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2002 in Aviation
This is a list of aviation-related events from 2002:
January During January, the Indonesian airline Metro Batavia makes its first flights, operating between
Jakarta and Pontianak, Indonesia. The airline later will be renamed Batavia Air. 1 January -
Norway?s Accident Investigation Board for Civil Aviation - the future Accident Investigation Board Norway - takes on the responsibility for the investigation of railway accidents in Norway and is renamed the Accident Investigation Board for Civil Aviation and Railways. 5 January - A
Cessna 172 Skyhawk piloted by high-school student Charles J. Bishop crashes into the side of the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa, Florida, killing the teenager and damaging an office. 16 January - Both engines of a
Boeing 737-3Q8 operating as Garuda Indonesia Flight 421 with 60 people on board flame out while the aircraft is flying through a thunderstorm with heavy rain and hail during an Indonesian domestic flight from Ampenan on Lombok to Yogyakarta on Java. Unable to restart the engines, the pilots attempt to ditch the aircraft in the Bengawan Solo River on Java. A flight attendant is sucked from the aircraft after it strikes a rock; she is the only fatality. 27 January – A
Russian Interior Ministry Mil Mi-8 ( NATO reporting name "Hip") helicopter is shot down and explodes near Shelkovskaya in Nadterechny District, Chechnya, killing all 14 people on board. The deputy interior minister, a lieutenant general, a major general, and three colonels are among the dead. 28 January – When the pilots of TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-134 registered as HC-BLF and named El Oro, fly an incorrect route in foggy conditions on final approach to Teniente Coronel Luis a Mantilla International Airport in Tulcán, Ecuador, the aircraft flies into the side of the Cumbal Volcano near Ipiales, Colombia, killing all 94 people on board.
April 1 April –
Swissair's last flight, Flight 145, arrives in Zürich, Switzerland, from São Paulo, Brazil. The 71-year history of Swissair, during which it has carried more than 260 million passengers, comes to an end. 9 April – A
Portuguese Air Force 552 Squadron Alouette III crashes, killing the three crewman. 15 April –
Air China Flight 129, a Boeing 767, crashes on a mountainside near Busan killing 128 of the 166 people on board. 18 April – A Rockwell Commander 112 crashes into the upper floors of the Pirelli Tower in Milan, Italy, killing its pilot and four people in the building. Sixty more people in the building and on the ground sustain injuries .
May 3 May - After the pilot of an
Indian Air Force MiG-21 ( bis NATO reporting name "Fishbed") fighter hears an explosion in the aircraft's engine and ejects, the MiG-21 crashes into a bank in Jalandhar, Punjab, India, setting the bank and an adjacent lumber store on fire, showering nearby homes with debris, killing eight people on the ground, and injuring 17 others. The pilot survives. 4 May -
EAS Airlines Flight 4226 a BAC One-Eleven, crashes shortly after takeoff in Kano, Nigeria, killing 71 of the 77 people on board and 73 people on the ground. 7 May
20 May - The
Republic of China removes the Aviation Safety Council - the government agency responsible for aviation accident investigation, with the purpose of analyzing causal factors and proposing flight safety recommendations in Taiwan - from the control of the Executive Yuan and makes it an independent government agency, as it had been from May 1998 to May 2001. 25 May - China Airlines Flight 611, a Boeing 747-200B, breaks apart in flight and crashes into the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 passengers and crew. An investigation blames the accident on metal fatigue caused by inadequate maintenance 22 years earlier.
June 1 June - An
AirQuarius Aviation British Aerospace BAe 748-372 Srs. 2B (registration ZS-OJU) on a mail flight misses its first approach at George Airport in George, South Africa, then crashes in the Outeniqua Mountains while maneuvering for a second approach, instantly killing its crew of two and its only passenger, South African cricket player Hansie Cronje. The crew had offered Cronje a seat on the mail flight after he missed his scheduled South African Airways flight.   12 June - Returning to the
frigate HMS after an exercise, the British Richmond Royal Navy Westland Lynx helicopter XZ256 suffers a double engine failure and crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing two of the three people on board. The helicopter's observer, Jenny Lewis, is believed to be the first female Royal Navy aviator to die in service. 14 June -
Estonian Aviation Museum was opened to the general public.  17 June – A C-130A Hercules airtanker engaged in aerial firefighting near Walker in Mono County, California, crashes after both of its wings fold upward and separate from the aircraft. The entire crew of three is killed.
July 1 July
Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937, a
Tupolev Tu-154 ( NATO reporting name "Careless"), collides with DHL Flight 611, a Boeing 757 cargo aircraft, over the towns of Überlingen and Owingen in southern Germany, killing all 69 people on the Tu-154 and both people on the DHL 757. Forty-five of the dead aboard the Tu-154 are Russian schoolchildren from the city of Ufa in Bashkortostan on a school trip to the Costa Daurada area of Spain organized by the local United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) committee. The captain and first officer of America West Flight 556, an Airbus A319 with 132 people on board, are arrested at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, for being legally drunk just after pushback from the gate for a flight to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. They later are jailed. 2 July -
Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon. 4 July
7-14 July - The
15th FAI World Precision Flying Championship takes place in Zagreb, Croatia. The individual winners are 1. Lubos Hajek ( Czech Republic, in a Cessna 152), 2. Janusz Darocha ( Poland, in a Cessna 152), 3. Predrag Crnko (Croatia, in a Cessna 150). Team winners are 1. the Czech Republic, 2. Poland, 3. Croatia. 10 July - Unable to land at
Hamburg Airport in Hamburg, Germany, Swiss International Airlines Flight 850, a Saab 2000, diverts to Tegel Airport in Berlin and then to Eberswalde Airfield in Eberswalde, but weather prevents those landings as well. Finally, the aircraft diverts to Werneuchen Airfield at Werneuchen, where it strikes an earth bank that stretches across a closed portion of the runway. The impact rips off its landing gear, and it slides to a halt on its belly on the runway, damaged beyond repair. One passenger suffers injuries. 15 July - The
European Union?s European Aviation Safety Agency is established. It will begin operations in September 2003. 16 July - The
Sikorsky S-76A helicopter G-BJVX, operated by Bristow Helicopters, crashes in the southern North Sea during a flight between the gas production platform and the drilling rig Clipper Global Santa Fe Monarch, killing all 11 people on board. 17 July -
Midway Airlines suspends operations. 18 July – A
Consolidated P4Y-2 Privateer airtanker engaged in aerial firefighting near Estes Park, Colorado, crashes after its left wing folds upward and separates from the aircraft. Its crew of two is killed. 26 July - The
Africa One Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name "Curl") 9Q-CMC, declared to be carrying three tons of cargo but actually badly overloaded with dozens of tons, aborts its takeoff at Kinshasa-N'Djili Airport in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its landing gear collapses and it is damaged beyond repair, although no one is killed or injured in the accident. 27 July - During an
air show at Sknyliv Airfield in Lviv, Ukraine, the two-man crew of a Sukhoi Su-27 ( NATO reporting name "Flanker") fighter of the Ukrainian Air Force demonstration team, the Ukrainian Falcons, ejects after the Su-27s left wing strikes the ground. The Su-27 then strikes a parked Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name "Candid") and cartwheels into a crowd of spectators, killing 58 adults and 19 children and injuring over 500 people. 29 July
July-December - Italian conservationist and pilot Angelo d'Arrigo guides a flock of 10 endangered Western Siberian cranes bred in captivity with a foot-launched powered hang glider 5,500 km ( miles) from the Arctic Circle in Siberia across Kazakhstan to the shores of the Caspian Sea in Iran, avoiding Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he feared the birds would fall victim to the abundant guns there.
August 8 August – Attempting to land at
Rio Branco International Airport in Rio Branco, Brazil, during a rainstorm, Rico Linhas Aéreas Flight 4823, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, crashes short of the runway, killing 23 of the 31 people on board and injuring all eight survivors. 10 August –
US Airways files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 11 August – Nature photographers
Galen Rowell and Barbra Cushman Rowell are killed along with the other two people on board when an Aero Commander 690A crashes 2 miles (3.2 km) from Eastern Sierra Regional Airport in Bishop, California.  12 August – The
Republic of Korea abolishes the Investigation Division of the Ministry of Construction and Transportation?s Civil Aviation Bureau and creates the Korea Aviation Accident Investigation Board, which replaces he Investigation Division as the government agency responsible for aviation accident investigations in South Korea. 13 August –
Midway Airlines files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 15 August – Wanted for
hijacking Delta Air Lines Flight 334 - a Boeing 727 with 88 people on board flying from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Atlanta, Georgia - to Havana, Cuba, in September 1980, Miguel Aguiar Rodriguez finally is arrested for the hijacking by U.S. authorities when he arrives for an appointment with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Miami, Florida, seeking legal residency. He had returned to the United States illegally in 2000.    19 August –
Chechnen separatists shoot down an overloaded Russian Federation Air Force Mil Mi-26 ( NATO reporting name "Halo") helicopter carrying at least 140 Russian military personnel with a 9K38 ( Igla USDoD designation "SA-18", NATO reporting name "Grouse") shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile at Khankala, Chechnya. The helicopter crashes in a minefield, killing 127 of those on board. It is the largest loss of life in a single incident in the history of helicopter aviation. For the Russian armed forces, it is the greatest loss of life in a single military aviation incident, and the greatest loss of life in any single incident since 1999. 26 August – An unmanned National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientific balloon sets a world altitude record for balloons, reaching 161,000 feet (49,073 meters). At 60,000,000 cubic feet (169,9011 cubic meters), it also is the largest balloon ever launched successfully.  
October 2 October – During their
squadron's Silver Jubilee celebrations at Dabolim Naval Air Base in Goa, India, two Indian Navy Ilyushin Il-38 ( NATO reporting name "May") maritime patrol aircraft (serial numbers IN302 and IN304) carrying six crew members each collide while flying in close formation in front of many high-ranking naval officials and their families and crash, killing all twelve occupants of the two aircraft. 9 October –
Northwest Airlines Flight 85, a Boeing 747-451 bound from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Detroit, Michigan, to New Tokyo International Airport in Narita, Japan, with 404 people on board, experiences a rudder hardover event while cruising off Alaska at 35,000 feet (10,668 meters). The flight crew regains control of the aircraft and makes an emergency landing at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, without injury to anyone on board. The National Transportation Safety Board finds that the problem occurred because of a fatigue crack in a power control module. 18 October –
Boeing reveals its Bird of Prey stealth technology demonstrator, which has conducted a number of flights during the period 1996 to 1999. 24 October – The
Government of Kenya establishes the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority as Kenya?s national civil aviation authority. 25 October –
United States Senator Paul Wellstone and all seven other people on board die in the crash of a Beechcraft King Air A100 into dense forest two miles (3.2 km) short of the runway as it attempts to land at Eveleth, Minnesota. 31 October – French baker and entrepreneur Lionel Poilâne, his wife, and their dog are killed when the Agusta AW109 helicopter he is piloting crashes in the Bay of Cancale off the coast of Brittany, France, while flying in fog. 
United States Navys new F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter-bomber sees combat for the first time, when F/A-18Es of Strike Fighter Squadron 115 (VFA-115) flying from the aircraft carrier USS strike Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) surface-to-air missile sites and command-and-control targets near Al Kut, Iraq, during Operation Southern Focus.  3 November – An American
Central Intelligence Agency MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle hits a vehicle in Yemen with an AGM-114 Hellfire missile, killing five al-Qaeda members in the vehicle, including Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi and Kamal Derwish. 6 November
11 November –
Laoag International Airlines Flight 585, a Fokker F-27 Friendship with 34 people on board, crashes into Manila Bay just after takeoff from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the Philippines. Nineteen people die, and all 15 survivors are injured. 13 November – Satellite television broadcasting pioneer
Henry Howard Taylor dies when a Beechcraft A36TC Bonanza suffers engine failure just after takeoff from San Andreas, California, and crashes in a bed of rocks in an otherwise grassy field, killing two of the three people on board.  18 November –
American Airlines and British Airways announce plans to codeshare some transatlantic flights, but the partnership is heavily restricted by U.S. regulators. 28 November – In Mombasa, Kenya, terrorists attack the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel, killing 13 people and injuring 80 others with an exploding all-terrain vehicle, and almost simultaneously fire two shoulder-launched Strela 2 ( NATO reporting name "SA-7 Grail") surface-to-air missiles at a chartered Boeing 757 airliner belonging to Israel-based Arkia Airlines as it takes off from Moi International Airport. Both missiles miss, and the airliner arrives safely five hours later at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv under the escort of Israeli Air Force F-15 Eagle fighters. Overnight, four Israeli C-130 Hercules transport aircraft evacuate the dead and injured from Mombasa. All commercial flights from Israel to Kenya are suspended indefinitely.  
^ a b c d
planecrashinfo.com Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents: 2000s
Aviation Safety Network Accident Description
About the museum Estonian Aviation Museum website
"Accident description". Aviation Safety Network . Retrieved 2014.
Aviation Safety Network Hijacking Description
Ovalle, David, "Man accused of hijack to Cuba in '80 arrested," Miami Herald, August 16, 2002.
Simpson, Doug, "Cuban gets 10 years for 1980 hijacking of flight in New Orleans," Associated Press, Tuesday, March 11, 2003, 6:00 p.m.
^ a b
Ruffin, Steven A., Aviation's Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Winged Wonders, Lucy Landings, and Other Aerial Oddities, Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, Inc., 2005, unpaginated.
Israel evacuates tourists from Kenya. BBC News. 29 November 2002.
UK condemns Kenya bomb attack. BBC News. 28 November 2002.
^ a b
, ACIG.org Second Death of IrAF , retrieved
, CBS News Pilotless Warriors Soar To Success
Jackson, Paul (2003). "First Flights". Jane's All the World's Aircraft. 2003-2004: 30-31. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.