March 17 in aviation: the Lady Sunkist aircraft performed a record flight of over 1.008 hours; the first non-stop flight from Tokyo to New York.

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On March 17, 1949, the aircraft Aeronca 15AC Sedan, registered N1074H and named Lady Sunkist, performed a record flight lasting 1.008 hours and 2 minutes (42 days and 2 minutes). Pilots Dick Riedel and Bill Barris were at the helm of the aircraft. This was the fourth attempt to break the 726-hour record set in 1939 by Long Beach drivers Wes Carroll and Clyde Scliepper.

At the airports along the route, the ground crew boarded the car, and the driver drove along the plane along the runway as Lady Sunkist passed slightly overhead. Thus, the pilots of the aircraft received gas cans and food in order to withstand the flight.


The first three attempts failed due to mechanical problems. The plan was for Lady to travel from Fullerton to Miami and back. The aircraft would then remain above Southern California until the record was broken.

Other aviation events on March 17.

Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710 crashed near Tell City.

On March 17, 1960, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710, a Lockheed L-188 Super Electra plane that had taken off from Chicago for Miami, Florida, broke in the air at an altitude of 4.600 m and crashed near Tell. City, Indiana, killing all 63 passengers and crew on board.

The first flight of the helicopter Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama.

On March 17, 1969, the first flight of Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama took place, a French single-engine helicopter developed to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. It combines the lightest Aérospatiale Alouette II with Alouette III components and engine. The blade has exceptional high altitude performance.

The helicopters were built under the license of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India, known as Cheetah. HAL later developed a modernized variant, powered by the Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine, known as the Cheetal. An armed version, marketed as the Lancer, was also produced by HAL. It was also built under license from Helibras in Brazil under the name Gavião.

The first flight of the Bell X-22.

On March 17, 1966, the first Bell X-22 flight took place. The Bell X-22 is an American X-V / STOL aircraft with four fans and a tilt channel. Take-off had to take place selectively, either with the propellers tilted vertically upwards or on a short runway with the platforms tilted forward at 45 °. In addition, the X-22 was to provide a better perspective on the tactical application of vertical take-off troop carriers, such as the Hiller X-18 or the Bell XV-15. Another requirement of the program was that the flight speed reached at least 525 km / h (326 mph, 283 knots).

The first non-stop flight from Tokyo to New York.

On March 17, 1976, a Boeing 747 aircraft belonging to Japan Air Lines made the first non-stop flight from Tokyo to New York. The flight lasted 11 hours and 30 minutes, over a distance of 10.139 km (6.300 miles).

Aeroflot Flight 1691 crashed near Vnukovo Airport.

On March 17, 1979, Aeroflot Flight 1691, a Tupolev Tu-104 plane, crashed near Vnukovo Airport while trying to make an emergency landing, after a fire alarm was reported, killing 58 of the 119 people. on board the aircraft.

Avianca Flight 410 crashed near Cúcuta, Colombia.

On March 17, 1988, Avianca Flight 410, a Boeing 727, crashed near Cúcuta, Colombia, immediately after takeoff due to a pilot error. All 142 people on board, passengers and crew, died.

UTAir Flight 471 crashed on the runway in Amara, Russia.

On March 17, 2007, UTAir Flight 471 crashed on the runway in Amara, Russia, while attempting to land. Tupolev Tu-134 (RA-65021) hit the ground and burst into flames, killing 6 of the 57 passengers on board. The official cause of the accident was the poor planning and management of fog conditions by the pilots. Subsequently, following the investigations, the captain of the aircraft was sentenced to 6 years in prison and the first officer to 2 years.

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