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Air disasters

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was a scheduled international passenger flight operated by Malaysia Airlines that disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to its destination, Beijing Capital International Airport. The crew of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft last communicated with air traffic control (ATC) around 38 minutes after takeoff when the flight was over the South China Sea. The aircraft was lost from ATC radar screens minutes later, but was tracked by military radar for another hour, deviating westwards from its planned flight path, crossing the Malay Peninsula and Andaman Sea. It left radar range 200 nautical miles (370 km) northwest of Penang Island in northwestern Malaysia. With all 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard presumed dead, the disappearance of Flight 370 was the deadliest incident involving a Boeing 777 and the deadliest in Malaysia Airlines' history, until it was surpassed in both regards by Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, four months later. The combined loss caused significant financial problems for Malaysia Airlines, which was renationalised by the Malaysian government in December 2014.

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John F. Kennedy Jr. plane crash

John F. Kennedy Jr. was an American lawyer, journalist, magazine publisher, and the son of President John F. Kennedy. On the evening of July 16, 1999, Kennedy died when the airplane he was flying crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 7.5 miles (12.1 km) west of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Kennedy's wife, Carolyn Bessette, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, were also on board and died. The Piper Saratoga light aircraft had departed from New Jersey's Essex County Airport, and its intended route was along the coastline of Connecticut and across Rhode Island Sound to Martha's Vineyard Airport.

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US Airways Flight 1549

US Airways Flight 1549 was an Airbus A320 which, in the climbout after takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, struck a flock of Canada geese just northeast of the George Washington Bridge and consequently lost all engine power. Unable to reach any airport, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles glided the plane to a ditching in the Hudson River off Midtown Manhattan. All 155 people aboard were rescued by nearby boats and there were few serious injuries.

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Twilight Zone accident

On July 23, 1982, a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter crashed at Indian Dunes in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, during the making of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The crash killed three people on the ground and injured the six helicopter passengers. The incident led to years of civil and criminal action and was responsible for the introduction of new procedures and safety standards in the filmmaking industry.

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The Day the Music Died

On February 3, 1959, American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson. The event later became known as "The Day the Music Died", after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song "American Pie".

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Nigeria Airways Flight 2120

Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 was a chartered passenger flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Sokoto, Nigeria on 11 July 1991, which crashed shortly after takeoff from King Abdulaziz International Airport, killing all 247 passengers and 14 crew members on board. The aircraft was a Douglas DC-8 operated by Nationair for Nigeria Airways. Flight 2120 is the deadliest accident involving a DC-8 and remains the deadliest aviation disaster involving a Canadian airline.

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United Airlines Flight 93

United Airlines Flight 93 was a domestic scheduled passenger flight that was hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists on board, as part of the September 11 attacks. It crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, during an attempt by the passengers and crew to regain control. All 44 people on board were killed, including the four hijackers, but no one on the ground was injured. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 757–222, was flying United Airlines' daily scheduled morning flight from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to San Francisco International Airport in California.

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Iran Air Flight 655

Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board, including 66 children, were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, along the flight's usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, the flight's stopover location. Vincennes had entered Iranian territory after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits.

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Tenerife airport disaster

On March 27, 1977, two Boeing 747 passenger jets, KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736, collided on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, killing 583 people, making it the deadliest accident in aviation history.

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Aurora (aircraft)

Aurora was a rumored mid-1980s American reconnaissance aircraft. There is no substantial evidence that it was ever built or flown and it has been termed a myth.

Wars and warfare, Transportation

Pan Am Flight 103

Pan Am Flight 103 was a regularly scheduled Pan Am transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. On 21 December 1988, N739PA, the aircraft operating the transatlantic leg of the route, was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew – a disaster known as the Lockerbie bombing. Large sections of the aircraft crashed onto residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 people on the ground.

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. Contact with the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was lost when it was about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border and wreckage of the aircraft fell near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km (25 mi) from the border. The shoot-down occurred in the War in Donbass, during the Battle of Shakhtarsk, in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels. The crash was Malaysia Airlines' second aircraft loss during 2014 after the disappearance of Flight 370 on 8 March.

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TWA Flight 800

Trans World Airlines Flight 800 was a Boeing 747-100 that exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 8:31 p.m. EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on a scheduled international passenger flight to Rome, with a stopover in Paris. All 230 people on board perished in the third-deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history. Accident investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) traveled to the scene, arriving the following morning amid speculation that a terrorist attack was the cause of the crash. Consequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York Police Department (FBI-NYPD) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) initiated a parallel criminal investigation. Sixteen months later, the JTTF announced that no evidence had been found of a criminal act and closed its active investigation.

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American Airlines Flight 11

American Airlines Flight 11 was a domestic passenger flight that was hijacked by five al-Qaeda members on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. Mohamed Atta deliberately crashed the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing all 92 people aboard and an unknown number in the building's impact zone. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 767-223ER, registration N334AA, was flying American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental service from Logan International Airport in Boston to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles.

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Alaska Airlines Flight 261

Alaska Airlines Flight 261 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington, United States, with an intermediate stop at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California. On January 31, 2000, the aircraft operating the route, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 2.7 miles (4.3 km) north of Anacapa Island, California, after suffering a catastrophic loss of pitch control. The accident killed everyone on board: two pilots, three cabin crew members, and 83 passengers.