This Day in Failure: August 16

2010: An Aires Air Boeing 737 carrying 125 passengers and six crew members crashes and breaks into three pieces while attempting to land at San Andres Island, a resort island about 120 miles east of the Nicaraguan coast. One passenger is killed and 119 are injured.

2009: British aviation pioneer Michael Dacre dies when the prototype of his “flying taxi” (designed to take off and land on very short runways) crashes and burns upon takeoff during its first test flight.

1987: Northwest Flight 255 crashes upon takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport after the pilot and co-pilot fail to extend the wing flaps prior to takeoff. As a result, the DC-9 is a mere 40 feet off the ground when it reaches the end of the runway, where it strikes lampposts and a rental car office before crashing. One-hundred fifty-six people are killed, including Nick Vanos, a center for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. A four-year-old girl, Cecelia Cichan of Tempe, Arizona, is the sole survivor of the accident.

1972: One year after a coup threatens his rule, King Hassan II of Morocco narrowly survives a brush with death when his plane is attacked by his own Royal Moroccan Air Force. Several members of the military are later court-martialed for their error.

1920: Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman is struck in the temple by a ball pitched by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Chapman dies 12 hours later, becoming the first and only player in major league baseball history to die as the result of a pitched ball.