Incident Reports

Date: August 6, 1927
Survivors: none
Fatalities: Eduards Lumbergs
Aircraft Involved: Sopwith Camel #9
Location: Daugavpils training camp
Details:
  • At about 10:30 am on August 6, Lumbergs completed gunnery practice, shooting at a target polygon on the ground. When his engine began to sputter, he had to make a forced landing in the fields near the Daugavpils fortress. He landed without difficulty, made some adjustments to the engine, and took off again. Shortly after leaving the ground his engine again lost power, but this time he was not able to transition to a glide for landing. Observers saw the aircraft turn suddenly, then slip into a spiral from which it did not recover.
  • The aftereffects of this accident are significant. This was the second fatal crash of a Sopwith Camel within less than a month, and General Kurelis (Commander of the technical division) was personally directed by General Bangerskis (Commander of the military) to investigate the accident(s) and prepare a report. Kurelis established a commission of enquiry, consisting of Lt.Col Korobovskis, Capt. Munters and Lt. Skaubitis. Four days later General Bangerskis (presumably after receiving a report from General Kurelis) publicly commented on the condition of the World War One - era aircraft and suggesting that they may no longer be suitable for use by the Aviation Regiment. He noted that the engine in Lumberg's Camel had twice been completely rebuilt. Shortly thereafter, the Sopwith Camels were grounded and struck from service.
  • General Bangerskis comments, however, did not stop with the condition of the old aircraft. He mentioned that, on the day before the accident, Lumbergs had been performing unauthorized aerobatics with the Camel, even flying the aircraft under the bridge at the Daugava. He also added that, on four previous occasions, Lumbergs had been reprimanded for his use of alcohol, though not suggesting that Lumbergs was inebriated on the day of his death.
  • All of the above information was taken from newspaper publications at the time. However, it should be noted that E.Bruvelis, in his book Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture states that the accident happened when Lumbergs attempted to fly under the bridge. Similarly, E.Briedis, in his book Latviesa Stasts, suggests that Lumbergs died when he made an error while displaying his flying skills to members of his former unit, the Aizputes Infantry. One wonders if the true facts of the accident were actually suppressed in the papers of the day.
  • The funeral service took place in Mara Church, and three aircraft flew an honor guard over the procession to the cemetary. Lumbergs was buried in the Meza Kapi in Riga, as directed by General Kalnins.


Eduards Lumbergs


Sources

- Briedis, Emils Latviesa Stasts, pg. 93
- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Latvijas Kareivis 1927-08-07
- Latvijas Kareivis 1927-08-09
- Latvijas Kareivis 1927-08-10
- Latvijas Kareivis 1927-08-11
- Latvijas Kareivis 1927-08-13

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