2012 Master Index 2014

2013 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

January 2013

  • 1 January — The rebel Kachin Independence Army reports that Myanmar Air Force aircraft attacking its positions in northern Myanmar have overflown the People's Republic of China during the day, penetrating as far as one kilometer (0.6 mile) into Chinese airspace. [1]

  • 2 January — The Government of Myanmar admits for the first time that Myanmar Air Force jets and attack helicopters conducted air strikes against rebel Kachin Independence Army forces in northern Myanmar on 30 December 2012, but claims that all of its other air operations in the area since late December 2012 have focused only on flying in supplies to Myanmar Army forces fighting Kachin rebels. [1]

  • 2 January — The United States carries out two air-to-surface missile strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles in Pakistan. One hits a vehicle near Wana in South Waziristan, killing all six militants in it, including the Pakistani Taliban commanders Maulvi Nazir Wazir and Rapa Khan. The other strikes a car near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, killing two Uzbek militants and the Pakistani Taliban commander Faisal Khan. [1]

  • 3 January — Press observers report that the Myanmar Air Force has conducted daily strikes against rebel Kachin Independence Army forces in northern Myanmar since 28 December 2012. [1]

  • 3 January — An American unmanned aerial vehicle strike in Rada'a, Yemen, kills three al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula members, one of them a local commander. [1]

  • 3 January — In the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian Air Force conducts two air strikes on the rebel stronghold of Douma, Syria, killing 12 people. Syrian rebels claim to have killed the commander of the Syrian government air base at Taftanaz. [1]

  • 4 January — Syrian Air Force aircraft strike various suburbs around Damascus, including Douma. [1]

  • 4 January — Syrian rebel forces continue attacks on the Syrian government air base at Taftanaz and Aleppo International Airport in Aleppo as part of a campaign to reduce government air capabilities by capturing air bases. Syrian Air Force aircraft strike rebel forces at Taftanaz. [1]

  • 4 January — A Britten-Norman BN-2 “Islander” carrying the head of the Missoni fashion house, Vittorio Missoni, and five other people on a domestic flight from Los Roques to Simón Bolívar International Airport outside Caracas, Venezuela, disappears over the Caribbean Sea 10 miles (16 km) south of Los Roques. [1]

  • 10 January — After a Japan Air Self-Defense Force Mitsubishi F-15J “Eagle” fighter intercepts a People's Republic of China Shaanxi Y-8 patrol aircraft operating near the disputed Senkaku (known in China as Diaoyu) Islands, two Chinese Chengdu J-10 fighters arrive and monitor the F-15. Japanese officials state that Japan has scrambled fighters to protect the islands 150 times in the previous year. [1]

  • 11 January — Helicopter-borne French commandos conduct a raid in Somalia to rescue the French intelligence agent Denis Allex from al-Shabaab, supported by USAF combat aircraft. Allex dies during the raid, most likely killed by his captors. One French commando is killed in action, another is missing in action, and 17 al-Shabaab members are killed. [1]

  • 11 January — Syrian rebels capture the government air base at Taftanaz. [1]

  • 11 January — France intervenes in the Northern Mali conflict to support the Government of Mali against Islamist rebels. Attacks by French Army Aérospatiale “Gazelle” attack helicopters and French Air Force Dassault “Mirage 200D” fighter-bombers blunt a rebel offensive that threatens to take Mali's capital, Bamako; French bombing includes raids around Konna. One Aérospatiale “Gazelle” is shot down by small arms fire and its pilot is killed. [1]

  • 12 January — French Dassault “Mirage 200Ds” strike Islamist positions around Konna, Mali. [1]

  • 13 January — Syrian Air Force jets bomb the suburbs of Damascus and a marketplace in the town of Azaz, killing at least 20 people and injuring 99 in Azaz. [1]

  • 13 January — French Dassault “Mirage 200D” fighter-bombers hit Islamist targets in northern Mali, including attacks around Léré and Douentza and a strike on an Islamist rear headquarters in Gao, where they inflict dozens of casualties. French military transport aircraft bring several plane loads of French troops into Bamako. [1]

  • 14 January — A Syrian government airstrike hits a house south of Damascus, killing at least five adults and eight children. [1]

  • 14 January — Dassault “Rafales” join Dassault “Mirage 200D” jets and Aérospatiale Gazelle attack helicopters as the French air campaign in Mali expands to strike Islamist forces in the central part of the country. [1]

  • 16 January — During a domestic flight from Yamaguchi, Japan, to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, All Nippon Airways Flight 692, a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner”, makes an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport in Takamatsu after cockpit warning lights indicate a battery failure and the presence of smoke; one passenger is injured during the evacuation of the plane. Because of this incident and several others in recent days involving fuel leaks, a battery fire, a wiring problem, a glitch in the computer controlling the brakes, and a cracked cockpit window in various Boeing 787s around the world, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines both ground their “Dreamliner” fleets. Later in the day, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounds all Boeing 787s in the United States. [1]

  • 16 January — An Agusta AW.109 helicopter strikes the jib of a construction crane attached to St. George Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, London, England, and crashes in the street below, killing its pilot and one person on the ground and injuring 13 other people. [1]

  • 17 January — Algerian attack helicopters open fire on vehicles carrying hostages and their captors during a hostage crisis at the Ain Amenas natural gas facility in Algeria, apparently killing dozens, although casualty estimates vary widely. [1]

  • 17 January — The European Aviation Safety Agency endorses the Federal Aviation Administration's grounding of Boeing 787 “Dreamliners”. By the end of the day, “Dreamliners” have been grounded worldwide pending investigation of the possibility of a fire hazard posed by their lithium-ion batteries. [1]

  • 19 January — The Syrian Air Force strikes a mosque and a school building sheltering Syrian refugees in Salqin, Syria, killing and wounding dozens. [1]

  • 19 January — Two American unmanned aerial vehicle strikes during the evening kill a total of eight people in Yemen' Ma'rib province, including at least two members of al-Qaeda. [1]

  • 20 January — A Syrian Air Force strike against rebel-held areas in al-Barika reportedly kllls seven people. [1]

  • 20 January — Islamist rebel forces withdraw from Diabaly, Mali, to avoid further airstrikes after days of bombing by French aircraft. French aircraft have flown 140 bombing sorties since the French intervention in Mali began. [1]

  • 22 January — An American unmanned aerial vehicle attacks a ground vehicle in Yemen's Al Jawf Governorate, killing three suspected al-Qaeda members. [1]

  • 22 January — The United States announces that the USAF has begun airlifting French military personnel and materiel into Mali, having made five flights thus far. [1]

  • 22-23 January — Overnight, two Russian Emergencies Ministry transport aircraft carry 77 Russian citizens fleeing the Syrian Civil War from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, to Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow. [1]

  • 23 January — An American unmanned aerial vehicle attacks a ground vehicle in Al-Masna‘Ah, Yemen, killing six Islamic militants, including two senior al-Qaeda commanders. [1]

  • 24 January — Syrian Air Force jets bomb rebel-held areas in Darayya and Moadamiya, Syria, and heavy fighting takes place near Damascus International Airport over control of the airport road. [1]

  • 25-26 January — Overnight, airborne French special forces join ground forces in capturing a key bridge and airport at Gao, Mali, from Islamist forces. [1]

  • 26 January — The United States announces that USAF tankers will provide aerial refueling support to French Air Force aircraft operating over Mali. [1]

  • 28 January — Italy's highest criminal court rules that “ample and congruent” evidence exists to make it “abundantly” clear that a missile shot down Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 over the Mediterranean Sea in June 1980 and orders the Government of Italy to pay damages to the families of the victims. [1]

  • 28 January — At the request of the United States, Niger agrees to allow the basing of American unmanned aerial vehicles on its territory, allowing the United States a greater surveillance capability over northern Mali and more broadly over the Sahara Desert. [1]

  • 29 January — SCAT Airlines Flight 760, a Bombardier CRJ200, crashes in thick fog near Kyzyltu, Kazakhstan, 5 km (3.1 miles) short of the runway at Almaty, killing all 21 people on board. [1]

  • 30 January — Israeli Air Force aircraft strike a target in Syria for the first time since 2007. The United States claims that the target was a truck convoy carrying antiaircraft weapons, but the Syrian government claims it was a nearby defense research facility in Jamraya, just north of Damascus. [1]

February 2013

  • 2 February — A helicopter crashes in bad weather near Puerto Antequera, Paraguay, killing all three people on board. Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo is among the dead. [1]

  • 2-3 February — Overnight, French aircraft pound Islamist targets in Kidal and Tessalit in the far northern part of Mali. [1]

  • 7 February — The Japan Air Self-Defense Force scrambles four jet fighters to intercept two Russian Naval Aviation jets of the Red Banner Pacific Ocean Fleet which Japan claims violated Japanese airspace off the northwest tip of Hokkaido. The Russian Navy denies that the aircraft, which were participating in a military exercise, violated Japanese airspace. [1]

  • 7 February — Syrian Air Force jets attack the Damascus ring road with air-to-ground rockets to halt a rebel offensive. [1]

  • 12 February — A NATO airstrike on a village in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, kills 10 civilians. [1]

  • 12 February — Syrian rebels take the al-Jarrah air base in Aleppo province, capturing Syrian Air Force jets for the first time. [1]

  • 13 February — South Airlines Flight 8971, an Antonov An-24 “Coke” with 52 people on board, overshoots the runway and crash-lands while attempting to make an emergency landing in fog at Donetsk International Airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, killing five people. [1]

  • 14 February — American Airlines and US Airways announce an $11,000,000,000 deal to merge, creating the world's largest airline, with 900 planes, 3,200 daily flights, and 95,000 employees. Under the deal, former US Airways management will dominate the merged airline, but the “US Airways” brand will disappear. [1]

  • 16 February — President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai announces that he will prohibit Afghan troops from calling in airstrikes against residential areas in Afghanistan. [1]

  • 16 February — Iraqi Airways begins flights to Kuwait for the first time since Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. [1]

  • 18 February — After cutting a hole in a perimeter fence at Brussels Airport outside Brussels, Belgium, eight armed and masked men dressed as police officers drive in two vehicles displaying flashing blue lights onto the tarmac and confront guards loading a cargo of diamonds onto Helvetic Airways Flight LX789, a Fokker 100 passenger jet packed with passengers and preparing for departure for a flight to Zurich, Switzerland. They steal 120 small packages containing a combined $50,000,000 (£32,000,000) worth of diamonds in a three-minute robbery and escape via the same hole in the fence without firing a shot. [1]

  • 22 February — The United States Department of Defense grounds all 51 USAF, USN, and USMC Lockheed Martin F-35 “Lightning II” aircraft after an inspection of a USAF Lockheed Martin F-35A “Lightning II” at Edwards Air Force Base, California, discovers a cracked engine blade. [1]

  • 26 February — A fire starts aboard the Ultramagic N-425 hot-air balloon (SU-283) while it is attempting to land near Luxor, Egypt, carrying 19 tourists, a tour guide, and its pilot. The pilot and one tourist leap from the balloon and suffer serious injuries before the balloon, with the other 19 people still aboard, rises rapidly to an altitude of about 300 meters (984 feet), experiences an explosion heard several kilometers away, collapses, crashes to the ground, and suffers another explosion. The 19 people still aboard, seven of whom jump to their deaths to escape the fire, are killed. It is the deadliest hot-air balloon accident in history, exceeding the death toll in a 1989 accident in Australia. [1]

  • 28 February — The United States Department of Defense announces that its Lockheed Martin F-35 “Lightning II” fleet, grounded since 22 February, will resume flying after an investigation determines that a cracked engine blade found in a USAF Lockheed Martin F-35A “Lightning II” was due to unique circumstances and is not a fleetwide problem. [1]

March 2013

  • 4 March — Two minutes from touchdown at Goma International Airport, the Compagnie Africaine d'Aviation Fokker 50 (9Q-CBD) crashes in bad weather in an empty lot in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing six of the people on board and injuring all three survivors. [1]

  • 9 March — A UTair Aviation-owned Mil Mi-8 “Hip” helicopter working for the United Nations crashes near Bukavu in South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to the weather, killing its entire Russian crew of four men. The bodies are found at the site of the crash. [1]

  • 17 March — Two inmates at a prison in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, Canada, escape by climbing a rope lowered from a helicopter. They are arrested later the same day. [1]

  • 18 March — Syrian Air Force aircraft attack targets in Lebanon for the first time, firing rockets at Syrian rebel positions around Arsai. [1]

  • 21 March — Late in the evening, two missiles fired by American unmanned aerial vehicles strike a ground vehicle moving through Data Khel in North Waziristan, Pakistan, killing all four men in the vehicle. [1]

  • 22 March — A Central African Republic government attack helicopter strikes a rebel column approaching Bangui, temporarily halting it. [1]

  • 25 March — Boeing makes the first of two Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” test flights to show that modifications to the 787's lithium-ion battery system have solved the problem of battery overheating experienced by Dreamliners earlier in the year. The aircraft, bearing the livery of LOT Polish Airlines, departs from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, flies south down the coast of Washington and halfway down the coast of Oregon, and makes a low-altitude, low-speed circle over the Strait of Juan de Fuca before returning without incident. [1]

  • 28 March — Two USAF Northrop-Grumman B-2A “Spirit” stealth bombers make the first nonstop Northrop-Roman B-2A “ Spirit ” flight to and from the Korean Peninsula, departing Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, bombing a target range on a South Korean island, and returning in a 37½ hour flight. The flight, part of the annual Foal Eagle field training exercise, is intended to signal American support to South Korea in the face of belligerent North Korean rhetoric. [1]

April 2013

  • 5 April — Boeing makes the second of two Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” test flights to show that modifications to the 787's lithium-ion battery system have solved the problem of battery overheating experienced by “Dreamliners” earlier in the year. The aircraft, bearing the livery of LOT Polish Airlines, makes a 755-mile (1,216-kilometer) flight along the United States West Coast in just under two hours without incident. The completion of two successful test flights is a major step toward ending the worldwide grounding of 787s. [1]

  • 6 April — A Syrian Air Force strike against anti-government Kurdish militia forces in Aleppo, Syria, kills at least 15 people, nine of them children. [1]

  • 7 April — Widespread Syrian airstrikes against rebel forces in seven cities and regions kill at least 20 people. [1]

  • 13 April — Lion Air Flight 904, a Boeing 737-8GP carrying 108 people, ditches in shallow water off Bali 0.6 nautical miles (1.1 km) from the runway while attempting to land at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Indonesia. All on board survive, although 22 people are injured. [1]

  • 7 April — The Syrian Air Force strikes Saraqib, Syria, reportedly killing 20 people. [1]

  • 14 April — The Syrian Air Force strikes the Qaboun neighborhood of Damascus, reportedly killing nine children. A Syrian jet also strikes the Kurdish village of Hadad in northeastern Syria, killing at least 16 people. [1]

  • 25 April — The Israeli Air Force scrambles an Lockheed Martin F-16I “Fighting Falcon” fighter to intercept an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it approaches Israel from the coast of Lebanon. The Lockheed Martin F-16I “Fighting Falcon” shoots down the UAV, which Israel suspects belonged to Hezbollah, over the Mediterranean Sea at an altitude of 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) six miles (9.7 km) from Haifa, Israel. [1]

  • 27 April — The Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” makes its first passenger-carrying flight since the worldwide grounding of Dreamliners in January 2013, when a packed Ethiopian Airlines 787 flies from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya. Boeing vice president Randy Tinseth is among the passengers. [1]

  • 29 April — National Airlines Flight 102, a Boeing 747-428BCF cargo aircraft, crashes just after takeoff from Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, after its crew reported that its cargo of five heavy military vehicles had shifted and caused the aircraft to stall. Its entire crew of seven dies in the crash. [1]

  • 29 April — A Nordwind Airlines Airbus A320 airliner on a charter flight from Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, to Kazan, Russia, with 159 passengers on board, takes evasive action to avoid two surface-to-air missiles fired at it from Syrian territory. The missiles explode near the Airbus A320, but it is undamaged and continues its flight to Kazan without further incident. The same day, the Russian air transport agency Rosaviation bans Russian civilian aircraft from flying in Syrian airspace until further notice. [1]

  • 29 April — Virgin Galactic's commercial spacecraft “SpaceShipTwo” makes its first powered flight. Released by its jet-powered mothership White Knight Two after a 45-minute climb at an altitude of 48,000 feet (14,631 meters) over the Mojave Desert, “SpaceShipTwo” burns its engine for 16 seconds, climbing to 55,000 feet (16,764 meters) and reaching a speed of Mach 1.2 before gliding to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, after 10 minutes of independent flight. Mark Stuckey is the pilot and Mike Alsbury the co-pilot for the flight. [1]

  • 30 April — An Israeli aircraft conducts the first lethal airstrike in the Gaza Strip since November 2012, killing Palestinian Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem member Haitham Mishal as he rides a motorcycle northwest of Gaza City. A bystander is wounded. [1]

May 2013

  • 1 May — A Boeing X-51A if “WaveRider” unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft detaches from a Boeing B-52H “Stratofortress” and reaches Mach 4.8 (3,200 mph; 5,100 km/h) powered by a booster rocket. It then separates cleanly from the booster, ignites its own engine, accelerates to Mach 5.1 (3,400 mph; 5,400 km/h), and flies for 240 seconds - setting the record for the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight in history - before running out of fuel and plunging into the Pacific Ocean off Point Mugu, California, after transmitting 370 seconds of telemetry. The flight - the fourth and last planned X-51A test flight and the first successful one - completes the X-51 program. [1]

  • 3 May — A USAF KC-135 “Stratotanker” crashes 100 miles (161 km) west of the USAF Transit Center at Manas base at Manas International Airport outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, leaving two of its crewman dead and one missing. [1]

  • 3 May — Israeli Air Force aircraft strike a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles at Damascus International Airport in Damascus, Syria. The shipment had originated in Iran and was destined for delivery to Hezbollah in Lebanon. [1]

  • 4 May — The first “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft, the world's first solar-powered aircraft capable of operating day and night, completes the first leg of its attempt to become the solar-powered aircraft to fly across the continental United States, landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, at 12:30 a.m. PDT after departing Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, at dawn on 3 May and covering 1,203 km (747 miles) in 18 hours 18 minutes at an average speed-over-ground of 65.5 km/h (40.7 mph). Plans call for the aircraft, which requires no fuel because it uses photovoltaic cells in its wings to supply it with power and charge its batteries for use at night, to make a series of five flights of 19 to 25 hours each, flying at about 40 mph (64 km/h), with a stopover of approximately 10 days in each city it visits, culminating in an arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, New York. [1]

  • 5 May — Israeli aircraft strike Mount Qassioun, which overlooks Damascus, Syria, targeting surface-to-surface missiles sent from Iran to Hezbollah. The Syrian government claims the strike targeted a scientific research facility. [1]

  • 11 May — After an Israeli Air Force “Heron-1” unmanned aerial vehicle flying over the Mediterranean Sea malfunctions, the Israeli Army shoots it down to prevent it from crashing in a populated area. The following day Israel grounds its fleet of “Heron-1” unmanned aerial vehicles. [1]

  • 14 May — The world's first catapult launch of an unmanned aircraft from an aircraft carrier takes place when the USN aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) launches a Northrop Grumman X-47B demonstrator unmanned combat air vehicle in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia. The X-47B makes two low passes as if preparing to land on the carrier, then flies to a landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, about an hour later. [1]

  • 16 May — Nepal Airlines Flight 555, the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 “Twin Otter” (9N-ABO), skids off the runway at Jomsom Airport in Jomsom, Nepal, and falls 20 meters (65 feet) into the Gandaki River. All 21 people on board survive, but seven suffer serious injuries. [1]

  • 18 May — A dawn attack by an American unmanned aerial vehicle kills four al-Qaeda members in Deyfa in Yemen's Abyan Governorate. [1]

  • 20 May — Passenger-carrying flights of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner resume in the United States as United Airlines Flight 1 flies from Houston, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois. United, which plans to resume international 787 service on 10 June, becomes the fourth airline to resume “Dreamliner” flights, after Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Air India. [1]

  • 23 May — “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft completes the second and longest leg of its trip across the continental United States, arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas after a 957-mile (1,541-km) flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, at an average speed-over-ground of 52 mph (83.7 km/h), reaching an altitude of 27,000 feet (8,230 meters). The flight, which takes 18 hours 21 minutes, sets a new world distance record for a solar-powered flight, exceeding the previous record, also established by HB-SIA, in a flight from Switzerland to Spain on 25 May 2012. [1]

  • 24 May — Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK709, a Boeing 777 with 322 people on board bound from Lahore, Pakistan, to Manchester, England, is intercepted by two RAF Eurofighter Typhoon fighters over the United Kingdom after two British nationals on board get into an argument with the flight crew, make threats about setting off a bomb aboard the aircraft, and attempt to force their way into the locked cockpit. The airliner diverts to Stansted Airport outside London, where armed police board the plane and arrest the two men. [1]

  • 29 May — A missile fired by an American unmanned aerial vehicle strikes a house in Chamsa, outside Miranshah in North Waziristan, Pakistan, killing six people, including Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan deputy leader Wali-ur-Rehman. [1]

June 2013

  • 4 June — Braving unsettled weather in the Midwestern United States, “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft completes the third leg of its trip across the continental United States, arriving at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport outside St. Louis, Missouri, where it is housed in an inflatable temporary hangar - the conventional hangar originally earmarked for it had been destroyed by a powerful storm on 31 May - in the first real-world test of an inflatable hangar. During the flight, the aircraft flies under cirrus clouds for the first time, and, to the surprise of its designers, its batteries continue to charge at 30 to 50 percent despite the diminished sunlight. The 1,040-km (646-mile) flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas, which takes 21 hours 22 minutes at an average speed of 49 km/h (30.4 mph) and reaches a maximum altitude of 24,000 feet (7,315 meters), is the second-longest in terms of duration ever made in a solar-powered aircraft, exceeded only a flight of over 26 hours HB-SIA itself made in July 2010. [1]

  • 7 June — Missiles fired by an American unmanned aerial vehicle strike a house in the village of Mangroti in the Shawal area of North Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least seven people described by officials as Islamic militants and seriously injuring four others. [1]

  • 11 June — Air traffic controllers in France begin a strike to protest European Union plans to reorganize and privatize air traffic control over Europe. In response to a call for industrial action by the European Transport Workers' Federation, air traffic controllers in 11 other countries engage in lower-key industrial actions in sympathy with the 12 June French strike, although flights are not disrupted in other countries. [1]

  • 13 June — The Canadian AeroVelo Atlas human-powered helicopter makes a 64-second flight that reaches an altitude of 3.3 meters (11 feet), winning the American Helicopter Society International's Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition by becoming the first such helicopter to fly for at least 60 seconds and achieve an altitude of at least 3 meters (10 meters). [1]

  • 13 June — The French air traffic controller strike ends, having forced the cancellation of over 2,000 flights, without resolution of the issues which prompted it. Industrial actions in other countries related to the French strike also end. [1]

  • 14 June — “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft begins the fourth leg of its flight across the continental United States, flying a 678-kilometer (421-mile) segment from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport outside St. Louis, Missouri, to Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 15 hours 14 minutes at an average speed of 44.5 km/h (27.6 mph) and reaching a maximum altitude of 3,048 meters (10,000 feet). The 11-hour stop at Cincinnati during the trip to Washington Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., is inserted into the itinerary because of strong cross- and headwinds forecast for the flight and a legal requirement that the aircraft's pilot not exceed 24 hours continuously in the air; it also affords the Solar Impulse ground crew an opportunity to practice supporting the aircraft during stops planned on short notice. [1]

  • 15 June — Google reveals its previously secret “Project Loon” with the first public launch of a maneuverable unmanned balloon designed to operate in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 12 miles (19.3 km) and bring broadband wireless Internet access to remote regions and areas affected by natural disasters. Google has launched 30 such balloons during the week from a field near Lake Tekapo on New Zealand's South Island to test the system over the cities of Christchurch and Canterbury. [1]

  • 15 June — Escorted by RAF Eurofighter “Typhoon” fighters, Egyptair Flight 985, a Boeing 777 with 326 people on board bound from Cairo, Egypt, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, makes an emergency landing at Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Prestwick, Scotland, after a passenger finds a note in one of its lavatories making a threat to set the aircraft on fire. [1]

  • 16 June — “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) aircraft completes the fourth leg of its flight across the continental United States, completing the fourth leg's second segment, a 702-kilometer (436-mile) trip from Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio - from which it had departed on 15 June after an 11-hour stopover - to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia outside Washington, D.C. The flight takes 14 hours 4 minutes at an average speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) and reaches a maximum altitude of 3,048 meters (10,000 feet). During its stay, the aircraft is placed on temporary display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center adjacent to the airport. [1]

  • 18 June — A tornado passes between Runways 34R and 34L at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, passing 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) east of the airport's A gates, causing thousands of people to take cover in stairwells, restrooms, and other safe areas. The anemometer at the airport's weather station records a peak wind gust of 97 mph (156 km/h) before breaking. Nine flights are diverted to other airports during the 40-minute tornado warning. [1]

  • 24 June — The Federal Reserve Bank of New York discovers that $1.2 million in $100 bills is missing from a $93 million shipment of cash carried from Zurich, Switzerland, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City aboard Swissair Flight 17 on 22 June. The Federal Bureau of Investigation launches an investigation into where and how the money disappeared between the flight's point of origin in Zurich and the shipment's arrival at the bank. [1]

July 2013

  • 2 July — When its pilot loses control in high winds, a Polar Airlines Mil Mi-8 “Hip” helicopter crashes at Yakutsk, Russia, killing 24 of the 28 people on board and injuring all four survivors. [1]

  • 2 July — An American unmanned aerial vehicle missile strike late in the day against a house in Sarai Darpa Khel outside Miramshah, North Waziristan, Pakistan, kills at least 16 people, most of them members of the Haqqani network. [1]

  • 6 July — Despite suffering a mid-flight tear in its wing, “Solar Impulse” (HB-SIA) flies 495 km (307 miles) from Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia outside Washington, D.C., to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City in 18 hours 23 minutes at an average speed-over-ground of 27 km/h (16.8 mph) and reaching a maximum altitude of 3,110 meters (10,203 feet), becoming the first solar-powered aircraft to fly across the continental United States. During the 64-day journey, which had begun on 3 May at Moffett Field in California, HB-SIA has made five intermediate stops and covered 5,659 km (3,514 miles) in 105 hours 42 minutes in the air at an average speed-over-ground of 53.5 km/h (33.2 mph). [1]

  • 6 July — Attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, after a flight from Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the Boeing 777-28E(ER) (HL7742), comes down short of the runway, strikes a seawall, and crashes, killing two - one of whom is struck by a responding fire truck - of the 307 people on board and injuring 182 of the 304 survivors; one of survivors later also dies. It is the second crash and first fatal crash of a Boeing 777 and the first fatal airline crash in the United States since February 2009. [1]

  • 7 July — A Rediske Air de Havilland Canada DHC-3 “Otter” air taxi crashes onto the runway immediately after takeoff from Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska, and bursts into flames, killing all 10 people on board. [1]

  • 10 July — A Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator lands aboard USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia. Taking off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, the Northrop Grumman X-47B flies about 140 miles (225 km), makes a landing approach, is deliberately waved off to test its go-around capability, then lands after its second approach, all without human in-flight input. It is both the first time that an unmanned aerial vehicle lands on an aircraft carrier autonomously and the first extended autonomous flight by a military unmanned aerial vehicle of any kind. [1]

  • 11 July — United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins a program of twice-weekly flights involuntarily carrying up to 136 illegal immigrants at a time from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City, Mexico. The program is intended to deter illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States by flying such immigrants deep into Mexico before releasing them. A two-month trial of the program in 2012 had returned 2,300 Mexicans to Mexico. [1]

  • 13 July — A missile strike by an American unmanned aerial vehicle kills two Islamic militants riding a motorcycle in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, Pakistan. [1]

  • 14 July — Pakistan Air Force jets bomb at least seven Islamist militant hideouts in Pakistan, killing at least 17 insurgents and injuring at least 13. [1]

  • 28 July — American unmanned aerial vehicles fire two missiles at a group of men just after they cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, killing at least six Islamic militants - reportedly including a senior Pakistani Taliban commander - and injuring four. [1]

August 2013

  • 6 August — Syrian rebels capture the Menagh Military Airbase from government forces after a one-year long siege. [1]

  • 13 August — The United States Department of Justice files suit to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways, saying it would harm consumers and lead to substantially less competition, higher airfares and fees, and less service to many airports. [1]

  • 14 August — UPS Airlines Flight 1354, the Airbus A300F4-622R (N155UP) cargo aircraft arriving from Louisville, Kentucky, with a crew of two aboard, crashes one-half mile (0.8 m) from the runway at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Both crew members die. [1]

  • 26 August — The British light aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious is among USN and Royal Navy ships deployed in the Mediterranean Sea in case military action against Syria is deemed necessary in the wake of reported Syrian government use of poison gas in the Syrian Civil War. [1]

  • 31 August — An American unmanned aerial vehicle makes a missile attack against a compound in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, Pakistan, occupied by Islamic militants from Tajikistan and a vehicle parked nearby, killing four. [1]

September 2013

  • 5 September — American unmanned aerial vehicles fire missiles at a house near Ghulam Khan, North Waziristan, Pakistan, killing five. Senior Haqqani network commander Sangeen Zadran reportedly is among the dead. [1]

  • 22 September — To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight across the Mediterranean Sea, pilot Baptiste Solis flies a near-replica Morane-Saulnier G nonstop along the same route from France to Tunisia. Roland Garros made the original nonstop flight on 23 September 1913 in a Morane-Saulnier H, a single-seat version of the Morane-Saulnier G. [1]

  • 29 September — An American unmanned aerial vehicle missile strike in the Dargamandi area of North Waziristan, Pakistan, kills at least three Islamic militants. [1]

  • 30 September — An American unmanned aerial vehicle missile strike against a compound in the Boya area of North Waziristan, Pakistan, kills three Islamic militants. [1]

October 2013

  • 3 October — Associated Aviation Flight 361, an Embraer EMB.120 “Brasilia” on a domestic charter flight in Nigeria carrying the body of Olusegun Agagu, the former governor of Ondo State, from Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos to Akure Airport in Ondo State, crashes shortly after take off, killing 15 of the 20 people on board. [1]

  • 7 October — Japan Airlines announces that it will purchase 31 A350 airliners from Airbus for $9,500,000,000 to replace its fleet of Boeing 777s. The announcement ends Boeing's decades-long dominance of the Japanese market; before the Japan Airlines deal with Airbus, Boeing and Airbus had competed head-to-head in almost every market worldwide except for Japan. [1]

  • 16 October — Lao Airlines Flight 301, an ATR.72 on a scheduled domestic passenger flight in Laos from Vientiane to Pakse, crashes into the Mekong River while on approach to Pakse, killing all 49 people on board. It the greatest loss of life in a single aviation accident in 2013. [1]

  • 22 October — World View, an offshoot of the Paragon Space Development Corporation, announces plans to carry tourists into the stratosphere at an altitude of 30 kilometers (19 miles) employing 1,100,000-cubic-meter (40,000,000-cubic-foot) helium balloons. Each flight is to carry six passengers and a crew of two, requiring an ascent of between 90 minutes and two hours to peak altitude, followed by two hours at altitude and a 25-to-40-minute descent. A ticket is to cost $75,000. World View's plans call for a demonstration flight by the end of 2013 and the first operational flight by 2016. [1]

  • 24 October — Nigerian Air Force strikes and ground attacks by Nigerian Army forces combine to kill 74 Boko Haram members at camps in Galangi and Lawanti in northeast Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. [1]

  • 26 October — The first free-flight test of the Sierra Nevada Corporation's “Dream Chaser” lifting-body spaceplane takes place at Edwards Air Force Base in California. After dropping from an Erickson Air-Crane “Skycrane” helicopter at an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,810 m), the unmanned “Dream Chaser” flies autonomously in a steep dive, pulls up perfectly, and glides to the center line of the runway, but its left landing gear fails to deploy, causing it to roll on its side and skid off the runway in a crash-landing. [1]

  • 31 October — Israeli Air Force aircraft strike Latakia and Damascus, Syria, destroying Russian-made 9K33 “Osa” (“SA-8 Gecko”) surface-to-air missiles Israel believed were destined for delivery to Hezbollah. [1]

  • 31 October — The U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announces that airline passengers will be allowed to use their personal electronic devices during all phases of flight, ending the years-long prohibition of their use during takeoff and landing, although a Federal Communications Commission ban on the use of cell phones to make calls or send texts or data in flight is to remain in force. The FAA states that pilots may still require personal electronic devices to be turned off under certain conditions, but that it expects airlines to implement new procedures to accommodate the gate-to-gate use of such devices by the end of 2013. [1]

November 2013

  • 1 November — In the early morning hours, Israeli Air Force aircraft bomb a tunnel in the Gaza Strip that Israel claims Hamas uses for terrorist operations, killing three Hamas members. [1]

  • 1 November — An American unmanned aerial vehicle missile strike on a ground vehicle parked outside a mosque in North Waziristan, Pakistan, kills Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, his uncle, his driver, and two of his bodyguards. [1]

  • 1 November — After leaving a note stating that he wanted to kill U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, Paul Ciancia opens fire with an assault rifle at a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, killing TSA screener Gerardo I. Hernandez, who becomes the first TSA employee to die in the line of duty. Ciancia also wounds three other people, including two TSA employees, before police shoot and critically wound him and take him into custody. Panicked bystanders stampede, and some of them escape onto the tarmac and take refuge underneath parked airliners. Hundreds of departing flights are grounded or delayed for hours, and many arriving flights are diverted to other Southern California airports; an estimated 1,550 scheduled flights and 167,000 passengers are affected during the day, as are another 40 flights and 4,000 passengers on 2 November. [1]

  • 7 November — The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announces plans to conduct testing at six sites of the integration of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights into the general air traffic control scheme over the United States, and to develop policies, regulations, and procedures to integrate UAVs into the planned new air traffic control system, the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The FAA projects years of testing that will not be complete in time to meet the September 2015 deadline set by the United States Congress for the general integration of UAVs into the U.S. air traffic control system. [1]

  • 12 November — The United States Department of Justice drops its lawsuit to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways in exchange for the new airline giving up gates at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The agreement clears the way for the merger, which will create the world's largest airline, to be named American Airlines but to be run by US Airways management. [1]

  • 14 November — The U.S. Government Accountability Office releases a report which finds that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) anti-terrorism program, in which TSA behavior detection officers (BDOs) attempt to identify suspicious people through observation of their behavior while they pass through airport security checkpoints in American airports, is ineffective. TSA disputes the findings. [1]

  • 17 November — Seconds after the crew of Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363, the Boeing 737-53A “VQ-BBN”, initiates a go-around due to an unstable approach while attempting to land at Kazan International Airport in Kazan, Russia, the aircraft noses down, crashes, and disintegrates in an explosion, killing all 50 people on board. [1]

  • 20 November — Thinking they are on approach to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, the crew of Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 “Dreamlifter” (N780BA) cargo aircraft mistakenly lands nine miles (14.5 km) away at Colonel James Jabara Airport. The plane lands safely, although the airport's 6,100-foot (1,859-meter) runway is too short for Boeing 747 operations. Although it normally requires a runway at least 2,780 meters (9,119 feet) in length for takeoff, the “Dreamlifter” takes off safely the next day and flies to McConnell Air Force Base. [1]

  • 21 November — A American unmanned aerial vehicle-launched missile strike in Hangu District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, kills four members of the Haqqani network and two other people and injures five. It is the first such known strike to occur outside of Pakistan's tribal regions in five years. [1]

  • 23 November — China announces a new air defense information zone over a large portion of the East China Sea - including the Senkaku (or Diaoyu) Islands, which Japan claims as its territory - in which non-commercial aircraft must identify themselves or face “defensive emergency measures” by the Chinese armed forces. Japan and the United States protest the establishment of the new zone. Later in the day, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force conducts its first patrol of the zone. [1]

  • 23 November — Syrian Air Force aircraft strike rebel-held areas in northern Syria, killing 22 people in al-Bab and seven in the Karam el-Beik district. In a strike on Aleppo, the aircraft miss their target and hit a crowded vegetable market instead, killing 15 people. [1]

  • 29 November — A Scottish Police helicopter crashes onto the roof of The Clutha - a crowded public house in Glasgow city center, at 10:30pm. [1]

  • 29 November — LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 crashes in Namibia, killing all 34 aboard. [1]

December 2013

  • 1 December — Syrian government helicopters bombing a rebel compound at al-Bab kill 24 people. [1]

  • 1 December — On CBS television's 60 Minutes, chairman, president, and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos unveils a plan to use unmanned eight-rotor drone helicopters (“octocopters”) to deliver packages to the homes of customers in as little as 30 minutes. He displays a working model of such an octocopter, and says that he hopes to put the octocopters into practical use by 2018. [1]

  • 2 December — Hundreds of Islamic militants attack Maiduguri International Airport and a Nigerian Air Force base outside Maiduguri, Nigeria, temporarily disrupting flight operations and damaging two helicopters and three decommissioned military fixed-wing aircraft. Scores of people die. [1]

  • 8 December — South Korea announces that it will expand its air defense information zone (ADIZ) for the first time in 62 years, extending it 300 kilometers (186 statute miles; 162 nautical miles) to the south, overlapping with Japan's ADIZ and with the expanded ADIZ the People's Republic of China declared over the East China Sea on 23 November. The expanded South Korean ADIZ is scheduled to go into effect on 15 December. [1]

  • 12 December — A missile strike by an American unmanned aerial vehicle on a convoy of ground vehicles in Radda, Yemen kills at least 13 people. The vehicles had been bound for a wedding party. Conflicting reports state that the UAV struck the convoy by mistake and that the UAV targeted the convoy to kill Islamic militants riding in it, although reports also disagree as to whether any militants were present. [1]

  • 15 December — South Korea's expanded air defense information zone over the East China Sea goes into effect, with Republic of Korea Air Force airborne early warning and control aircraft patrolling the zone on the first day. South Korea announces that such flights will continue, and that Republic of Korea Navy Lockheed P-3C “Orion” anti-submarine patrol aircraft also will fly missions in the zone four to five times per week. [1]

  • 15 December — Syrian government helicopters drop barrels filled with explosives and fuel on rebel-held areas in northern Aleppo, Syria, destroying cars and buildings and killing at least 37 people. [1]

  • 16 December — Syrian helicopters continue to pound Aleppo in northern Syria, where the death toll exceeds 100 during the two days of barrel-bomb attacks on densely crowded neighborhoods. Syrian aircraft also strike the villages of Inkhil and Jassem in southern Syria, killing two women and two children. [1]

  • 20 December — Hours after the French wine entrepreneur James Gregoire sells his luxury Bordeaux chateau, Chateau de La Riviere, to billionaire Chinese hotel magnate Lam Kok, owner of the Brilliant hotel chain, the two men and Kok's 12-year-old son and an interpreter die when the helicopter Gregoire is piloting on a aerial tour of the property crashes into the river Dordogne near Lugon-et-l'Île-du-Carnay, France. Eyewitnesses report two people struggling in the water after the crash, but they apparently drown in the rushing water. A previous owner of the property had died in a 2002 aircraft crash. [1]

  • 21 December — Syrian helicopters drop barrel bombs on opposition-held portions of Aleppo, killing at least six people. [1]

  • 21 December — Rebel ground fire damages three United States Air Force Boeing CV-22 “Osprey” aircraft as they approach Bor, South Sudan, to evacuate American citizens threatened by combat between rebel and government forces, wounding four American military personnel. The Ospreys abort their mission and fly the wounded to Entebbe, Uganda, from which a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 “Globemaster III” transports the injured personnel to Nairobi, Kenya, for hospitalization. [1]

  • 22 December — For an eighth straight day, Syrian helicopters attack rebel-held areas in and near Aleppo with barrel bombs, killing at least 32 people. Syrian aircraft also strike the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing on the northern border with Turkey, killing or wounding several people. Estimates of the combined death toll in the day's attacks on Aleppo and the border crossing later rise to at least 45. [1]

  • 23 December — In a ninth day of barrel-bomb attacks on Aleppo and its suburbs, and in strikes on three other towns in the Aleppo Governorate including Azaz on the Turkish border, Syrian helicopters kill at least 45 more people. Since beginning on 15 December, the daily airstrikes have killed an estimated 364 people. [1]

  • 24 December — Syrian helicopters attack rebel-controlled portions of Aleppo for the tenth straight day, killing at least 15 people. One estimate places the death toll at least 33, with another 150 injured. [1]

  • 24 December — After sniper fire from the Gaza Strip mortally wounds an Israeli civilian maintenance worker as he performs repairs on the Israeli side of the border fence, Israeli Air Force aircraft join Israeli tanks and infantry in a retaliatory cross-border attack, killing two Palestinians. [1]

  • 25 December — Activists place the number of people killed by Syrian helicopters dropping barrel bombs on rebel-held areas of Aleppo at 401 over the eleven days of attacks which began on 15 December. [1]

  • 26 December — A Russian Antonov An-12 cargo aircraft crashes into warehouses at a military facility in Siberia, killing all nine people on board. [1]

  • 26 December — Textron, the parent company of Cessna Aircraft, announces that it has reached an agreement to purchase Beechcraft Corporation for $1,400,000,000. [1]

2013 Aircraft First Flights

  • 14 June — Airbus A350 XWB (F-WXWB) at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, Toulouse, France. [1]

  • 16 September — Bombardier CS100 (C-FBCS) at Montréal-Mirabel International Airport, Montreal, Quebec. [1]

  • 17 September — Boeing 787-9 (N789ZB) at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, United States. [1]

  • 24 October — e-Go (G-OFUN) at Tibenham airfield, Norfolk, England. [1]

  • 14 November — Piaggio-Selex P.1HH “ HammerHead” (XAV-5A-001) at Trapani Airport, Italy. [1]

  • 28 December — Embraer “Legacy” 450 (PT-ZIJ) at Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. [1]

2013 Aircraft Entering Service

  • 1 August — Airbus A400M “Atlas” with the French Air Force. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 2013 in Aviation

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