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1962 in Aviation
This is a list of
aviation-related events from 1962:
Events The United States Navy develops
vertical replenishment (VERTREP) techniques to supply ships at sea by helicopter, as Sikorsky HSS-2 Sea King (later redesignated SH-3A Sea King) antisubmarine helicopters from the general stores issue ship USS and Altair fleet oiler USS resupply ships of the Mississinewa United States Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.  On an unrecorded date probably sometime in 1962, scheduled commercial airline flights between the
United States and Cuba come to an end. Although historians disagree on the exact date, it apparently occurs after Cuba bans incoming flights during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Scheduled commercial airline flights between the two countries will not resume until August 31, 2016.  The
Dominican Republic airline Aerovías Quisqueyana begins operations. Early 1962 – In Operation High Jump, the United States Navy McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II fighter sets a number of world climb-to altitude records: 34.523 seconds to 3,000 meters (9,842 feet), 48.787 seconds to 6,000 meters (19,685 feet), 61.629 seconds to 9,000 meters (29,527 feet), 77.156 seconds to 12,000 meters (39,370 feet), 114.548 seconds to 15,000 meters (49,212 feet), 178.5 seconds to 20,000 meters (65,616 feet), 230.44 seconds to 25,000 meters (82,020 feet), and 371.43 seconds to 30,000 meters (98,424 feet).
United States Army H-21C Shawnee transport helicopters deploy to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. They are the first American aircraft to operate from Da Nang.  January 1 –
Aden Airways and East African Airways enter into an agreement to pool services on the Aden- Nairobi route. January 2 – Piloting
Pakistan International Airlines? first Boeing 720B airliner - a Boeing 720-040B (registration AP-AMG) - on its delivery flight, Captain Abdullah Baig and his copilot, Captain Taimur Baig, set a world record for speed over a commercial air route, flying from London, England, to Karachi, Pakistan, in 6 hours 43 minutes 55 seconds at an average speed of 938.78 km/h (582.98 mph).   January 9 – The de Havilland
DH121 Trident makes its maiden flight from Hatfield in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. January 10-11 – A
United States Air Force B-52H Stratofortress flies from Okinawa to Madrid, establishing a new unrefueled world nonstop flight distance record of 12,532 miles (20,168 km). January 15 – The U.S. Army suffers its first combat fatalities in an aircraft in
Vietnam when an H-21C Shawnee transport helicopter is shot down by Viet Cong ground fire near Dak Roda, South Vietnam, with three killed.  January 16 – A
Republic of Vietnam Air Force C-47 Skytrain crashes at Pleiku, South Vietnam, killing 33.  January 24 – Two
United States Navy F4H Phantom IIs are seconded to the United States Air Force as the Air Force plans to adopt the type as the F-4 Phantom II. January 25 – Winds exceeding 100 miles per hour (161 km/hr) shear one of the wings off a Montana Air National Guard Douglas C-47 Skytrain flying in turbulent weather during a snowstorm. It crashes into a mountain canyon near Wolf Creek, Montana, killing all six people on board including Governor of Montana Donald Nutter. 
Tunisair discontinues its service between Tunis, Tunisia, and Frankfurt-am-Main, West Germany, due to the route's poor economic performance.. March 1
Los Angeles Airways becomes the first civil operator of the Sikorsky S-61 helicopter. American Airlines Flight 1, a Boeing 707-123B, crashes into Jamaica Bay shortly after taking off from Idlewild Airport in New York City, killing all 95 people on board; it is the sixth fatal accident involving a Boeing 707 and the deadliest 707 accident thus far. Among the dead are John Dieckman, an international champion flyfisher and caster; retired Admiral Richard Lansing Conolly, USN, the president of Long Island University and a two-time Deputy Chief of Naval Operations; W. Alton Jones, a multi-millionaire former president and chairman of Cities Service Company and close personal friend of former General of the Army and President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower; Arnold Kirkeby, a millionaire realtor and former head of the Kirkeby chain of luxury hotels; Louise Lindner Eastman, whose daughter Linda Eastman would later marry Paul McCartney of The Beatles; Irving Rubine, producer of the film ; The Guns of Navarone Emelyn Whiton, a 1952 Olympic sailing gold medalist; and the Broadway stage manager Bob Paschall. In addition, 15 abstract paintings by the artist Arshile Gorky in the planes cargo hold are destroyed. March 2 – The U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration forms its Peace Officers Program - a forerunner of the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service - as the first class of 18 officers graduate from their training program. March 4 –
Caledonian Airways Flight 153, the Douglas DC-7 Star of Robbie Burns, crashes in a swamp shortly after takeoff from Douala International Airport in Douala, Cameroon, killing all 111 people on board. March 5 – The 21st and last
Bendix Trophy race across the continental United States takes place with two United States Air Force 43rd Bombardment Wing B-58A Hustlers as its only entrants in what the Air Force dubs Operation Heat Rise. The B-58s take off from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, fly out over the Pacific Ocean, refuel in the air, then pass over Los Angeles, California, to begin the race, with a finish line at New York City, slowing only to refuel from Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers over Kansas. Flying at altitudes between 25,000 and 50,000 feet (7,620 and 15,240 meters), the first B-58A sets a west-to-east transcontinental speed record, completing the flight in 2 hours 58.71 seconds at an average speed of 1,214.71 mph (1,956.05 km/hr), beating the second B-58A by one minute and winning the last Bendix Trophy ever awarded for speed. Without landing, the two B-58As then refuel over the Atlantic Ocean and passes over New York City to begin another record-setting transcontinental flight in the opposite direction. Although the second-place B-58A has to land due to mechanical trouble soon after passing New York City, the Bendix Trophy-winning B-58A returns to Los Angeles, setting an east-to-west transcontinental record time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 50.08 seconds, completing the round trip in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 15 seconds at an average speed of 1,044.46 mph (2,708 km/hr), another record. For the flight, the B-58A's will receive not only the Bendix Trophy, but also the MacKay Trophy.   March 8 – A
Turkish Airlines Fairchild F-27 crashes in the Bolkar Mountains of the Taurus mountain range in Adana Province, Turkey, killing all 11 people on board. March 16 – Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation chartered by the United States Military Air Transport Service and carrying 97 United States Army personnel, three South Vietnamese, and a crew of 11, vanishes over the western Pacific Ocean with the loss of all 107 people on board. No wreckage or bodies are ever found.
April April 12 – During a test flight in a
P-51 Mustang to practice for an attempt to break the speed record for a flight from Sydney, Australia, to London, England, Scottish racing car driver Ron Flockhart is killed when he loses control of the plane and crashes near Kallista, Victoria, Australia.  April 15 – The
United States Marine Corps' involvement in the Vietnam War begins when Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 (HMM-362), equipped with HUS-1 Seahorse transport helicopters, arrives at Sóc Tr?ng, South Vietnam, to begin Operation Shufly.  April 16 – A lone
hijacker demands that a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Douglas DC-7C flying from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Lisbon, Portugal, with 52 passengers aboard divert to East Berlin, East Germany. The airliner instead returns to Schiphol Airport outside Amsterdam.  April 21 – Flying at the
Soviet Union?s Sternberg Point Observatory, the Tupolev Tu-114 ( NATO reporting name "Cleat") airliner 76467, piloted by Ivan Sukhomlin and copiloted by Piotr Soldatov, sets a world speed record for a turboprop landplane over a 10,000-km (6,210-mile) closed circuit carrying a payload of between 1,000 and 10,000 kg (2,205 and 22,046 pounds), averaging 737.352 km/h (458.169 mph). April 22 – Flying an
Antonov An-10A, Soviet pilot A. Mitronin sets a world speed record over a 500-kilometer (310.5-mile) closed loop for aircraft in the An-10's class, averaging 730.6 km/hr (454.0 mph). April 25 – The
United States Department of Defense announces its choice of the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter for its Military Assistance Program.  April 26 –
Louis Schalk pilots the first unofficial flight of the A-12 Article 121. April 30 – Louis Schalk pilots the first official flight of the
A-12 Article 121. Late April – The U.S. Armys 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) arrives at Nha Trang Air Base, South Vietnam, introducing the Bell HU-1 Iroquois helicopter into combat for the first time. Nicknamed the "Huey,"  the UH-1 (as the HU-1 will be redesignated in September 1962) will become iconic of the  Vietnam War.
Trans World Airlines opens the TWA Flight Center, also known as the Trans World Flight Center, at Idlewild Airport in Queens, New York.  May 2 – Piloting the
HMPAC Puffin - which is powered by the pilot pedaling to spin its propeller - John Wimpenny sets a world record for flight in a human-powered aircraft, flying 993 yards (908 m) at Hatfield Aerodrome in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The record will stand for ten years.  May 4-5 – During the
revolt against Carupanazo Venezuelan President Rómulo Betancourt, Venezuelan Air Force aircraft attack rebel positions at Carúpano.  May 22 – To kill himself and allow his family to collect his life insurance payment, passenger Thomas G. Doty detonates a dynamite bomb in a rear lavatory of Continental Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 707-124, near Centerville, Iowa, blowing off the tail section of the plane. The aircraft crashes near Unionville, Missouri, killing Doty and all of the other 44 people on board. United States Medal of Freedom recipient Fred P. Herman is among the dead.
June June 2 – During the
revolt of the Porteñazo Venezuelan Marine Corps against Venezuelan President Rómulo Betancourt, Venezuelan Air Force aircraft attack marine corps positions at Puerto Cabello.  June 3 – The
Air France Boeing 707-328 Chateau de Sully, operating as Air France Flight 007, crashes shortly after take-off from Paris-Orly Airport in Paris, killing 130 of the 132 people on board. June 6 – A helicopter pilot discovers the wreckage of the
Fairchild 24 floatplane of Canadian National Hockey League player Bill Barilko of the Toronto Maple Leafs and his dentist, Henry Hudson, who had disappeared while flying back to Toronto from a weekend fishing trip on the Seal River in northern Ontario, Canada, on August 26, 1951. The wreckage is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Cochrane, Ontario, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) off course. June 18 – To reduce the chances of
Viet Cong forces slipping away from large South Vietnamese ground units by fleeing operations areas in small groups, U.S. Marine Corps helicopters operating in South Vietnam begin to use the " Eagle Flight" tactic, in which Marine transport helicopters circle contested areas and drop off South Vietnamese troops when and where they are needed to block escaping Viet Cong forces. It will become a proven tactic by the middle of July.   June 19 – Four
West German Air Force Lockheed F-104 Starfighters collide and crash, killing all four pilots. June 22
June 30 – An errant anti-aircraft missile that has gone astray during a Soviet air defense exercise accidentally shoots down Aeroflot Flight SSSR-42370, a Tupolev Tu-104, over Beryozovsky District, Krasnoyarsk Krai, in the Soviet Unions Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. All 84 people on board die in the subsequent crash.
Portuguese airline Transportes Aéreos Portugueses (TAP) - the future TAP Portugal - acquires three Sud Aviation Caravelles, its first jet airliners. July 7 – A
Soviet Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152 sets a new airspeed record of 2,681 km/h (1,666 mph) July 8 –
Alitalia Flight 771, a Douglas DC-8-43, crashes 11 km (6.8 mi) northwest of Junnar, India, while on approach to a landing at Bombay 84 km (52 mi) to the northeast. All 94 people on board die. July 17 – U.S. Air Force
Major Robert M. White pilots a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 314,750 feet (59.6 miles, 96 km). He reaches a maximum speed of 3,784 mph (6,093 km/hr) during the flight.  July 19 –
United Arab Airlines Flight 869, a de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C, crashes on Khao Yai mountain in Thailand while on approach to Bangkok, killing all 26 people on board. July 22 – The
Bristol Britannia Empress of Lima, operating as Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 301, experiences problems with an engine just after takeoff from Honolulu International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii. Returning to the airport on three engines, it aborts its first landing attempt and begins a go around, during which it crashes, killing 27 of the 40 people on board. It is the worst commercial air accident and second-worst aviation accident in the history of Hawaii.  July 25 – On
Okinawa, the U.S. Army forms its first armed helicopter company, the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company (UTTHCO) using Bell HU-1A ("Huey") helicopters equipped with machine guns and air-to-ground rockets. They are the first  attack helicopters. July 28 – Aeroflot Flight 415, an Antonov An-10A on a domestic flight, crashes near Gagra, Abkhaz ASSR due to crew and air traffic control errors killing all 81 passengers and crew on board including nuclear physicist Natan Yavlinsky.
August August 1 – The U.S. Marine Corps loses a helicopter in Vietnam for the first time when a
Republic of Vietnam Air Force fighter skids off a runway at Sóc Tr?ng Airfield, South Vietnam, and damages an HUS-1 Seahorse transport helicopter beyond repair.  August 4 – Yemen Airlines, the future
Yemenia, receives its operating license, becoming the flag carrier of the Yemen Arab Republic, also known as North Yemen. August 24 – In
Iowa, Don Piccard sets a world altitude record for second-class balloons of 17,000 feet (5,182 meters) during a flight of 2 hours 2 minutes from Sioux City to Kennebec.  August 29 – An American
Lockheed U-2 photographs the entire island of Cuba, revealing for the first time the presence of eight Soviet surface-to-air missile sites along Cubas northwest coast designed to provide strategic air defense of Cuba from the United States.  August 30 – Two Cuban patrol boats fire on a U.S. Navy Grumman S2F Tracker with a crew of three United States Naval Reserve personnel on a training flight 15 nautical miles (28 km) off Cárdenas, Cuba.
September September 6 –
Merpati Nusantara Airlines is founded and begins flight operations. September 8 – Two Cuban
MiG-17 ( NATO reporting name "Fresco") fighters make simulated firing runs against two U.S. Navy S2F Tracker aircraft over international waters. Two F4H-1 Phantom II fighters of U.S. Navy Fighter Squadron 41 (VF-41) scramble from Key West, Florida, to intercept, but the MiG-17s flee before the Phantoms can arrive.  September 14 – Over
Edwards Air Force Base, California, a United States Air Force B-58A-10-CF Hustler reaches an altitude of 26,017.93 meters (85,360.66 feet) carrying a 5,000-kg (11,023.11 pound) payload. The flight sets two new world records, breaking the altitude record for a flight carrying a 5,000-kg ((11,023.11 pound)-pound) payload and for a flight carrying a 2,000-kg (4,409.25-pound) payload.  September 18
October The U.S. Army begins a six-month test of the
Bell UH-1 Iroquois in an armed escort role, evaluating the operations of the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Companys operations escorting CH-21C Shawnee transport helicopters in South Vietnam. It is the first combat evaluation of the value of  attack helicopters.
Convair delivers the last of 116 B-58 Hustlers to the United States Air Force. October 1
October 7 –
Clement Miller, a member of the United States House of Representatives representing California's 1st Congressional District, dies during an election campaign flight when his Piper Avalanche crashes into Chaparral Mountain near Eureka, California, during a storm. The other two people on board also are killed.  October 9 – A
PLUNA Douglas C-47A Skytrain on a test flight crashes during takeoff from Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, and catches fire, killing all 10 people on board. October 14 – A U.S. Air Force
Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance flight over Cuba reveals the presence of launchpads for medium-range ballistic missiles, triggering the Cuban Missile Crisis. October 22 – President
John F. Kennedy announces a naval blockade – termed a "quarantine" – of Cuba, and U.S. military forces worldwide are ordered to Defense Condition (DEFCON) 2. The U.S. Navy has 250 aircraft cooperating with 46 ships in blockading Cuba; the attack aircraft carriers USS and Enterprise USS and the antisubmarine carriers Independence USS and Essex USS are among the ships taking part. The United States has a combined 156 aircraft in Florida poised to strike targets in Cuba, capable of flying an estimated nearly 1,200 sorties on the first day of such strikes. Randolph  October 23 – In
Operation Blue Moon, six U.S. Navy RF-8 Crusader photographic reconnaissance aircraft flying from Key West, Florida, conduct the first American low-level flights over Cuba, flying at 400 mph (644 km/hr) only a few hundred feet off the ground.  October 24
Joint Chiefs of Staff order the U.S. military forces worldwide to Defense Condition (DEFCON) 2, with preparations to strike Cuba, the Soviet Union, or both. The U.S. Air Force has 1,436 strategic bombers and 134 intercontinental ballistic missiles on constant alert, with one-eighth of the bombers airborne at all times.  U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., asks the U.S. Air Force to assist in providing aerial surveillance of the sea approaches to Cuba. Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General Curtis LeMay agrees to do so, adding that Air Force Strategic Air Command crews will find all Soviet shipping in the area in four hours. Several B-52 Stratofortress bombers and RB-47K Stratojet weather reconnaissance aircraft and 16 Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter aerial tankers make surveillance flights, but their crews inexperience in maritime reconnaissance leads them to report American, British, and Greek cargo ships as Soviet ones.  October 26
Boeing delivers the last B-52 Stratofortress off the production line to the U.S. Air Force. Convair delivers the last B-58 Hustler, a B-58A-20-CF, serial number 61-20280, to the U.S. Air Force. The production run ends after the construction of 116 B-58s. The B-58 is the world's only supersonic bomber.  October 27 – A U-2 of the U.S. Air Forces 4080th Strategic Wing piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson. Jr., is shot down over Cuba, killing Anderson. Anderson posthumously will become the first recipient of the Air Force Cross. 
November The British and French governments agree to collaboration between
British Aircraft Corporation and Sud-Aviation in the development of a supersonic airliner. The agreement will lead to the development of the Concorde.  A model of the
UH-1B Iroquois helicopter specifically modified at the factory to serve in an attack helicopter role - the first such U.S. Army helicopter - begins to arrive in South Vietnam.  U.S. Marine Corps transport helicopters in South Vietnam begin to employ "
Tiger Flight" tactics, in which Marine Corps helicopters fly to nearby bases to embark South Vietnamese troops as a quick-reaction force to reinforce ground operations.  November 9 – A serious landing accident virtually destroys
North American X-15 56-6671 and injures National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) pilot John B. McKay.  November 18 – President John F. Kennedy lifts the blockade ("quarantine") of Cuba.
 November 19 – The first scheduled airline flight - an
Eastern Air Lines Lockheed Super Electra turboprop from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey - arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia outside Washington, D.C. November 23 –
United Airlines Flight 297, a Vickers Viscount 754D, strikes a flock of whistling swans at an altitude of 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) and crashes north of what would later become Columbia, Maryland, killing all 17 people on board.  November 27 –
Boeing rolls out the first Boeing 727 airliner at its Renton, Washington, plant.  November 30 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 512, a Douglas DC-7B, crashes while trying to land in heavy fog at Idlewild Airport in New York City. Twenty-five of the 51 people on board die.
December December 8 – British troops are airlifted to
Borneo to quell uprisings in the region. December 15 – The U.S. Navy reports that the last Soviet offensive weapons – 15 crated Ilyushin Il-28 ( NATO reporting name "Beagle") bombers – have been removed from Cuba. 
^ Polmar, Norman, "Historic Aircraft: The King of the Sea",
Naval History, February 2012, p. 13.
Anonymous, "Historic commercial flight from US lands in Cuba," Associated Press, August 31, 2016, 8:35 PM EDT.
Chinnery 1991, p. 8
FAI Record ID #7679 Archived 2017-09-22 at the Wayback Machine
fai.org via historyofpia.com "1962 - PIA Boeing 720B Record Flight Info on FAI Website"
^ a b c d e f g
Chinnery 1991, p. 10
^ a b c d
Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents: 1960s
Haulman 2003, p. 90
^ "Today in History",
The Washington Post Express, February 10, 2012, p. 34.
Donald 1997, p. 78
Haulman 2003, pp. 90-91
The B-58?s Record Flights
Aviation Safety Network Hijacking Description
Angelucci 1987, p. 372
^ a b
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Scheina 1987, p. 225
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^ a b
Isenberg 1993, p. 797,
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This Day in Aviation: 16 October 1963
Haulman 2003, p. 92
^ Mondey, David, ed.,
The Complete Illustrated History of the Worlds Aircraft, Secaucus, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc., 1978, ISBN 0-89009-771-2, pp. 57-58.
Chinnery 1991, p. 14
Chinnery 1991, p. 16
^ Hallion, Richard P., "Across the Hypersonic Divide",
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^ a b
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^ Brotak, Ed, "When Birds Strike,"
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^ Anonymous, "Today in History",
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^ a b c d e f g h i j k
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Taylor 1968, p. 318 Harv error: no target: CITEREFTaylor1968 ( help)
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Taylor 1965, p. 170
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