Incident Reports

Date: Saturday, October 16, 1938
Survivors: none
Fatalities: Edvins Bekmanis (p),
Vilnis Ozolins (o)
Aircraft Involved: LKOD KOD-1 # 41
Location: Krote, near Liepaja
Details:
  • The aircraft departed from Liepaja aerodrome at 16:00 hours.
  • At about 16:30, while performing aerobatics near Krote, the aircraft vertically dove into the ground at great speed. It struck the ground on the Strautinu property.
  • No explosion was reported, and eye witnesses stated that the engine appeared to be shut off just prior to impact. The impact was so great that the aircraft engine burrowed itself approximately 80 cm into the ground.
  • Witnesses who saw the crash ran immediately to the point of impact. They removed Ozolins from the wreck but he was barely alive and died moments later. The aircraft was so deeply imbedded in the ground that Bekmanis' body could not be found until the authorities began to remove the parts of the broken aircraft.
  • KOD-1 # 41 was the same aircraft which Ozolins piloted in the "Flight Around Latvia" contest a few days earlier.
  • A commission of inquiry was formed, consisting of Aizsargu aviators Zalitis and Treimanis, engineer Pavlovskis, and mechanic Zarins. The pilot was found to have caused the crash by performing low level aerobatics which were beyond his capabilities. The plane crashed near his family's home.


Sources

- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Latvijas Kareivis, October 18, 1938
- Newspaper Clippings from the Bekmanis Album

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