Aviators
P

PUTNINS, JANIS

Argalis
  • 1896 - Born, Adazi pag.
  • Participated in the battles for Independence as a member of the infantry.
  • 1920 - transfers to the Aviation Park.
  • 1920 - Attended aviation school, a member of the first graduating class.
  • June 14, 1920 - graduates as a qualified pilot.
  • August 20, 1921 - flying Hannover CL.III #21 he performs the first night flight in Latvian aviation. With his observer, Ltn.Inselbergs, Sgt.Putnins made a flight of 1 hour, 35 minutes from Petersfeld aerodrome.
  • Serves as a flight instructor for new military pilots. His name appears in R.Gulbis' log book as his first/primary instructor in 1922.
  • Feb-March, 1923 - participant in the aviation maneouvres in Latgale, flying Hannover CL.III #21 with Veinbergs as his observer.
  • 1923 - When the SVA-10 aircraft are purchased, Putnins is one of only three pilots initially permitted to fly these new aircraft
  • January 8, 1927 - promoted to the rank of administrative Lieutenant.
  • July 3, 1930 - with Col.Indans as passenger, Putnins completes an historic flight around the borders of Latvia. They departed from Riga in a DH9A and, in stages, completed the flight in a counter-clockwise direction. The total flight time was 9 hours, 35 minutes and covered a distance of 1800 km.
  • May 31, 1931 - Participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • June 5, 1932 - participated in the Spilve Aviation Festival. Flying a DH9A (with observer Kadikis) he demonstrated ground attack and he also flew a DH9A (with observer Kaneps) in the parade of aircraft.
  • May 28,1933 - participated in the Spilve Aviation Festival. Flying a DH9A (with observer Lt.Kadikis) he demonstreated ground attack and he also flew a DH9A (with observer Lt.Birznieks) in the parade of aircraft.
  • September 9, 1934 - Participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • September 8, 1935 - participated in the Spilve Aviation Festival. Flying a Udet Flamingo he demonstrated low-level leaflet drops, and he also flew a Letov S.16 in the parade of aircraft.
  • Recipient of the Order of the Three Stars.
  • As an aviator, survived a number of dangerous incidents. These included an occasion where his longeron broke while in flight, a time when the fuel in his engine caught fire during a flight, and another event where, searching for Liepaja's aerodrome in heavy fog he crashed on the dunes.
  • He particularly specialized in high altitude flight, often making such flights to gather data for the meteorological division and was known to fly above 7,000 metres without benefit of bottled oxygen.
  • In his spare time, he took up other studies and was actually a qualified military clerk, though he never did serve in this capacity.
  • Noting his piloting skill and legendary calm, slow demeanor, he was assigned as an instructor at flight school. Rank: adm. Capt-Lieut.
  • November 4, 1935 - fatal crash at Spilve.

    Sources

    - Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
    - Latvijas Kareivis May 30, 1931
    - Latvijas Kareivis June 2, 1931
    - Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.5, 1934
    - Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.11, 1934
    - Sparnota Latvija No.17, November 1935, pg. 470 - 472
    - R.Gulbis' log book

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