The grave of Ludwik Idzikowski

Stare Powązki Cemetery, Plot: 77 Row: 2 Grave: 1,2
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Stare Powązki Cemetery, Plot: 77 Row: 2 Grave: 1,2

Plot: 77 Row: 2 Grave: 1,2

From 1926 Ludwik Idzikowski worked as a pilot-tester for the Polish Military Purchasing Mission in France. His task was to fly airplanes produced in France and purchased by the Polish government to Poland. In this period he also started preparing for a flight across the Atlantic Ocean from East to West, as opposed to his predecessors who flew from West to East. By that time hardly anyone wanted to try flying from East to West, as that would mean flying against the wind. Amiot-123 was chosen as the airplane for Idzikowski’s venture. The first attempt took place on August 3, 1928. The airplane took off from the Le Bourget airport near Paris. After covering a distance of 5.200 kilometres the crew noticed the level of oil was dropping. In this situation they decided to turn around.

The same crew tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean again on July 13, 1929. Just as before they took off from the Le Bourget airport. After covering a distance of 2.140 kilometres, they noticed irregular operation of the engine and decided to carry out an emergency landing on the rocky Island of Graciosa in the Azores archipelago. During the approach to landing the machine hit an indiscernible stone wall and capsized. The airplane burned up. Ludwik Idzikowski died in the crash. At the same time Kazimierz Kubala sustained only minor injuries.

Three days later the body of major Ludwik Idzikowski was moved to the training gaff schooner ORP Iskra.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Idzikowski the local community and the authorities of the archipelago of Azores founded a metal cross and a stone to commemorate the disaster.

Now the only traces of memory of the outstanding pioneer of Polish aviation are ribbons from his funeral wreaths. They were presented during the temporary exhibition titled Wojsko II Rzeczypospolitej

(Army of the Second Republic of Poland) which took place in 2009 at Polish Army Museum in Warsaw. According to many sources, parts of Amiot airplane haven’t been preserved in any other Polish museum.

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