Rus Articles Journal

How there were destinies of participants of the first mass distant flight?

on July 23, 1911, at three o`clock in the morning, in St. Petersburg gathered on Commandant`s airfield thousands of inhabitants and guests of the capital. Their attention was riveted on action which happened in Russia for the first time. At once 11 pilots on 9 airplanes had to take off from airfield to make mass flight along a route St. Petersburg - Moscow.

Three pilots - Alexander Vasilyev, Sergey Utochkin and Vladimir Slyusarenko were skilled pilots, for the others this flight was practically the first, so far they did not fly. From the very beginning of start it became clear that not all pilots managed to prepare the aircraft properly. For example, the same Alexander Vasilyev managed to start only at 3 hours 37 minutes. It is clear, that on monasteries of the winner of the first stage - to Novgorod - he could not count obviously.

20 - summer Lerkhe flew in total...

After take-off leadership was taken (as well as it is necessary) by the joker Sergey Utochkin. The first half an hour it flew with rather high speed, and nothing foretold failures. But in 10 kilometers from Novgorod unexpectedly stuffed the engine, and the pilot was forced to land directly on the road conducting to the city. Fortunately, along all route of flight were placed rescue teams . One of them at once ran up to the landed airplane. For luck it were soldiers of the Vyborg workshop who in several minutes tinkered the airplane, and Utochkin continued the flight.

The first to Novgorod the pilot Mikhail Lerkhe flew up. But he did not manage to be glad plainly to the good luck - through several kilometers its airplane lost control and failed in one of ravines. Fortunately, Mikhail got off light, but about continuation of flight there could not be also a speech. And here some other pilots were lucky much less: in particular, to the aircraft which was operated by Vladimir Slyusarenko. Under the terms of competitions, to the pilot who will bring the passenger to Moscow, the big prize relied, and therefore Slyusarenko put near himself Konstantin Shimansky.

This flight - madness?

Vladimir who remained in the history of the Russian aircraft the first instructor who prepared the woman - the pilot Lidiya Zvereva, lifted the airplane after numerous repairs only for the third day in the morning. Suddenly near the village the Moscow Slav that near Tsarskoselskoye Highway, was stuffed by the motor. Slyusarenko transferred the car to planning and began to choose the platform for a landing. According to his story, the passenger Shimansky behaved in this situation very nervously: tried to interfere with control of airplane and even seized the pilot with hands by a neck. This fight in air, naturally, was come to a bad end: the plane turned over wheels up and failed down. Slyusarenko survived, though strongly became a cripple (he spent several months after flight in hospital), and here Konstantin Shimansky who strongly hit the head, doctors did not manage to bring round, he died.

Slightly - having slightly flown over Novgorod, Sergey Utochkin did not keep on the airway. At the village of Zaytsevo the pilot got in strong bumpiness . The airplane sharply reduced height, and Utochkin not to rasshibitsya, switched off the motor. For only a few meters to the earth he jumped out of the car to the superficial small river in a ravine. It is possible to call a landing both successful, and unsuccessful. It is possible to carry the fact that Utochkin survived to pluses, to minuses - at the same time the pilot suffered serious injuries: fracture of the leg, dislocation of clavicles, patella, heavy bruises of a thorax, head...

Local peasants took the pilot to hospital where to him Mihail Scipio del Campo who crashed here near Novgorod came to chamber. Del Campo was invigorated and bragged that as soon as the mechanic repairs the airplane, it right there will continue flight. In reply Utochkin said: The Doctor, order to put here nearby other bed. In half an hour will bring this madman here!

Better he so would not joke. Del Campo could not continue flight, and the injuries got by Utochkin significantly complicated to it life - at the pilot the most severe headaches which he removed by means of morphine began. Soon from - for addictions of the pilot to narcotic substances he was abandoned by the beloved wife that, eventually, broke Sergey`s mentality. Two years later it for the first time got to lunatic asylum

From nine - one...

The finish was reached only by the airplane operated by Alexander Vasilyev. During flight the pilot made only one unconstrained landing, but the numerous audience meeting the hero 24 hours later in Moscow on the Hodynsky field, was cruelly disappointed. Vasilyev right there, having hardly descended on the earth, began to shout that pilots sent to certain death and that this flight - a shame for all Russia! . And nevertheless impartial judges noted that from St. Petersburg Vasilyev reached Moscow in 24 hours 41 minutes, having carried out at the same time in air of 9,5 hours.

Destinies of heroes of the first flight developed differently. Alexander Vasilyev in 1914, from the beginning of World War I, arrived to the front together with the friend Alexander Kuzminsky (he made flight along a route St. Petersburg - Moscow - St. Petersburg in 10 hours 52 minutes two years later, in July, 1913). The first flight of Vasilyev with the passenger (the general - the lieutenant Martynov) ended tragicly - from - for damages of the motor by splinters of a shell Vasilyev had to make an emergency landing near Lviv. Through a front line it did not draw, and it appeared in Austrian to captivity.

Further there are at least two versions of final destiny of the glorified pilot. On one of them (pre-revolutionary) Vasilyev escaped from prisoner-of-war camp, was caught, put in camp for prisoners of war with more severe mode where ached and died. On other (Soviet) - the pilot was released in 1917, came over to the side of red, battled against White Guards and died in 1918. More plausible the first version seems to me. to Whom as God gives


Sergey Utochkin, as we know, appeared

in lunatic asylum. In 1915 he made an attempt to get to the Winter Palace and to personally see the tsar to whom he intended to tell about prospect of development of aviation matter in Russia. The patient of a psychiatric clinic to the tsar was not let. But very few people know that before the occupation by aeronautics Sergey Utochkin was a remarkable swimmer and the yachtsman, the fencer and the boxer, the skater and the runner, but especially became famous as the bicycle racer. Within 17 years he did not descend from a track and won an uncountable set of victories in Russia and abroad.

Unfortunately, did not allow to work to it, and four years later after historical flight it was the half-starved and poor person. In December, 1915 he got sick with pneumonia in a severe form. On New Year`s Eve for 1916, after hemorrhage in lungs, the glorified pilot died.

Vladimir Slyusarenko soon after an exit from hospital married Lidiya Zvereva, and only a few years later buried her (the first woman-pilot died from a typhus), married for the second time. With the new wife right after revolution they appeared in Harbin, then moved to Australia. The glorified pilot died in 1968 on 80 - m to year of life.