Incident Reports

Date: September 4, 1924
Survivors: none
Fatalities: Luigi Mainardi (Italian pilot)
Aircraft Involved: Italian Ansaldo Balilla
Location: Spilve
  • Luigi Mainardi was a higly experienced pilot. He had been flying since 1915, had served as a flying instructor in Poland, was a test pilot at the Ansaldo factory in Turin, and also performed demonstration flights to promote aircraft sales abroad.
  • Mainardi was performing such a demonstration flight at Spilve on September 4, 1924. It is reported that he was performing very advanced aerobatics and, at one point in the performance, the engine was shut off and the aircraft was spun (whether this was intentional is uncertain). Mainardi did not recover from the spin and, when the aircraft struck the ground, it burst into flames. The aviator did not survive the impact and fire.
  • Mainardi's remains were returned to Italy for burial, but a funeral procession took place in Riga. A service was held at St.Jacob's cathedral and then a procession with honour guard along Smilsu Street and Aspazijas Boulevard to the train station, from where his coffin travelled to Italy.


- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture

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