1973 in aviation

Events

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

  • Aeroperú, the flag carrier of Peru, begins flight operations with a fleet of three Fokker F28 Fellowships. Its first flight is from Lima to Cusco.
  • October 2
  • October 3 Israeli Air Force photography detects the Syrian deployment of armored division artillery near the Israeli-Syrian border.[59]
  • October 4 Israeli Air Force photography reveals that Egypt has massed tanks, artillery, and equipment for crossing the Suez Canal behind its infantry divisions along the canal.[72]
  • October 6
  • October 7
    • Shortly after beginning a planned daylong series of attacks on Egyptian air defenses along the Suez Canal, the Israeli Air Force cancels them and reverses its operations to blunt a threatening Syrian ground offensive that has almost reached the Jordan River. Although it suffers heavy losses to Syrian 2K12 Kub (NATO reporting name "SA-6 Gainful") and Strela 2 (NATO reporting name "SA-7 Grail") surface-to-air missiles, it halts the Syrian offensive and over the next two days assists Israeli ground forces in pushing the Syrians back.[73]
    • Twenty-four hours after the Yom Kippur War began, the Israeli Air Force has lost 30 aircraft in combat with the Egyptians.[73]
  • October 9 The Israeli Air Force bombs Damascus, Syria, allegedly in retaliation for Syrian 9K52 Luna-M (NATO reporting name "FROG-7") artillery rocket attacks on Israeli civilian targets.[76]
  • October 10
    • The Soviet Union begins an airlift in support of Arab forces fighting in the Yom Kippur War with 21 Antonov An-12 (NATO reporting name "Cub") flights into Damascus, Syria. The Soviet airlift maintains a rate of about 30 sorties a day through October 12, after which it escalates to 100 per day. Before it ends, it will deliver 16,000 short tons (14,515 metric tons) of supplies and equipment in 935 sorties, with An-12s making deliveries to Syria and Antonov An-22s (NATO reporting name "Cock") flying to Egypt.[77]
    • Aircraft of the Israeli airline El Al, their markings painted over to prevent recognition, begin an airlift of supplies and equipment from the United States to Israel, with the first flight departing Norfolk, Virginia. El Al will deliver a total of 5,500 short tons (4,990 metric tons) in 250 flights.[78]
    • A hijacker commandeers a Mexicana de Aviación Boeing 727 bound from Mexico City to Monterrey. Police storm the plane at Mexico City and arrest the hijacker.[79]
  • October 11 Three men opposed to the regime of President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos hijack a Philippine Air Lines BAC One-Eleven with 58 people on board during a domestic flight in the Philippines from Davao City to Bacolod. During a refueling stop in Manila, they exchange the other 48 passengers for Philippine Air Lines president Benigno Toda, Jr. With Toda and the airliner's seven crew members aboard, the hijackers force the plane to take off and fly to Hong Kong, where they surrender to the authorities.[80]
  • October 13
    • The United States begins to transfer aircraft to the Israeli Air Force. The total of aircraft transferred will reach 36 F-4 Phantom IIs, 20 A-4 Skyhawks, and 12 C-130 Hercules during the Yom Kippur War.[81]
    • Aeroflot Flight 964, a Tupolev Tu-104B (registration CCCP-42486), suffers an electrical power failure and goes into a steep downward spiral from an altitude of 1,300 feet (396 meters) while on approach to Domodedovo Airport in Moscow in darkness and poor weather. It crashes 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) northwest of the airport, killing all 122 people on board. The crash is the deadliest involving a Tu-104 and at the time is the second-deadliest aviation accident in history on the territory of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.[82]
  • October 14 A massive U.S. Air Force airlift to Israel begins, including the delivery of tanks by C-5A Galaxy transports. Making 14,000-mile (22,544-km) round trips, they will deliver 22,400 short tons (20,321 metric tons) of supplies and equipment in 564 sorties.[83]
  • October 18 Upset by the launch of the French-Italian comedy film The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob promoted by her husband, French film producer and publicist Georges Cravenne, because she views it as anti-Palestinian, Danièle Cravenne uses a .22-caliber pistol to hijack an Air France Boeing 727-228 (registration F-BPJC) with 110 people on board making a domestic flight in France from Paris to Nice, demanding that the movie not open, that all motor traffic in France be halted for 24 hours, and that she be flown to Cairo, Egypt. The captain talks her into letting him land at Marseilles, France, to refuel. After the airliner lands at Marseille-Marignane Airport, Cravenne lets all the passengers and most of the crew disembark, after which several French police officers disguised as maintenance personnel board the plane and shoot her to death.[84][85]
  • October 20 Four hijackers commandeer an Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 737-287C with 57 people on board during a domestic flight in Argentina from Buenos Aires to Salta. They force the airliner to fly to Tucumán, Argentina, where they demand that it be refueled so that they can fly to Lima, Peru, and then on to Cuba. After authorities refuse to allow the plane to be refueled at Tucumán, the hijackers order it to take off again. It flies to Yacuiba Airport in Yacuíba, Bolivia, where the hijackers release 38 passengers. They finally surrender at Yacuíba on October 24 after receiving assurances that the authorities would allow them to leave Bolivia.[86]
  • October 23 VASP Flight 012, a NAMC YS-11A-211 (registration PP-SMJ), loses power during takeoff from Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Its crew aborts the takeoff immediately, but braking action is poor, so the crew retracts the landing gear. The airliner slides on its belly into Guanabara Bay, killing eight of the 65 people on board.[87]
  • October 24 (October 25 in the Middle East) In response to a Soviet threat to intervene militarily against Israel in the Yom Kippur War, President Richard Nixon puts the United States Armed Forces on alert at Defense Readiness Condition (DEFCON) 3, which includes a minimal redeployment of U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses and other bombers as a preliminary preparation in case of a strategic nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.[88]
  • October 25 A ceasefire ends the Yom Kippur War. Israel has lost 103 fighters and six helicopters during the 18 days of fighting.[89]
  • October 31 A hijacker commandeers an Avensa Douglas DC-9-14 during a domestic flight in Venezuela from Barquisimeto to Caracas. He shoots and seriously wounds himself and is arrested after the airliner lands at Caracas.[90]

November

December

First flights

January

  • January 4 – Gates Learjet 26 N26GL
  • October 7 – Cameron D96 Hot-Air Airship G-BAMK

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Entered service

April

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