Aviators
L

LAZDINS, AUGUSTS ("GUSTAVS")

  • September 7, 1919 - defects, with pilot Voldemars Jakubovs, from the Bolsheviks to the Latvians.
  • Qualified as a motorist/mechanic, with the rank of sargeant.
  • Frequently flying as a passenger, he eventually learns to fly (though not licensed).
  • July 2, 1920 - flew (in the observers seat) with J.Prieditis in Hannover #21 when they did a fly-over at 1st Lt. Sparins' funeral.
  • July 18, 1920 - still unlicensed, he makes an illegal solo flight in Albatros #5. He is disciplined for this act, but with the intervention of Prieditis (commander of the 1st Section) he is recommended for flight school.
  • August 14, 1920 - begins flight school.
  • August 16, 1920 - makes his first (legal) solo flight.
  • March 10, 1921 - he is "quietly" promoted to the status of pilot/sargeant and is assigned to the 2nd Section.
  • August 7, 1921 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • August 18, 1921 - at a height of 30 metres, shortly after takeoff, the Nieuport 23's engine stopped. Lazdins made a successful forced landing.
  • November 21, 1921 - suffers a major crash in the Nieuport 23 when, shortly after takeoff he begins performing aerobatics and flies into a haystack, totally destroying the aircraft. He suffered a broken left arm and leg and had a lengthy recovery from his injuries.
  • April 26, 1924 - makes the first test flight of Pulins' "Spriditis".
  • June 15, 1924 - performs aerobatics in Spriditis as the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • July 1, 1924 - President Cakste, many members of his cabinet, and all the ranking officers of the aviation division meet at Spilve to witness a demonstration flight of the Gourdou-Lesseure GL-21, which was being considered for purchase by the Aviation Regiment. After a fine demonstration of flight skill by the french pilot Devillers, Lazdins decides to perform a similar demonstration with the locally-built Spriditis. Unfortunately, in the middle of a difficult maneuver, the tempermental Anzani engine failed and Lazdins crashed heavily. The aircraft was heavily damaged, and Lazdins was once again shaken up with non life-threatening injuries, but this event ended his career in the Aviation Regiment and, apparently, in aviation altogether.

    Sources

    Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture

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