2011 Master Index 2013

2012 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

January 2012

  • 7 January — A hot air balloon on a scenic flight disintegrates and crashes just north of Carterton, New Zealand, killing all 11 people on board. It is the second-deadliest balloon accident in history, the deadliest aviation accident in mainland New Zealand since July 1963, and the deadliest accident involving a New Zealand aircraft since November 1979. [1]

  • 7 January — In the Syrian Civil War, Colonel Afeef Mahmoud Suleima of the Syrian Army's aviation logistics division defects along with at least 50 of his men, ordering his men to protect protesters in the Syrian city of Hama from government forces. [1]

  • 14 January — After the completion of a seven-year restoration project, the only flyable - Lockheed “Super Constellation” at the time, a retired 57-year-old ex USAF Lockheed EC-121 “Warning Star” airborne early warning radar surveillance aircraft, makes a 90-minute flight from Camarillo, California, to Chino, California, to go on display at the Yanks Air Museum in Chino. [1]

February 2012

  • 4 February — Australian filmmaker Andrew Wight is at the controls of his private Robinson R44 helicopter with American filmmaker Mike deGruy as a passenger for a flight to scout filming locations when the helicopter crashes on takeoff and burns at Jaspers Brush near Berry in New South Wales, Australia. Both men are killed. [1]

  • 5 February — MatlinPatterson, the private equity firm in control of World Airways and North American Airlines, takes its Global Aviation Holdings subsidiary carriers into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization less than four years after shuttering fellow subsidiary carriers ATA Airlines and Arrow Air. [1]

  • 12 February — A Katanga Express “Gulfstream IV” crashes while landing at Kavumu Airport at Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing four of the seven people on board and two people on the ground and prompting the Congolese government to suspend Katanga Express's license. [1]

March 2012

  • 2 March — The last departure of an official Continental Airlines flight takes place at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time as Continental Flight 1267 departs Phoenix, Arizona, bound for Cleveland, Ohio. On 3 March, Continental Airlines disappears into United Airlines, completing the two airlines' 2010 merger. Continental had operated since 1934. [1]

  • 6 March — Turkish Airlines begins twice-a-week service from Istanbul, Turkey, via Khartoum, Sudan, to Mogadishu, Somalia, becoming the first major airline from outside East Africa to offer passenger service to Mogadishu in over 20 years. Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Bekir Bozdag is aboard the first flight. [1]

  • 15 March — A Royal Norwegian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J “Super Hercules” crashes into Mount Kebnekaise, killing all five people on board and triggering an avalanche. [1]

  • 23 March — A Syrian Army attack helicopter pilot ordered to kill anti-regime protesters instead fires all of his ammunition at a government military building in Aleppo and then defects, flying his helicopter to Turkey. [1]

  • 27 March — Aboard JetBlue Airways Flight 191, an Airbus A320-200 flying from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, New York, to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, the copilot locks Captain Clayton Osbon out of the cockpit after Osbon begins acting erratically, apparently suffering from a panic attack. Passengers subdue Osbon, and the airliner diverts to Amarillo, Texas, where Osbon is arrested. [1]

April 2012

  • 2 April — UTair Flight 120, a twin-engine UTair Aviation ATR-72-201, crashes in western Siberia near the city of Tyumen shortly after takeoff from Roschino International Airport, killing 31 of the 43 people on board and critically injuring all 12 survivors. [1]

  • 4 April — An inexperienced military contractor operating an unarmed USAF General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper” unmanned aerial vehicle by remote control mistakenly makes the General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper” take off without permission from Seychelles International Airport on Mahé in the Seychelles, accidentally commands the General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper's” engine to shut down a minute later without realizing it, then forgets to put down the landing gear as he attempts an emergency landing at the airport. The General Atomics M
    Q-9 “Reaper” bounces on the runway and crashes into the Indian Ocean along the edge of the airport six minutes after takeoff. [1]

  • 17 April — A Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, accompanied by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Northrop T-38A “Talon” chase plane, carries the retired Space Shuttle “Discovery” from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, where “Discovery” is slated to replace the Space Shuttle “Enterprise” on display at the Smithsonian Institution's nearby Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a part of the National Air and Space Museum. The delivery flight includes low-level passes over the Cape Canaveral area as well as flybys at an altitude of 1,500 feet (460 meters) over Washington, D.C.-area landmarks. [1]

  • 19 April — Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarcic returns to Slovenia, completing a 62,000-mile (99,839-km) round-the-world flight in a Pipistrel “Virus SW914” ultralight aircraft, claiming to be the first person to circle the world in an ultralight without a copilot. The flight, sponsored as the “GreenLight World Flight,” had begun from Slovenia on 8 January 2012 and had included passing Mount Everest at an altitude of 29,344 feet (8,944 meters), some 300 feet (91 meters) above the mountain's peak. [1]

  • 20 April — Bhoja Air Flight 213, a Boeing 737-236, crashes in bad weather on approach to Benazir Bhutto International Airport at Islamabad, Pakistan, killing all 127 people on board. [1]

  • 26 April — A Kamov Ka-26 “Hoodlum” helicopter crashes in Tulcea County, Romania, killing all five Ukrainians on board. [1]

  • 27 April — A Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, accompanied by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Northrop T-38A “Talon” chase plane, carries the Space Shuttle “Enterprise” from Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, making low-level flybys of New York City-area and Long Island landmarks. “Enterprise”, replaced by the Space Shuttle “Discovery” at the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, is to be placed on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. [1]

  • 27 April — A team of scientists and engineers stages an experimental crash of the Boeing 727-200 (XB-MNP) in a desert near Mexicali, Mexico. The crash is filmed for a television documentary. It is only the second such experiment in history, the only previous one having been the 1984 Controlled Impact Demonstration. [1]

May 2012

  • 6 May — An American unmanned aerial vehicle strike in eastern Yemen kills Fahd al-Quso, the al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, wanted in connection with the 12 October 2000 bomb attack on the USN guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67). [1]

  • 9 May — A Sukhoi “Superjet 100” airliner crashes on Mount Salak on Java in Indonesia during a demonstration flight for airline representatives and journalists, killing all 45 people on board. Its wreckage is discovered on 10 May. [1]

  • 10 May — The women's international record-holder for number of flight hours logged as a pilot in a lifetime, Evelyn Bryan Johnson, dies at the age of 102. Between her first solo flight on 8 November 1944 and her retirement from flying in the mid-1990s, she had logged 57,635 hours (about 6½ years) in the air, flying about 5,500,000 miles (8,900,000 km). Only one person, Ed Long (1915-1999), had logged more hours (over 65,000, or about 7 years) in the air during a lifetime. [1]

  • 14 May — After aborting its landing at Jomsom Airport at Jomsom, Nepal, Agni Air Flight CHT, the Dornier Do.228 (AG-CHT), strikes a hillside with its wing while attempting a go-around and crashes, killing 15 of the 21 people on board and injuring all six survivors. Indian child actress Taruni Sachdev is among the dead. [1]

  • 24 May — Speaking to the British House of Commons in London, Brigadier General Aqil Hashem, a former senior Syrian Army officer who has defected to the rebel side in the Syrian Civil War, suggests international intervention, perhaps including air strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles, is needed to stop what he calls the genocide the Syrian Army is committing in Syria. [1]

  • 25 May — The first “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft, the first solar-powered aircraft capable of both day and night flight thanks to its batteries charged by solar power, completes the first leg of its first intercontinental flight, arriving at Madrid, Spain, after a flight from Payerne Airport outside Payerne, Switzerland. During the flight, it sets a world distance record for a solar-powered flight between pre-declared way points of 1,099.3 km (683.1 mi) and a world distance record for a solar-powered flight along a course of 1,116 km (693 mi). The second and final leg of the flight will take HB-SIA to Rabat, Morocco, the following month. [1]

June 2012

  • 2 June — Allied Air Flight 111, a Boeing 727 cargo plane, overruns the runway on landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, and strikes a crowded minibus and a bicyclist on a nearby road. All four people on the plane survive, but the bicyclist and all 11 people on the minibus die. [1]

  • 3 June — On approach to a landing at Lagos, Nigeria, the crew of Dana Air Flight 992, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, reports engine trouble and declares an emergency. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft crashes into a furniture works and printing press building in the Iju-Ishaga neighborhood of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard and ten people on the ground. Additional people on the ground are injured. It is the second-deadliest plane crash in Nigerian history and the deadliest ever involving an MD-83. [1]

  • 4 June — An American unmanned aerial vehicle strike in Pakistan kills Abu Yahya al-Libi, a leading al-Qaeda official. [1]

  • 4 June — After a Libyan militia force takes control of part of Tripoli International Airport in Tripoli, and demands the release of a kidnapped militia leader, a gun battle breaks out between the militiamen and Libyan government forces. Government authorities arrest 30 militiamen. [1]

  • 5 June — The first “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft, the first solar-powered aircraft capable of both day and night flight thanks to its batteries charged by solar power, completes its first intercontinental flight, arriving at Rabat, Morocco, after a 19-hour flight across the Strait of Gibraltar from Madrid, Spain. The flight is the second and final leg of its intercontinental trip, which had begun on 25 May with a flight from its home base at Payerne Airport outside Payerne, Switzerland, to Madrid. [1]

  • 7 June — Kenyan helicopters attack Al Shabaab positions in Kismayo, Somalia. [1]

  • 10 June — The Free Syrian Army reports that Syrian government attack helicopters have helped drive its forces out of the government' air defense base at Al-Ghantu, which they had briefly captured. [1]

  • 10 June — A Kenya Police Eurocopter AS.350 crashes on a hill in the Kibiku area of the Ngong Forest just outside Nairobi, Kenya, killing all six people on board. Among the fatalities are Kenya's Minister of Interior Security and likely presidential candidate George Saitoti and Assistant Minister of Interior Security Joshua Orwa Ojode. [1]

  • 11 Jun — The United Nations confirms for the first time that Syrian government helicopters have begun firing on rebel forces. [1]

  • 21 June — An Indonesian Air Force Fokker 27 on a training flight crashes into a housing complex while on approach to a landing at Jakarta, Indonesia. Six of the seven people on the plane die immediately, and the seventh dies later of his injuries. On the ground, four people die and 11 are injured. [1]

  • 21 June — Syrian Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 “Fishbed” fighter pilot Colonel Hassan Hamada defects with his plane to Jordan. Jordan will later grant him political asylum. [1]

  • 22 June — Syrian anti-aircraft fire shoots down a Turkish Air Force McDonnell-Douglas F-4 “Phantom II” fighter on a training mission over the Mediterranean Sea off Turkey's Hatay Province, killing its two-man crew. Syria claims the aircraft violated its airspace; Turkey admits a momentary violation but claims the McDonnell Douglas F-4 “Phantom II” was shot down 15 minutes later in international airspace 13 nautical miles (15 statute miles; 24 km) from Syria. [1]

  • 23 June — Three Syrian Army pilots defect, crossing the border into Jordan. [1]

  • 25 June — Turkey accuses Syria of firing at a second Turkish Air Force plane while it is searching for crew of the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 “Phantom II” shot down on 22 June. [1]

  • 28 June — The U.S. military announces that wreckage revealed by a retreating glacier in Alaska and discovered during June 2012 is that of a USAF Douglas C-124A “Globemaster II” which crashed into Mount Gannett on 22 November 1952, killing all 52 people on board. Originally identified on 28 November 1952, the wreckage had become buried in ice and snow and had been lost for nearly 60 years. [1]

  • 29 June — Six Uyghur men armed with aluminum crutches and explosives attempt to hijack Tianjin Airlines Flight 7554, an Embraer ERJ-190 on a flight from Hotan to Ürümqi, China, with 95 other people aboard. The crew and other passengers resist them and foil the hijacking attempt. Two hijackers are killed and 13 people (two hijackers, two security officers, two flight attendants, and seven passengers) are injured, and the plane returns safely to Hotan. [1]

  • 30 June — Eighty-four percent of U.S. domestic airline flights have arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time since January 1, their best on-time performance since the United States Government began tracking their on-time performance in 1988 and an improvement from 77 percent between January 1 and 30 June 2011. They also set a record-low rate of baggage handling mistakes, misdirecting, damaging, or losing only three suitcases per 1,000 passengers on domestic flights between January 1 and 30 June 2012. [1]

July 2012

  • 4 July — Two Swedish advertising agency employees, Thomas Mazetti and Hannah Frey, take off from Pociunai Airport in Lithuania, make an illegal 90-minute flight into Belarus at an altitude of 50 meters (160 feet) in a Jodel biplane, and drop 879 parachute-equipped teddy bears adorned with human rights and freedom-of-speech slogans into the southern suburbs of Minsk. [1]

  • 4 July — The American deep-sea exploration vessel Nautilus discovers the wreckage of the Turkish Air Force McDonnell-Douglas F-4 “Phantom II” shot down on 22 June and the bodies of its two-man crew on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of about 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). The Turkish armed forces announce that they have begun an effort to recover the bodies. [1]

  • 7 July — A video is released showing Syrian rebels claiming to have shot down a Syrian government surveillance aircraft and showing pieces of the aircraft. It is the first time that Syrian rebels have claimed to have shot down a government aircraft. [1]

  • 24 July — The Syrian Air Force attacks rebels for the first time in the Syrian Civil War, when Mikoyan-Gurevich Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 “Floggers” bomb eastern areas of Aleppo. [1]

  • 26 July — Syrian government Mil Mi-25 “Hind-D” attack helicopters strike rebel positions in eastern Aleppo. [1]

  • 28 July — Attack helicopters support a Syrian government tank attack against Free Syrian Army positions in Aleppo. [1]

  • 31 July — Belarus fires its chiefs of air defense and of the border guards because of the illegal 4 July flight into the country by a Jodel biplane. [1]

  • 31 July — Due to confusion among air traffic controllers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, two USAirways commuter jets take off into the path of a third USAirways commuter jet flying in the opposite direction and cleared to land on the same runway. Realizing their error, controllers order the inbound aircraft to take evasive action 12 seconds before it would have collided with the leading outbound jet. There are no injuries among the 192 people on the three aircraft. [1]

August 2012

  • 1 August — In the Syrian Civil War, United Nations observers see Syrian Air Force jets bombing rebel-held districts in the Salheddine area of Aleppo. [1]

  • 5 August — An Israeli airstrike halts an attempt by a group of gunmen to use commandeered Egyptian armored vehicles to ram their way through an Israeli border crossing from Egypt into Israel. [1]

  • 7-8 August — Overnight, Egyptian Air Force aircraft strike militants at Sheikh Zuweid on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. It is the first Egyptian airstrike in the Sinai Peninsula since the Yom Kippur War in October 1973. [1]

  • 12 August — The airline Wind Jet ceases operations after Alitalia's attempt to purchase it fails, leaving hundred of passengers stranded in Italy. [1]

  • 13 August — An Internet video is released showing the crash of what appears to be a Syrian Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 “Flogger” aircraft flying over Muhasan, Syria. Syrian rebels claim to have shot it down. [1]

  • 14 August — An unmanned experimental USAF Boeing X-51A “Waverider” hypersonic aircraft launched from above the Point Mugu Naval Air Test Range in California goes out of control because of a fault in one of its control fins and crashes into the Pacific Ocean 15 seconds into its flight and before igniting its scramjet engine. The crash leaves only one surviving “Waverider” out of the four constructed. [1]

  • 15 August — A Syrian Air Force strike hits a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, wounding one person. Human Rights Watch calls the attack a violation of international law. [1]

  • 18 August — Suffering engine trouble, an Aviatour Air Piper PA-34-200 “Seneca I” crashes in the sea off Masbate in the Philippines, killing three of the four people on board and injuring the lone survivor. Among the dead is Philippine Secretary of the Interior Jesse Robredo, whose body will be recovered from the sea on 21 August. [1]

  • 19 August — An Alfa Airlines Antonov An-26-100 “Curl” carrying a Sudanese government delegation to an Eid al-Fitr festival crashes in the mountains around Talodi in the state of South Kordofan in southern Sudan, killing all 32 people on board. Among the dead are Sudan's Minister of Religious Affairs Ghazi al-Sadiq, Minister for Youth and Sports Mahjoub Abdel Raheem Toutou, and Minister for Tourism, Antiquities, and Wildlife Eissa Daifallah, several members of the Sudanese Armed Forces and state security service, and a state media television crew. [1]

  • 21 August — Afghan insurgents fire rockets at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, damaging the USAF Boeing C-17 “Globemaster III” of United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey while Dempsey is in his quarters on the base. The damage forces Dempsey to use a different aircraft when he departs Afghanistan later in the day. [1]

  • 23 August — The Syrian Air Force makes heavy strikes against rebel forces attacking Syrian government positions in Abu Kamal. [1]

  • 23 August — Caught in a sudden thunderstorm, a hot-air balloon carrying tourists on a sightseeing trip attempts an emergency landing in Slovenia's Ljubljana Marshes, but strikes trees, crashes, and catches fire. Four of the 32 people on board are killed and the remainder are injured. [1]

  • 25 August — Neil Armstrong - American astronaut, aerospace engineer, test pilot, and university professor, USN pilot, and the first person to walk on the Moon - dies in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of 82. [1]

  • 26 August — Syrian rebels claim to have shot down a Syrian government attack helicopter, possibly a Mil Mi-24 “Hind” [1]

  • 26 August — After a final flight from Denver, Colorado, to Lihue, Kaua'i, Hawaii, 83-year-old Ron Akana retires as the longest-serving flight attendant in history. His career, all with United Airlines, had spanned 63 years since he joined the airline in 1949, interrupted only by two years of military service from 1951 to 1953. He had flown about 200 million miles (322,000,000 km) and made about 10,000 trips over the Pacific Ocean. [1]

  • 28 August — The University of Maryland's “Gamera II” sets a flight endurance record for a human-powered helicopter, remaining aloft for 65.1 seconds. During a flight later in the day, it sets an unofficial altitude record as well, reaching an altitude of 2.4 meters (8 feet). [1]

  • 29 August — Syrian rebels claim to have attacked a Syrian government military air base in Taftanaz, Syria, damaging several government helicopters. [1]

  • 30 August — Human Rights Watch alleges that in the previous three weeks Syrian government airstrikes and artillery fire have struck at least 10 bakeries in Aleppo as people lined up to collect bread, killing dozens, with one attack on 16 August alone killing 60 and injuring 70 people. [1]

  • 31 August — Syrian rebels target government air bases, claiming to be trying to reduce the threat of air attacks on their forces. They reportedly shoot down a government helicopter in Sarmin, Syria. [1]

  • 31 August — The Free Syria Army warns airlines to suspend service to Damascus and Aleppo, Syria, saying rebel forces could begin attach“King Air”ports in the two cities as early as the following week. [1]

  • 31 August — Richard Bach, author of the best-selling 1970 novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull, is badly injured in the crash of his Easton Gilbert Seary Puff (N346PE) on San Juan Island west of Friday Harbor Airport in Friday Harbor, Washington. He is piloting the plane at the time. [1]

September 2012

  • 1 September — Heavy fighting takes place between Syrian government and rebel forces at the Syrian Air Force college at Rasm al-Abud and at the Syrian Air Force base at Abu al-Duhur, and rebel forces overrun a government air defense building in Deir ez-zor. [1]

  • 2 September — An American airstrike hoping to kill the senior regional al-Qaeda leader Abdelrauf al-Dahab, thought to be traveling by car on a road in Rada'a, Yemen, instead hits a pickup truck loaded with 14 innocent people, killing 12 of them. The Government of Yemen accepts blame for the mistake. [1]

  • 5 September — Wearing a white costume designed to induce endangered Siberian cranes to follow him, President of Russia Vladimir Putin pilots a motorized hang glider in three brief flights over Russia's Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic, apparently the first time a Russian head of state has piloted an aircraft. Cranes follow him on two of the flights. His flights are part of the “Flight of Hope” project to increase the population of Siberian cranes by using ultralight aircraft to lead the birds on flights that teach them to migrate. [1]

  • 12 September — Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Flight 251, an Antonov An-28 “Cash”, crashes while attempting to land at Palana Airport outside Palana, Russia, killing 10 of the 14 people on board and seriously injuring all four survivors. [1]

  • 13 September — A Syrian Air Force strike in Aleppo kills 11 people. [1]

  • 14 September — Yousef Assad, a high-ranking Syrian Air Force officer and relative of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announces his defection to the opposition in an online video. [1]

  • 20 September — At least 71 people die in Ar-Raqqah, Syria, when a Syrian Air Force plane bombs a gasoline (petrol) station. [1]

  • 20 September — After takeoff from Damascus International Airport in Damascus, Syria, a Syrian Air Airbus A320 collides in mid-air with a Syrian Mil Mi-17 “Hip” helicopter. The helicopter crashes, while the A320 returns to the airport safely despite a damaged tail. [1]

  • 21 September — A Syrian Air Force jet reportedly is shot down by rebel forces over Atarib, Syria. [1]

  • 21 September — A Space Shuttle is airborne for the last time as a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft completes a three-day journey to transport the retired Space Shuttle “Endeavour” from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Los Angeles, California. After two days of delays due to bad weather, the aircraft had departed Cape Canaveral on 19 September and made low passes over Florida's Space Coast and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers in Mississippi and Louisiana before spending the night at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas; proceeded on 20 September to El Paso, Texas, for a refueling stop before flying over the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico and over Tucson, Arizona, in tribute to retired Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, ending the day with an overnight stop at Edwards Air Force Base in California; and on 21 September had completed the final leg of the journey by making low-level passes over Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles, California, before landing at Los Angeles International Airport. [1]

  • 25 September — The People's Republic of China commissions its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, at Dalian Port, China. [1]

  • 28 September — Sita Air Flight 601, a Dornier Do.228 carrying British, Chinese, and Nepalese trekkers to the Mount Everest region, strikes a bird shortly after takeoff from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, crashes on the bank of the Manohara River at Madhyapur Thimi 500 meters (550 yards) short of the runway while attempting to return to the airport, and burns. All 19 people on board die. It is the seventh fatal air crash in Nepal since August 2010. [1]

  • 30 September — U.S. airlines have collected US$924 million in baggage fees since July 1, a three percent increase over the same period in 2011. [1]

October 2012

  • 1 October — The first six of a planned 12 United States Marine Corps Boeing MV-22 “Osprey” aircraft transfer from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to their new base at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa. Hundreds of people gather outside MCAS Futenma to protest their arrival, believing that the crashes of “Ospreys” in Morocco and Florida earlier in the year and a precautionary landing by an “Osprey” in North Carolina in September demonstrate that “Osprey” operations will endanger the residential neighborhoods that surround the base. [1]

  • 7 October — FlyMontserrat Flight 107, the Britten-Norman “Islander” (VP-NOM), crashes shortly after takeoff from V.C. Bird International Airport on Antigua, killing three of the four people on board and injuring the lone survivor. It is the deadliest air accident in the history of Antigua and Barbuda. [1]

  • 10 October — As part of an arms embargo against Syria, Turkish Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcons” intercept Syrian Air Flight RB442, an Airbus A320 suspected of carrying Russian-made weapons, in Turkish airspace during its flight from Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow to Damascus International Airport in Damascus, Syria, and force it to land at Esenboga International Airport outside Ankara, Turkey. Inspectors confiscate military communications equipment and items “thought to be missile parts” found aboard the plane. [1]

  • 11 October — The Syrian Revolution General Commission claims that its forces have destroyed 61 Syrian government helicopters and planes, mostly while on the ground during rebel raids, and that the heaviest Syrian government aircraft losses occurred in August. [1]

  • 13 October — Syria bans Turkish civilian aircraft from flying over its territory. [1]

  • 14 October — Human Rights Watch accuses the Syrian government of using Russian-made cluster bombs in air attacks on populated areas and near key battlefields. [1]

  • 14 October — Turkey closes its airspace to Syrian civilian flights. [1]

  • 14 October — In the “Red Bull Stratos” project, Austrian Felix Baumgartner sets a new height record for a parachute jump, diving from a capsule suspended beneath a helium balloon over Roswell, New Mexico, at an altitude of 128,097 feet (39,044 meters; 24.26 miles; 39.04 km). The 9-minute descent includes a 4-minute-20-second free fall of 119,846 feet (36,530 meters; 22.7 miles; 36.5 km), during which he reaches Mach 1.24 (833.9 mph; 1,342.8 km/hr), becoming the first person to exceed the speed of sound without travelling in a jet aircraft or spacecraft. He lands standing up. He breaks the skydiving altitude record set on 16 August 1960 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who serves as Baumgartner's capsule communicator during the jump. [1]

  • 15 October — Towed through the streets of Los Angeles, California, the retired Space Shuttle “Endeavour” completes a 12-mile (19 km) journey from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center for museum display. “Endeavour” had left the airport on 12 October, and numerous logistical problems along the route cause it to arrive at the science center 17 hours late. [1]

  • 18 October — Syrian Air Force jets destroy two residential buildings and a mosque in the rebel-held town of Maarrat al-Nu'man, reportedly killing at least 44 people. [1]

  • 20 October — The Syrian Expatriates Organization claims that a combination of Syrian government airstrikes and a military blockade over the previous 130 days have destroyed 75 percent of the city of Deir ez-zor, Syria, killing over 3,000 people and causing 380,000 to flee the city. [1]

  • 25 October — Independent United Nations human rights researcher Ben Emmerson announces plans to launch an investigation into unmanned aerial vehicle strikes and other targeted assassinations by governments that kill or injure civilians. [1]

  • 28 October — Syrian Air Force aircraft strike rebel-held areas in the eastern Damascus suburbs of Arbeen, Harasta, and Zamalka. [1]

  • 30 October — The Syrian Air Force carries out scores of airstrikes around Syria, the most widespread bombing in a single day since the Syrian Civil War began 19 months before, according to anti-regime activists. Maarat al-Numan is among the hardest-hit places, and air strikes level areas of Douma, leaving 18 people dead. [1]

  • 30 October — Syrian Air Force Major General Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi is assassinated in Damascus, Syria. [1]

November 2012

  • 2 November — According to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, Syrian Air Force strikes on Harem, Syria, kill 70 people. [1]

  • 2 November — The Space Shuttle “Atlantis” is towed from the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to an exhibition hall at Cape Canaveral's main tourist stop to be put on display. The 10-mile (16-km) journey takes 12 hours. It is the final act of the Space Shuttle Program. [1]

  • 3 November — Syrian rebel units attack the Syrian Air Force base at Taftanaz. [1]

  • 14 November — Israel begins Operation Pillar of Defense by launching its most intense air attacks against Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip since 2008, killing the Hamas defense chief in Gaza, Ahmed al-Jabari, and striking dozens of targets before dark. [1]

  • 15 November — Israeli aircraft strike 70 underground rocket-launching sites in the Gaza Strip in 60 minutes. [1]

  • 17 November — Israel expands its air campaign in the Gaza Strip to target Hamas government buildings, destroying the offices of Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes increase to nearly 200 early in the day. [1]

  • 17 November — Syrian rebels capture a Syrian government air base near rebel-held Abu Kamal, Syrian, meaning that the only air base the Syrian government holds in the Deiz ez-zor region is the main one near the city of Deiz ez-zor itself. [1]

  • 17 November — United Nations attack helicopters strike rebel positions south of Kibumba in North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. [1]

  • 21 November — A cease fire brings fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas to an end. [1]

  • 21 November — While JetBlue Flight 1329, an Embraer E190, taxis to its gate after landing at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, a fire breaks out in one of its engines. After the airliner reaches its gate, everyone on board evacuates the plane uninjured via the jetway while fire fighters douse the fire. [1]

  • 23 November — The People's Republic of China conducts its first carrier flight operations with fixed-wing aircraft, when the People's Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning launches and recovers the Shenyang J-15 fighter for the first time. [1]

  • 25 November — Syrian rebel forces attack a Syrian government airbase 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) outside Damascus, and claim to have destroyed two helicopters on the ground. [1]

  • 26 November — The USN begins testing of the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). By the time the testing period ends on 18 December, the Northrop Grumman X-47B will have made a number of successful test launches and recoveries. [1]

  • 29 November — Fighting between government and rebel forces near Damascus International Airport in Damascus, Syria, closes the road to the airport. The airline Emirates suspends flights to Damascus, and an Egyptian airliner that has landed at Damascus International as scheduled and discharged its passengers safely is ordered to take off and return to Cairo without passengers if its pilot feels the situation is too dangerous to allow the plane to stay long enough to embark its passengers for the return flight. [1]

  • 29 November — The USN successfully conducts the first land-based catapult launch of the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. [1]

  • 30 November — An Aéro-Service (initially mistakenly attributed to Trans Air Congo) Ilyushin Il-76T “Candid” (EK-76300) on a domestic cargo flight in the Republic of the Congo from Pointe Noire to Brazzaville crashes short of Runway 5L in a residential area while attempting to land in bad weather at Maya-Maya Airport in Brazzaville. All six crew members - five of whom are from Armenia - and one police officer on board the aircraft and 26 people on the ground are killed, and 14 people on the ground are injured. [1]

December 2012

  • 1 December — Syrian rebels credit one rebel soldier trained in the use of 9K38 “Igla” (“SA-16 Gimlet”) surface-to-air missiles captured from the Syrian government with using the missiles to shoot down two Syrian Army helicopters on consecutive days. [1]

  • 2 December — Syrian Air Force jets pound rebel-held suburbs around Damascus, killing and wounding dozens in an offensive to push rebels away from the Damascus International Airport and stop them from closing in on the capital. [1]

  • 2 December — Syria announces that Damascus International Airport has reopened and is running scheduled flights after being closed for three days due to fighting between government and rebel forces in the area. [1]

  • 3 December — The Turkish Air Force scrambles fighters to protect Turkish airspace after a Syrian Air Force plane drops two bombs on rebel positions in Syria about 300 yards (270 meters) from the border with Turkey, killing at least 10 people and causing Syrian civilians to flee across the border to safety in Turkey. [1]

  • 3 December — Egyptair orders a Cairo, Egypt-to-Damascus, Syria, flight to turn Back in mid-air because of concerns over the security situation around Damascus International Airport. [1]

  • 4 December — The NATO approves the deployment of Raytheon MIM-104 “Patriot” surface-to-air missiles in a 40-km (25-mile)-wide zone along Turkey's border with Syria. [1]

  • 7 December — A missile fired by an American unmanned aerial vehicle strikes a house near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, Pakistan, killing senior al-Qaeda leader Sheik Khalid Bin Abdel Rehman Al-Hussainan, also known as Abu-Zaid al Kuwaiti, while he is eating breakfast. The attack also mortally wounds his wife, and injures his daughter. [1]

  • 9 December — An American unmanned aerial vehicle fires a missile into a house in Tabbi in North Waziristan, Pakistan, killing the al-Qaeda commander Mohammad Ahmed al-Mansoor. [1]

  • 9 December — Ten minutes after takeoff, during a domestic flight in Mexico from Monterrey to Toluca, Learjet 25 (N345MC), carrying Mexican-American singer and reality television star Jenni Rivera and six other people, loses contact with air traffic controllers, enters a rapid descent from 35,000 feet (11,000 m) to 9,000 feet (2,700 m), and crashes in a remote, mountainous area in Nuevo León near Iturbide, killing everyone on board. [1]

  • 13 December — The Japan Air Self-Defense Force scrambles four Mitsubishi F-15 “Eagle” fighters to intercept a People's Republic of China Harbin Y-12 seen flying over the Senkaku Islands (known as Diaoyu in Chinese), which both countries claim as their territory. The Y-12 departs before the F-15 “Eagles” arrive over the islands. [1]

  • 15 December — Ten Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan members attack Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar, Pakistan, with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, targeting Pakistani military facilities where attack helicopters are based and triggering a gun battle of over an hour with Pakistani security forces during which five of the attackers are killed. Three grenades strike airport property and two more land in adjacent neighborhoods. Four residents of the neighborhoods are killed and 30 to 40 injured. The five surviving attackers all are cornered and killed by Pakistani police the following day. [1]

  • 20 December — A Red Wings Airlines Tupolev Tu-204-100B suffers a brake failure on landing at Novosibirsk, Russia, and overruns the runway by 350 meters (1,150 feet). [1]

  • 20 December — Syrian Air Force aircraft drop cluster bombs onto neighborhoods and homes in Mare', Syria. A local hospital reports four dead and 23 wounded. [1]

  • 21 December — The Republic of South Sudan's Sudan People's Liberation Army shoots down a United Nations helicopter on a reconnaissance flight over Jonglei in South Sudan, killing its entire four-man Russian crew. South Sudan at first denies shooting the helicopter down, then expresses regret for the incident, saying its forces had shot the helicopter down after mistaking it for a plane from Sudan flying supplies in to rebels in Jonglei. [1]

  • 23 December — Over a period of 17 minutes, three waves of Syrian Air Force aircraft attack the only bakery operating in Halfaya, Syria, where hundreds of people had gathered to buy the first fresh bread available in the area for days, killing dozens. Opposition groups estimate the number of dead at anywhere from fewer than 100 to as many as 300 people. [1]

  • 24 December — An American unmanned aerial vehicle strike in eastern Yemen kills five al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula members riding motorcycles in the city of Shehr, including Abdullah Bawazir and Nabil al Kaldi. Another strike kills two other members of the group in the central Yemeni city of Rada'a. [1]

  • 25 December — The crew of an Air Bagan Fokker 100 with 71 people on board for a domestic flight in Burma from Rangoon to Heho via Mandalay mistakes a road for the runway while descending to land at Heho in heavy fog, hits power lines, and crash-lands either on the road or in a neaby rice paddy and burns, killing a tour guide and injuring eleven other people aboard the plane. A man on the ground riding a bicycle also is killed. [1]

  • 25 December — An Antonov An-72 military transport aircraft belonging to the military forces of Kazakhstan carrying a crew of seven and 20 members of the Kazakhstan Border Guard Service crashes in bad weather about 20 km (12 mi) from Shymkent while descending to a landing there after a domestic flight from Astana, killing everyone on board. The acting Director of the Kazakhstan Border Guard Service, Colonel Turganbeck Stambekov, is among the dead, along with one of his deputies and a number of regional Border Guard commanders. [1]

  • 27 December — Syrian rebel forces claim to have shot down a Syrian Air Force MiG in western Syria near Morek with antiaircraft artillery fire. [1]

  • 28 December — Press observers begin to observe daily Myanmar Air Force strikes against rebel Kachin Independence Army forces in northern Myanmar. The strikes reportedly will continue into early January 2013. [1]

  • 28 December — Syrian rebels increase pressure against a government helicopter base and fight with government soldiers near Aleppo International Airport as they continue their offensive against government airbases. They claim to have surrounded four airports and airbases in the Aleppo Governorate, halting all activity at one and firing antiaircraft artillery at all approaching aircraft at another. [1]

  • 28 December — The Syrian Air Force strikes al-Safira, killing 14 people. [1]

  • 28 December — An airstike kills two suspected al-Qaeda members in Hadramawt province in southwestern Yemen. Local residents and Yemeni officials claim an American unmanned aerial vehicle conducted the strike. [1]

  • 29 December — Red Wings Airlines Flight 9268, Tupolev Tu-204-100B (RA-64047), arriving from Pardubice Airport at Pardubice in the Czech Republic at the end of a repositioning flight with a crew of eight and no passengers on board, overruns the runway on landing at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, crosses partly onto a highway, crashes into a ditch, breaks into three pieces, and catches fire, killing five crew members and critically injuring all three survivors. [1]

  • 29 December — Syrian Air cancels a flight to Aleppo, Syria, because of fighting between government and rebel forces near Aleppo International Airport. [1]

  • 29 December — An airstrike, suspected of being by an American unmanned aerial vehicle, destroys a Toyota Land Cruiser outside Rada'a in southern Yemen, killing three al-Qaeda members in the vehicle and prompting dozens of al-Qaeda members to protest. [1]

  • 30 December — Myanmar Air Force jets and attack helicopters strike rebel Kachin Independence Army forces in northern Myanmar. The Government of Myanmar at first denies the strikes, but eventually will admit to them on 2 January 2013. [1]

  • 31 December — The Kachin Independence Army again claims to be under attack by Myanmar Air Force aircraft. [1]

  • 31 December — Aleppo International Airport is closed due to fighting between Syrian government and rebel forces around the base of the Syrian Army force protecting the airport. [1]

  • 31 December — Airlines in the United States have collected over $6,000,000,000 in baggage fees from passengers in 2012, the highest yearly total since the fees became common in 2008. [1]

2012 Aircraft First Flights

  • 10 May — Agusta Westland AW.169 (I-EASF). [1]

  • ? July — e-volo VC2. [1]

  • ? November — Embraer “Legacy 500” (PT-ZEX). [1]

2012 Aircraft Entering Service

  • 1 June — Boeing 747-8 “Intercontinental” with Lufthansa. [1]

2012 Aircraft Retiring from Service

  • 8 February — Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (N911A) by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the aircraft was retired to the aircraft boneyard at Mojave Air and Space Port in California for use as a source of spare parts for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft. [1]

  • 24 September — Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (N905A) by NASA; found to have few parts useful for the SOFIA aircraft, N905A is later earmarked for museum display at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 2012 in Aviation

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