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24 November
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DB Cooper

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DB Cooper

DB Cooper

DB Cooper is the name the media gave to the unknown man who boarded a Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971, extorted $200,000 then jump from the plane in mid flight. The event occurred around 2:00pm near Portland, Oregon. The flight took off from Portland International Airport. A man that identified himself as Dan Cooper purchased a one-way ticket to Seattle Washington on flight 305 of Northwest Orient Airlines. He was very calm, having a cigarette and drink while on the flight. The description flight crew and passengers give is of a caucasian man in his mid-forties about 6 feet tall. He wore a black suit and neatly pressed white shirt with a light black rain coat and loafers.

Cooper passed a note to a flight attendant who initially mistook it for his phone number. Cooper prompted her to read the note, which read that he had a bomb and she was to accompany him to his seat. She did as the note instructed. He explained his plan to her and she conveyed that to the pilots. They then landed the plane without telling the rest of the passengers the real reason. They got more gas, Cooper got his $200,000 and they took off again. They flew low and slow. Cooper told everyone to go up front in the plane and close the door. When the plane next landed Cooper was nowhere to be found. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history. No conclusive evidence has ever surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts.

Watch the full video (45 minutes) of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded DB Cooper.

Also video from the Travel Channel:

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

Books:

Movie:

There is also The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981), but it doesn’t look like you can get this anymore at least not on DVD.

 

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02 November
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History of the Spruce Goose

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Spruce Goose

Spruce Goose

66 years ago today (November 2, 1947), the world’s largest airplane flew its one and only flight. In fact, it is nearly 6 times bigger than any other airplane. It was designed to fly trans-Atlantic to avoid the World War II German submarines that were sinking Allied ships. It took Howard Hughes and his staff 5 years to build it and 25 million (253.5 million in today’s dollars), 7 million of that was Hughes’ own money and the rest was federal funding. Because of a government mandate not to use materials critical to the war effort, the airplane is made of wood. In its single flight, the wooden boat went only a little over a mile at an altitude of 70 feet for approximately one minute.

The plane has gone by many names. Originally the HK-1, named for the first plane that Hughes and Henry Kaiser made together. Kaiser dropped out of the project in 1944. Other names include “Hercules,” which was awarded after a company contest, and the “Flying Lumberyard,” a somewhat derogatory term. A 1946 issue of Flying Magazine settled on the less critical nickname, “Wooden Wonder.” But the press settle on Spruce Goose and it stuck. While most of the plane is made of birch wood, there is some spruce wood in it.

After its flight it was stored in a special hanger for 33 years. Kept in flight ready condition by Hughes at a rumored $1 million a year. After Hughes’ death in 1976, the Flying Boat was to be disassembled. The giant plane was saved by entrepreneur Jack Wrather, who moved it into a massive domed hangar next to the famous ocean liner, the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, Calif. In 1983, the plane was put on public display. It was sold and is now on display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Sources:

Read about it:

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed

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