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2003 in Aviation
This is a list of aviation-related events from 2003:
January 1 January
Turkish Airlines Avro RJ100 Konya, operating as Flight 634, crashes in thick fog while on final approach to land at Diyarbak?r Airport in Diyarbak?r, Turkey. The plane breaks into three pieces and catches fire, killing 75 of the 80 people on board and seriously injuring all five survivors. Air Midwest Flight 5481, a Beechcraft 1900D operating as a US Airways Express flight, crashes into a US Airways hangar on takeoff from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport at Charlotte, North Carolina, killing all 21 people on board and injuring one person on the ground. The accident investigation determines that the crash resulted from improper maintenance and because the aircraft was overweight, Air Midwest having used Federal Aviation Administration-approved estimated passenger weight tables that had not been updated since 1936, when the average weight of an American passenger was 20 pounds (9 kg) lighter than in 2003. 9 January - TANS Perú Flight 222, a Fokker F28-1000 Fellowship, crashes near Chachapoyas, Peru, while on approach to Chachapoyas Airport, killing all 46 people on board.
March 1 March –
Asiana Airlines joins the Star Alliance. 6 March –
Air Algérie Flight 6289, the Boeing 737-200 7T-VEZ, suffers an engine failure during takeoff from Tamanrasset Airport in Tamanrasset, Algeria, stalls, veers off the runway, and crashes, killing all but one of the 102 people on board and injuring the sole survivor. 9 March – The
Transportation Security Administration – responsible for the safety of the traveling public in the United States, with the bulk of its efforts devoted to civil aviation and the screening of passengers and baggage at over 450 airports in the United States – is moved from the United States Department of Transportation to the United States Department of Homeland Security. 14 March – A
Cessna 177 Cardinal crashes into Old Fort Mountain near Old Fort, North Carolina, after taking off from Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, North Carolina, killing author Amanda Davis and her parents. Davis is on a book tour to promote her first novel, Wonder When You'll Miss Me, at the time of her death. Her father is piloting the plane when it crashes.   31 March - Lauda Air Italy merges into the airline Livingston.
May The airline
Livingston begins flight operations. 1 May
25 May -
Boeing 727-223 tail number is stolen from N844AA Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Luanda, Angola. Ben Charles Padilla, who is suspected of having been at the controls, disappears at the same time. Despite a worldwide search by police and intelligence agencies, neither the plane nor Padilla are ever found. 26 May -
UM Airlines Flight 4230, a chartered Yakovlev Yak-42 ( NATO reporting name "Clobber") carrying Spanish peacekeeping troops home from Afghanistan to Zaragoza Airport in Zaragoza, Spain, crashes into a mountainside near Maçka, Turkey, on its third attempt to land in dense fog for a stopover at Trabzon Airport in Trabzon, Turkey. All 75 people on board die. 29 May - A man attempts to
hijack Qantas Flight 1737, a Boeing 717-200 with 52 other people on board, shortly after taking off from Melbourne Airport in Melbourne, Australia, hoping to crash the plane into Australias Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania, which he believes will release the Devil from his lair and bring about Armageddon. He injures two flight attendants before being subdued by other passengers. 30 May
July 8 July -
Sudan Airways Flight 139, a Boeing 737-200, crashes at Port Sudan, Sudan, killing 116 of the 117 people on board. A two-year-old boy is the only survivor. 10 July – The
Indonesian airline Wings Abadi Airlines – usually shortened to Wings Air – begins flight operations. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lion Air. 26 July - 3 August - The
13th FAI World Rally Flying Championship takes place in Rustenburg, South Africa. the individual winners are 1. Nigel Hopkins and Dale de Klerk (South Africa), 2. Janusz Darocha and Zbigniew Chrz?szcz ( Poland), 3. Nathalie Strube and P. Sicard (France); the team winners are 1. South Africa, 2. France, 3. Poland. 30 July
31 July - Jumping from an altitude of 9,000 meters (29,527 feet), Felix Baumgartner uses a wingpack to cross the English Channel in 14 minutes, covering over 35 kilometers (21.7 miles). 
August The wreckage of an
Indian Air Force Antonov An-12BP ( NATO reporting name "Cub") that disappeared during a flight on 7 February 1968 with the loss of all 102 people on board is discovered an altitude of 17,324 feet (5,280 meters) on India?s Dhaka Glacier near Chandrabhaga Peak 13.  1 August -
Continental Airlines resumes its non-stop service from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to Hong Kong. It had suspended the service earlier in the year due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in southern China. 8 August - JAT Yugoslav Airlines renames itself
Jat Airways. 11 August -
completes the first flight across the Atlantic by a computer-controlled The Spirit of Butts Farm model aircraft. The flight also sets two world records for a model aircraft, for duration (38 hours 53 minutes) and for non-stop distance (3,038 kilometres or 1,888 statute miles). 26 August - Colgan Air Flight 9446, a US Airways Express Beechcraft 1900D on a repositioning flight with no passengers aboard, crashes in the water off Yarmouth, Massachusetts, immediately after takeoff from Barnstable Municipal Airport in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, due to a maintenance error. The two-man crew dies.
December 4 December – A
Mil Mi-8 ( NATO reporting name "Hip") helicopter of the Polish Air Force's 36th Special Aviation Regiment carrying the Prime Minister of Poland, Leszek Miller, suffers a failure of both its engines due to icing. Its pilot performs an autorotation and lands the helicopter in a forest near Piaseczno, Poland. There are no fatalities, but 14 of the 15 people on board are injured, including Miller. 15 December
The 100th anniversary of the first flight of the
Wright Brothers in the Wright Flyer is celebrated as the 100th birthday of aviation. SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately built, manned aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound. 18 December –
FedEx Express Flight 647, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10F, crashes while landing at Memphis International Airport in Memphis, Tennessee, killing two of the seven people on board. 25 December - UTA Flight 141, a severely overloaded chartered Boeing 727-223, fails to become airborne during its takeoff attempt from Cadjehoun Airport in Cotonou, Benin. It runs off the end of the runway and crashes on a beach along the Bight of Benin, killing 151 of the 163 people on board. All 12 survivors as well as two people on the ground are injured. Newspaper reports create rumors that the Boeing 727 involved is , which had disappeared after being stolen in May, but the rumors prove unfounded; the accident aircraft is N844AA 3X-GDO.
August 1 August - First successful supersonic flight of the
HAL Light Combat Aircraft's (LCA's) first technology demonstrator, TD-1. 7 August - SpaceShipOne (first free-flight)
National Transportation Safety Board. "Introduction of Glass Cockpit Avionics into Light Aircraft" (PDF) . Retrieved 2018.
Luther, Claudia (March 24, 2003). "Amanda Davis, 32; 1st-Time Novelist". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2017.
"Amanda Davis, 32, Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Teacher". The New York Times. March 18, 2003 . Retrieved 2017.
^ Goodspeed, Hill, "Where Naval Aviation History is Manifest,"
Naval History, June 2011, p. 35.
^ a b c
planecrashinfo.com Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents: 2000s
Aviation Safety Network Accident Description
"Helios Prototype Solar Aircraft Lost In Flight Mishap", Science Daily, 1 July 2003, accessed 8 September 2003
^ "Birdman Flies Atair Parachute Across English Channel," Atairaerospace.com, 21 November 2003.
Aviation Safety Network Accident Description
Morin, Monte, "Los Angeles; Pilot Killed in Crash Was TV, Film Composer; Steve Kaplan, who died when his plane crashed into a Claremont home, had written music for 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune.'," Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2003.
"X-47A takes to the air". . Vol. 64 no. 4. April 2003. p. 4. Air International ISSN 0306-5634.
"BA609 gets airborne". Air International. Vol. 64 no. 4. April 2003. p. 4. ISSN 0306-5634.
"HJT-36 IJT first flight". Air International. Vol. 64 no. 5. May 2003. p. 9. ISSN 0306-5634.
"HondaJet first flight". Air International. Vol. 66 no. 2. February 2004. p. 10. ISSN 0306-5634.
"FTC-2000 first flight". . Vol. 66 no. 2. February 2004. p. 9. Air International ISSN 0306-5634.
"US-1A Kai first flight". Air International. Vol. 66 no. 2. February 2004. p. 9. ISSN 0306-5634.