Today in aviation history – 8th October

On 8th October 1940 in a plane crash died Josef František, Czech fighter ace serving in No. 303 fighting division in the Royal Air Force. František gained 17 aerial victories. He was burried in the military cementary in Northwood. František is said to be the most effective allied pilot of the Battle of England.
On 8th October 1979 in Athens occured a plane crash of a flight Swissair 316. During landing DC-8 did not manage to brake at the end of the runway. The crash was caused by the crew who started landing too late. The breaks were also not efficient enough. On the plane were 154 people (including 100 doctors that were on their way to China), 14 of them died. Investigation on the cause of the crash revealed almost 500kg of radioactive materials. There was also found a little amount of plutonium, that was brought in by one of the doctors.