Aviators
S

SKAUBITIS, KARLIS

Karlis Skaubitis
  • 1889 - Born in Krustpils
  • 1901 - (age 12) - famously attempted a flight by fashioning wings and leaping from a high point.
  • 1909 - (age 20) - designed and built a human-powered quadraplane. No details available about its performance.
  • 1911 - builds a powered biplane.
  • Before the war he had completed 56 baloon flights in Latvia and Czarist Russia.
  • Graduated from the St.Petersburg polytechnical Institute.
  • Volunteered to serve in the Imperial Russian Air Service where he learned to fly at Gatchina. After the Russian Revolution, he continued to fly for the Reds. In total, he flew 95 combat missions.
  • Eventually, he gained his release from the Soviet military and legally returned to Latvia.
  • December, 1921 - joins the Latvian military, aviation section. Rank: Lieutenant
  • 1923 - Skaubitis is designated as one of only five pilots permitted to fly the newly-acquired Ansaldo SVA-10s.
  • 1923 - participates in Colonel Basko's goodwill tour of Latgale, flying Halberstadt #19.
  • August 26 - 30, 1924 - pilots one of three SVA-10s making Latvia's first international goodwill flight (to Estonia).
  • 1925 - briefly serves with the naval aviation section.
  • July 18, 1925 - checks out on the Caudron C.60 #6
  • July 19, 1925 - checks out on the Hanriot HD-17 #7
  • February 1927- test flies SVA-10 copy, built in the aviation regiment's workshop.
  • 1927 - Skaubitis is test pilot for the Halberstadt #22, built in the aviation regiment's workshop.
  • August 1927 - member of the special commission formed to investigate the cause of Sgt.Lumberg's fatal crash.
  • Sept.5, 1929 - with passenger Sgt.Mardok aboard, he crashes while test flying Albatros #64. Neither aviators survives.
  • After his death, there were many rumours within the Regiment that Skaubitis' death was not an accident. The rumour claimed that Skaubitis had developed an advanced artillery spotting tool which he was unwilling to sell, and that his flight crashed as a result of sabotage by a foreign nation. There are reports that he did, in fact, invent such a tool and that the US military was very interested in it, but there is no evidence to support the rest of the theory..
  • In the late 1930s the Krustpils aviation school built a Hutter H.17 glider and named it "Skaubitis" in honor of their aviation pioneer.
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Karlis Skaubitis

Kārlis Skaubītis, in a type “Vuazen” plane, August 1916

Karlis Skaubitis

Karlis Skaubitis

Sources

- Andersons, E. Latvijas Brunotie Speki, pg. 299, 511
- Briedis, E. Latviesa Stasts
- Bruvelis, E. Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1991 No.1 pg. 54 [CM]
- Irbitis, K Latvijas Aviacija un tas Pionieri pg.10
- Irbitis, K. Of Struggle and Flight pg. 7
- Sparnota Latvija, No.32 (Feb 1937) pg.39, 40
- Sparnota Latvija, No.34 (Apr 1937) pg.104, 106
- Sparnota Latvija, No.55 (Jan 1939) pg.22
- Sparnota Latvija, No.66 (Dec 1939) pg.380
- Subota, Sandra Aviacijas Attistiba Latvija, pg. 4

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