This Day in FAA History: April 28th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19370428: The Pan American Hong Kong Clipper, a Sikorsky S-42B flying boat, arrived at Hong Kong from Manila. Linking with the existing Pan Am route from San Francisco to Manila, this new service completed the first commercial airline route from the United States to a point close to the Asian mainland. (See October 21, 1936.)
19670428: The McDonnell Douglas Corporation came into being, the result of a merger between the Douglas Aircraft Company and the McDonnell Company. Douglas had been founded in 1920, McDonnell in 1939.
19670428: FAA required operators of unmanned free balloons to equip their balloons with at least two separate, independently operated self-destruction mechanisms for both the balloon envelope and its instrument package. The agency further required the balloon envelope to have radar reflective equipment.
19810428: After 37 negotiating sessions with FAA, PATCO representatives walked out of the contract talks, claiming that the agency was not responsive to their proposals. PATCO had submitted its bargaining proposals to FAA in early January 1981, and negotiations had begun the following month. PATCO’s proposals for a 32-hour work week and separate pay scale for controllers, embodied in legislation before Congress, were opposed by the Office of Management and Budget. (See March 15, 1981, and May 23, 1981.)
19880428: An 18-foot gap opened in flight in the fuselage of a Boeing 737 operated by Aloha Airlines. Decompression swept a flight attendant through the opening, and 8 other persons were seriously injured. The plane made an emergency landing on the Hawaian island of Maui. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, FAA ordered inspections of 737-100 and 737-200 jets logging more than 55,000 landings and restricted those planes to 23,000-foot altitude until inspected. On May 23, 1989, the National Transportation Safety Board cited the probable cause of the accident as the Aloha maintenance program’s failure to detect disbonding and fatigue damage. Contributary factors listed included Aloha management failings, FAA regulatory deficiencies, and Boeing’s failure to ensure correction of certain 737 construction problems. The near disaster aboard the high-service, 19-year-old Aloha plane focused attention on the issue of the airworthiness of aging airliners. (See May 6, 1981, and June 1, 1988.)
19970428: FAA selected Hughes Information Technology Systems, a unit of Hughes Aircraft Company, as its integration-services contractor to support the National Airspace System Infrastructure Management System (NIMS) program. The contract was estimated to be worth $100 million over seven years. (See June 15, 1998.)