1. an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author. . . . —Dictionary.com
I have just learned that Mr. William D. Walker, Jr., a retired airline pilot, has been posting articles from “This Day in Aviation” on his own Internet blog, “Blue Skies and Tailwinds. . . STORIES FROM CAPTAIN BILLY WALKER,” with all references to “This Day in Aviation” and the author’s name removed, as well as my copyright notices.
I have no objection to others interested in aviation posting a link to “This Day in Aviation,” and many do, including several aviation museums, the Federal Aviation Administration and the International Civil Aviation Organization. They have requested my permission to do so.
I have been writing articles for “This Day in Aviation” for more than five years, and to date have published 1,340 of them. Each of these articles has required many, many hours of research, tracking down original source material whenever possible. Each day, 7 days a week, I start working before dawn and continue until midnight and beyond.
It is something that I enjoy, and that I find rewarding. I have thousands of readers from around the world, and many have become good friends.
Let me be clear: I very much appreciate it when readers share an Internet link to my articles with their friends and acquaintances on facebook, or their own web sites, or otherwise. You are welcome to do so. I want you to do that. That is what the internet is all about.
There is a significant difference between posting a link to an Internet article to share that article with others, though, and copying and pasting an article in its entirety, while deleting any reference to the original work. Mr. Walker intentionally used my work and represented it as his own.
That is plagiarism, and plagiarism is theft.
Update: As of the morning of 3 July 2017, the offender appears to have removed the plagiarized material from his blog.
2 July 1990: Anatoly Demyanovich Grishchenko, Hero of the Russian Federation, and test pilot at the M.M. Gromov Flight Research Institute, Zhukovsky, Russia, died at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.
For four days in April 1986, Anatoly Grischenko and Mil Design Bureau Chief Test Pilot Gurgen Karapetyan flew a Mil Mi-26 helicopter dropping loads of sand and wet cement on the wreckage of Reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, which had been destroyed by an explosion. A mixture of sand, lead, clay and boron was dropped directly on the exposed reactor core. Carrying 15 ton loads suspended from an 800-foot (244 meters) cable, they made repeated trips while flying through the radioactive gases released from the plant.
Grischenko suffered from radiation poisoning and later leukemia. Four years later, Grischenko was brought to the United States for medical treatment, along with his wife Galina. He underwent a bone marrow transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, but shortly thereafter, he contracted a lung infection. On 12 June 1990, exploratory surgery was performed to find the cause of the infection. His condition worsened and he was placed on a respirator, but died on the evening of 2 July 1990.
On 27 February 1995, Anatoly Demyanovich Grishchenko was posthumously awarded the Gold Star of Hero of the Russian Federation by President Boris Yeltsin.
The OKB Mil Design Bureau’s Mi-26 is the world’s largest helicopter. It is normally operated by two pilots, a navigator, flight engineer and flight technician. It is a twin-engine, single main rotor/tail rotor helicopter with fixed tricycle landing gear. It has an overall length with rotors turning of 40.025 meters (131 feet, 3-3/4 inches) and height of 8.145 meters (26 feet, 8-3/4 inches). The eight-blade main rotor has a diameter of 32.00 meters (105 feet). The Mi-26 has an empty weight of 28,200 kiograms (62,170 pounds) and maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 kilograms (123,450 pounds). The rotor system turns clockwise as seen from above (the advancing blade is on the left). A five-blade tail rotor is mounted on the right side of a pylon in a pusher configuration. The tail rotor turns clockwise as seen from the helicopters left side (the advancing blade is below the axis of rotation). It is powered by two Lotarev D-136 turboshaft engines producing 8,500 kW (11,399 shaft horsepower), each. The cruise speed of the helicopter is 255 kilometers per hour (158 miles per hour) and maximum range is 1,920 kilometers (1,190 miles). The service ceiling is 4,600 meters (15,100 feet), though on 2 February 1982, test pilot Gurgen Karapetyan flew an Mi-26 to 6,400 meters (20,997 feet) carrying a 10,000 kilogram (22,046.2 pound) payload. (FAI Record File Number 9902)
The Mi-26 first flew in 1977. Production began in 1980. The helicopter remains in service with both military and civil operators.
2 July 1943: 1st Lieutenant Charles Blakesly Hall, United States Army Air Corps, of the 99th Fighter Squadron (which was briefly attached to the 324th Fighter Group) was the first of the famous “Tuskegee Airmen” to shoot down an enemy airplane during World War II. At the time the 99th was based at El Haouaria Airfield on the coast of Tunisia and was patrolling the island of Sicily. The squadron’s primary mission was ground attack.
On 2 July, however, the 99th was escorting North American Aviation B-25 Mitchell medium bombers near Castelventrano, Italy. Enemy fighters intercepted the flight.
“It was my eighth mission and the first time I had seen the enemy close enough to shoot him. I saw two Focke-Wulfs following the bombers just after the bombs were dropped. I headed for the space between the fighters and bombers and managed to turn inside the Jerries. I fired a long burst and saw my tracers penetrate the second aircraft. He was turning to the left, but suddenly fell off and headed straight into the ground. I followed him down and saw him crash. He raised a big cloud of dust.”
Lieutenant Hall was officially credited with destroying a Focke-Wulf Fw 190,¹ the most effective Luftwaffe fighter of World War II. Not only was Lieutenant Hall’s victory the first for the squadron, but it was also the only enemy airplane to have been shot down by the 99th Fighter Squadron during 1943.
Charles Hall’s fighter was a Curtiss P-40L-15-CU Warhawk, 42-10895. The P-40L differed from the majority of P-40s in that it was powered by a Packard V-1650-1 Merlin engine instead of the Allison V-1710.
The P-40L was a lightened version of the P-40F, with fuel tanks removed from the wings. Armament was reduced from six to four Browning AN-M2 .50-caliber machine guns, with only 201 rounds of ammunition per gun. Identifying features of the P-40L are the absence of a carburetor intake on the top of the engine cowling, a very deep radiator scoop below the propeller spinner, and a fuselage lengthened 2 feet, 2 inches (0.660 meters).
The P-40L was 33 feet, 4 inches (10.160 meters) long with a wingspan of 37 feet, 4 inches (11.379 meters) and overall height of 12 feet, 4 inches (3.759 meters). The fighter’s empty weight was approximately 6,340 pounds (2,576 kilograms) and the gross weight was 8,200 pounds (3,719 kilograms).
The V-1650-1 was the first version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to be built under license by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. It was developed from the Merlin XX and designated Merlin 28. The Packard V-1650-1 was a right-hand tractor, liquid-cooled, supercharged, 1,649-cubic-inch-displacement (27.04-liter) single overhead cam (SOHC) 60° V-12 engine. This engine was rated at 1,385 horsepower at 3,000 r.p.m., and produced a maximum of 1,435 horsepower at 3,000 r.p.m. The engine drove a three-bladed Curtiss Electric constant-speed propeller through a 0.477:1 gear reduction. The V-1650-1 weighed 1,512 pounds (686 kilograms).
The P-40L had a maximum speed of 368 miles per hour (592 kilometers per hour).
Charles Blakesly Hall was the second child of Franklin Hall, a 30-year-old kiln-burner from Mississippi, and Anna Blakesly Hall, 25 years old, and also from Mississippi. Charles was born 25 August 1920 at his parents home, 742 N. Columbia Street, Brazil, Indiana. He graduated from Brazil High School in 1938 and then attended Eastern Illinois University. He majored in Pre-Med, and was active in sports. Hall worked as a waiter while attending college.
After three years of college, on 12 November 1941, Hall enlisted as an Aviation Cadet, Air Corps, United States Army, at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Lawrence, Indiana. Military records indicate that he stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall (170 centimeters) and weighed 150 pounds (68 kilograms).
Charles Hall was part of a group of African-American airmen that would be known as the Tuskegee Airmen. They were initially trained at the Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama, an all-black college which had been established in 1881 by Booker T. Washington. Initial flight training was conducted at Moton Field, a few miles away, and the cadets transitioned into operational aircraft at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Additional flight trained took place at Cochran Field, near Montgomery, Alabama.
On completion of training, Charles B. Hall was commissioned as a second lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, on 3 July 1942. (Serial number 0790457)
The 99th Fighter Squadron was the first unit to be assigned overseas. It was sent to North Africa, 2 April 1943, as part the 33rd Fighter Group.
Hall was the first African-American to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Before the war ended, he had flown 198 combat missions and had been promoted to the rank of major.
Major Hall transferred to the Air Force Reserve. From 1949 until 1967, he worked at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, as a civil service employee until retiring in 1967. He then worked at the Federal Aviation Administration.
Hall was married for several years to Maxine Jesse Payne. He later married Miss Lola Delois Hall of Oklahoma City. They had two children and remained together until his death, 22 November 1971.
¹ A study of U.S. Army Air Force claims of enemy aircraft destroyed (Andrew Arthy and Morten Jessen, 2013) indicates that no Focke Wulf Fw 190s were present at the time, however, Messerchmitt Bf 109s of Jagdgeschwader 77 were defending the target against B-25s and P-40s. Two were lost on that day. The authors suggest that opposing aircraft were often misidentified.
2 July 1937: At approximately 10:00 a.m., local time, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan departed Lae, Territory of New Guinea, aboard their Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, enroute to Howland Island, 2,556 miles (4,113.5 kilometers) east-northeast across the South Pacific Ocean. The airplane was loaded with 1,100 gallons (4,164 liters) of gasoline, sufficient for 24 to 27 hours of flight.