during a snowstorm, killing all 10 people on board. Killed are two players, seven members of the media, and the pilot. [1]

  • January 31 — Two Japan Air Lines airliners - a Boeing 747-446 operating as Flight 907 and a Douglas DC-10-40D operating as Flight 958 nearly collide over Suruga Bay, Japan, passing within 100 meters (328 feet) of one another. Aboard the 747, 100 people are injured when the aircraft takes violent evasive action. Had the two planes, with a combined 677 people on board, collided, it would have been the worst aviation disaster in history. [1]

February 2001

  • February 16 — American and British aircraft launch attacks against six targets in southern Iraq, including command centers, radars, and communications centers, hitting only about 40% of the targets. Incidents of planes enforcing the no-fly zone over southern Iraq in “Operation Southern Watch” thereafter exchange fire with Iraqi air defense sites on a weekly basis. [1]

March 2001

  • March 3 — An explosion in the center wing fuel tank destroys Thai Airways International Flight 114, a Boeing 737-4D7, on the ground while it is preboarding at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. One person, a flight attendant, is killed. [1]

  • March 19 — Comair Flight 5054, an Embraer EMB.120 “Brasilia”, experiences severe atmospheric icing in flight near West Palm Beach, Florida. After a rapid loss of altitude, the crew regains control of the aircraft and makes an emergency landing at West Palm Beach Airport without injury to any of the 27 people on board. The plane suffers permanent deformation of its stabilizer and elevator. [1]

  • March 21 — During a single flight, an Northrop-Grumman RQ-4 “Global Hawk” unmanned surveillance aircraft flying from Edwards Air Force Base in California sets both a world endurance record for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of 30 hours, 24 minutes, 1 second, and a world absolute altitude record for UAVs of 19,928 meters (65,381 feet). [1]

  • March 29 — An Avjet charter flight, a Gulfstream Aerospace “Gulfstream III” jet with 15 passengers and three crew members, crashes on approach into Aspen, Colorado, killing all on board. [1]

April 2001

  • April 1 — Two Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Shenyang J-8II “FinBack” fighters intercept a United States Navy Lockheed EP-3E ”ARIES II” signals intelligence aircraft over the South China Sea, and one of the Chinese pilots dies when his fighter collides with the Lockheed EP-3E ”ARIES II” and breaks up. The damaged Lockheed EP-3E ”ARIES II” makes an emergency landing without permission at Lingshui airfield on China's Hainan Island, where the Chinese take its 24-person crew prisoner. The Chinese will release the Lockheed EP-3E ”ARIES II” crew on April 11, and will return the Lockheed EP-3E ”ARIES II” itself to the United States in a disassembled state on July 3. [1]

  • April 24 — An unmanned surveillance aircraft flies automatically from Edwards Air Force Base, California, in the United States to Royal Australian Air Force Base Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Australia, non-stop and unrefuelled, becoming the first pilotless aircraft to cross the Pacific Ocean. At 13,219.86 km (8,214.44 miles), it is the longest point-to-point flight ever undertaken by an unmanned aircraft, and takes 23 hours and 23 minutes. [1]

June 2001

  • June 12 — Jetsgo, a Canadian airline, commences operations. [1]

July 2001

  • July 1 — Singapore Airlines Cargo, operated by Singapore Airlines, begins operations. [1]

August 2001

  • August 4 — American Trans Air becomes the North American launch customer for the Boeing 757-300. [1]

  • August 13 — On a single flight, the NASA “Helios” Prototype sets the absolute world record for altitude by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the world record for altitude for sustained flight by a winged aircraft, reaching 29,524 meters (96,863 feet). It spends 40 minutes flying above 96,000 feet (26,291 meters). [1]

  • August 24 — Air Transat Flight 236, an Airbus A330-243 flying from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Lisbon, Portugal, with 306 people on board, runs out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean due to a fuel leak in the No. 2 engine. The aircraft performs the world's longest recorded glide by a jet airliner, covering 65 nautical miles (75 statute miles; 120 km) without power to an emergency landing at Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Eighteen people are injured - two seriously - while evacuating the aircraft, but there are no fatalities. [1]

  • August 25 — An overloaded Cessna 402B “Utiliner/Businessliner” (N8097W), crashes immediately after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport in the Abaco Islands in The Bahamas, killing all nine people on board, including the American recording artist, dancer, actress, and model Aaliyah. [1]

September 2001

  • September 11 — Al-Qaeda members hijack four airliners, two of American Airlines and two of United Airlines, and crash them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Pennsylvania in the September 11 terrorist attacks, killing more than 3,000 people. The four flights are American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767-223ER with five hijackers and 87 other people on board which hits the North Tower of the World Trade Center; United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767-222 with five hijackers and 60 other people on board which almost collides in mid-air with Delta Air Lines Flight 2315 and hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center; American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757-223 with five hijackers and 59 other people on board which hits the Pentagon; and United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757-222 with four hijackers and 40 other people on board which was to hit the United States Capitol or White House, but is taken over by the passengers and crashes in a rural area in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In addition to the death of all 19 hijackers and all 246 other people aboard the planes, about 2,500 people in the World Trade Center and 125 people in the Pentagon die. [1]

  • September 24 — US Airways decides to terminate all “MetroJet” flights. [1]

October 2001

  • October 4 — Siberia Airlines Flight 1812, a Tupolev Tu-154 “Careless”, explodes in mid-air and crashes into the Black Sea. All 78 people on board die. [1]

  • October 7 — The War in Afghanistan begins with strikes by American military aircraft against targets in Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad as, in response to the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, the United States launches “Operation Enduring Freedom” with a goal of dismantling al-Qaeda and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base by deposing the Taliban regime there. [1]

  • October 8 — Scandinavian Airlines Flight 686, a McDonnell Douglas MD-87, collides with a Cessna “Citation CJ2” business jet while taking off on a fog-shrouded runway from Linate Airport in Milan, Italy, for a flight to Copenhagen, Denmark; the airliner then crashes into a nearby hangar and catches fire. All six crew members and 104 passengers on the airliner are killed, as are the four occupants of the Cessna and four airport workers on the ground. [1]

  • October 31 — Air Canada Jetz, operated by Air Canada, commences operations. [1]

November 2001

  • November — BMI begins transatlantic flights from Manchester in the United Kingdom after a failed attempt to start transatlantic flights from London Heathrow Airport. [1]

  • November — British Airways aborts a plan to take over KLM due to technical issues in the “Treaty on Open Skies” between the United States and the Netherlands. [1]

  • November — British Airways drops its controversial ethnic tail fins, which it had first adopted in 1997. It had initially slowed the process of adopting the tail fins in 1999; finally Chief Executive Rod Eddington decides that all aircraft will be painted with the new Union Flag livery, which had been one of the “ethnic” designs. [1]

  • November 12 — New York City suffers its second plane disaster in as many months when American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300-600, crashes in Queens, New York, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport due to mechanical failure, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground. [1]

  • November 14 — An American airstrike south of Kabul, Afghanistan, kills senior al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef, among others. [1]

December 2001

  • December 1 — Trans World Airlines merges into American Airlines. [1]

  • December 22 — Aboard American Airlines Flight 63 - a Boeing 767 halfway across the Atlantic Ocean during a flight from Paris, France, to Miami, Florida, with 197 people on board - Richard Reid unsuccessfully attempts to detonate a bomb hidden in his shoe. He is subdued by passengers and the airliner, escorted by USAF fighters, diverts to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is arrested. [1]

  • December 28 — USA3000 Airlines begins operations. [1]

2001 Aircraft First Flights

  • January 4 — The HAL Light Combat Aircraft's (LCA's) first technology demonstrator, TD-1. [1]

  • February 2 — Prototype General Atomics RQ-1 “Predator B”, later redesignated MQ-9 “Reaper”. [1]

  • July 21 — XCOR “EZ-Rocket”, flown by Dick Rutan. [1]

  • July 27 — Sukhoi Su-38. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 2001 in Aviation

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