1991 in Aviation - Events - February

February

  • February 1 – In the Gulf War, a U.S. Navy A-6E Intruder hits an Iraqi Navy patrol boat near Min-al-Bakr oil terminal, leaving it burning.
  • February 1 – USAir Flight 1493, a Boeing 737-300 with 89 people on board, collides with Skywest Flight 5569, a Fairchild Metro III carrying 12 people, on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California, killing 22 people on the USAir plane and everyone aboard the Skywest aircraft. Thirty people on the USAir plane are injured, 13 of them seriously.
  • February 2 – Coalition aircraft attack Iraqi Navy vessels at the Al Kalia naval facility, hitting a missile boat with two laser-guided bombs and straddling another with twelve 500-pound (227-kg) bombs; helicopters from the American guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas (FFG-47) engage four Iraqi patrol boats near Maradim Island, destroying one and damaging two; and U.S. Navy A-6Es destroy an Iraqi patrol boat in Kuwait Harbor with two laser-guided bombs. The Coalition claims to have sunk or damaged 83 Iraqi Navy vessels thus far in the Gulf War, with Coalition aircraft inflicting most of the losses. Iraqi antiaircraft artillery shoots down a U.S. Navy A-6E Intruder near Kuwait City, Kuwait, an Iraqi short-range surface-to-air missile downs a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, and a U.S. Marine Corps AH-1J SeaCobra crashes due to non-combat causes while returning from an armed escort mission.
  • February 3 – Returning from a strike against Iraqi forces, a U.S. Air Force B-52G Stratofortress attempting to land at Diego Garcia crashes on final approach.
  • February 5 – A U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet crashes in the northern Persian Gulf while returning to its aircraft carrier from a strike against Iraqi forces.
  • February 6 – Two U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing use AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles to shoot down four Iraqi Air Force aircraft – two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s (NATO reporting name "Fishbed") and two Sukhoi Su-25s (NATO reporting name "Frogfoot") – fleeing to Iran at an altitude of about 100 feet (30 m). A U.S. Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcat of Fighter Squadron 1 (VF-1) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61) shoots down an Iraqi Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip") helicopter, the last of the five kills F-14s score during the Tomcat's career in U.S. Navy service.
  • February 7 – U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles use AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles to shoot down three Iraqi Air Force Sukhoi Su-22s (NATO reporting name "Fitter") flying to Iran, as well as an Iraqi Mil Mi-24 (NATO reporting name "Hind") helicopter in northern Iraq; a U.S. Navy F-14A Tomcat of Fighter Squadron 1 uses an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile to down an Iraqi Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip") helicopter; and a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II of the 926th Tactical Fighter Group uses 30-mm cannon fire to shoot down an Iraqi Bo 105 helicopter.
  • February 8 – A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II uses 30-mm cannon fire to shoot down an Iraqi Alouette III helicopter. U.S. Navy A-6E Intruders neutralize two Iraqi Navy vessels – a training ship and a TNC-45 fast attack craft – at Khor Al Zubair.
  • February 9 – A U.S. Navy A-6E badly damages an Iraqi Zhuk-class patrol boat with a Rockeye cluster bomb.
  • February 10 – U.S. Navy A-6Es sink two Iraqi Navy patrol boats in the northern Persian Gulf. Iraqi antiaircraft artillery shoots down a U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II over southern Kuwait.
  • February 11 – U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing use AIM-7 Sparrow missiles to shoot down two Iraqi helicopters.
  • February 13 – Two U.S. Air Force F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighters bomb a low structure in Baghdad which the Coalition believes houses an Iraqi military command-and-control facility. The attack destroys an air raid shelter, with Iraq claiming that over 400 civilians in it were killed, although the Coalition stands firm on its claim that the target was a military facility within which Iraq had illegally sheltered civilians to gain a propaganda advantage if they were killed. Iraqi antiaircraft artillery downs a Royal Saudi Air Force F-5E Tiger II fighter over southwestern Iraq.
  • February 14 – U.S. Navy A-6E Intruders sink an Iraqi Navy Osa-class missile boat in Kuwait Bay, the last Iraqi naval loss of the Gulf War. Iraqi ground fire shoots down a Royal Air Force Tornado and a Royal Saudi Air Force F-5E Tiger II during strikes on Iraqi forces, and a U.S. Air Force EF-111A Raven electronic warfare aircraft crashes in Saudi Arabia due to battle damage. The United States reports that Coalition airstrikes against Iraqi military forces in Kuwait have destroyed 1,300 of Iraq's 4,280 tanks, 850 of its 2,870 armored personnel carriers, and 1,100 of its 3,110 artillery pieces there.
  • February 15 – Iraqi shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles shoot down two U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft while they are attacking Iraqi Republican Guard forces, and a U.S. Navy A-6E Intruder crashes in Saudi Arabia due to battle damage. A U.S. Air Force F-15E strike Eagle on an anti-Scud ballistic missile mission destroys a hovering Iraqi helicopter with a laser-guided bomb; the helicopter is the last Iraqi aircraft destroyed in the air during the Gulf War.
  • February 16 – A U.S. Air Force F-16C crashes while making an instrument landing approach in Saudi Arabia.
  • February 18 – A U.S. Air Force F-16 goes down in Kuwait 40 miles (64 km) north of the Saudi border.
  • February 19 – Iraqi antiaircraft artillery shoots down a U.S. Air Force OA-10A Thunderbolt II airborne forward air control aircraft over Kuwait.
  • February 21 – Iraqi forces shoot down a U.S. Army Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopter as it returns from a border reconnaissance mission, and U.S. military forces lose three other helicopters and an F-16 fighter in non-combat crashes. In five weeks of air strikes against Iraq and Iraqi forces in Kuwait, Coalition aircraft have flown over 88,000 sorties, with the loss of 22 American and nine other aircraft, all to enemy ground fire.
  • February 23 – Iraqi antiaircraft artillery downs a U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II near Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait.
  • February 24 – The U.S.-led Coalition's ground attack against Iraqi forces in Kuwait begins. In its first hours, 60 United States Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters carry the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 75 miles (120 km) inside Iraq, where the brigade seizes a forward operating base. The brigade's sudden appearance unnerves Iraqi defenders so badly that they surrender quickly, with some surrendering to helicopters before American troops begin to land.
  • February 25 – 63 U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters lift the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 155 miles (250 km) behind Iraqi ground forces attempting to retreat from Kuwait, cutting them off. This will allow Coalition aircraft and ground forces to annihilate the trapped Iraqi units on Highway 8 between Basra and Baghdad. Iraqi antiaircraft artillery shoots down a U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II southeast of Kuwait City, and also claims an American OV-10D Bronco and an American attack helicopter.
  • February 27 – An American OV-10D Bronco becomes the last Coalition aircraft lost in combat during the Gulf War.
  • February 28 – The U.S.-led Coalition calls a ceasefire with Iraq, with all Iraqi forces driven out of Kuwait and airpower having neutralized practically all of Iraq's ability to make war. Coalition aircraft have shot down 40 Iraqi aircraft while losing none of their own in air-to-air combat.

Read more about this topic:  1991 In Aviation, Events

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