September 17, 1996: Solo pilot on flight path into history

Today in History: September 17, 1996: Solo pilot on flight path into history

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Gulf News

1996 - John Fisher will probably be the last to attempt a record-breaking solo flight around the world in a fragile biplane — refitted at a cost of $90,000 (Dh33,1020) — but he finally kept his date with Dubai five days later than scheduled, seemed completely unfazed by the delay. “If you don’t have any uncertainty, you don’t have any adventure,” grinned the gleeful accountant, who learned to fly three years ago, so that he could emulate boyhood hero Francis Chichester and fly from London to Sydney in a Tiger Moth in less than 32 days. No more than a blip on the horizon as it taxied down the runway, its lone propeller working furiously, the ageing 1942 De Havilland Tiger Moth was dwarfed by modern-day jets at Dubai’s busy international airport.

Other important events

1844 - Inventor Thomas Adams of Philadelphia patents the first US colour printing press.

1871 - The Mont-Cenis Tunnel opens in the Alps, linking Savoy with the rest of Italy via a 20-minute train ride.

1900 - Proclamation of Commonwealth of Australia as Federal Union of the Six Colonies.

1935 - Manuel Quezon is elected the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

1939 - Finnish athlete Taisto Maki becomes the first man to run the 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes.

1944 - The Battle of Arnhem begins with an Allied airborne landing in the Netherlands.

1949 - Fire destroys Noronic, the largest passenger steamer on Great Lakes in Canada, killing more than 130 people.

1957 - Malaysia joins the United Nations.

1957 - Troops led by Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat seize control of the Thailand government in a bloodless coup.

1961 - The world’s first retractable-dome stadium, the Civic Arena, opens in Pittsburgh.

1963 - Malaysia breaks off diplomatic relations with Indonesia.

1967 - A riot during a football game in Turkey kills 42 people and injures 600.

1976 - The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, is unveiled by Nasa.

1978 - Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign an agreement for Middle East peace.

1980 - Ousted Nicaraguan leader Anastasio Somoza is assassinated in Paraguay.

1993 - Muslim and Croat army chiefs agree on a ceasefire in south and central Bosnia.

2004 - Mexico’s President Vincente Fox and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sign a free trade agreement.

2008 - An assault on the US Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen kills 19 people.

2011 - American boxer Floyd Mayweather defeats Victor Ortiz by a knockout in the fourth round of their WBC welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

2012 - American woman Sunita Williams takes command of the International Space Station.