9 August 1896: Pioneering aviator Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal was fatally injured when his glider stalled on his fourth flight of the day.
Flying at the Rhinow Hills, near Stölln in what is now northern Germany, he had been gliding as far as 820 feet (250 meters). The weather was windy. As he sailed off the slope, his glider suddenly pitched up. Lilienthal tried to correct the attitude by swinging back and fourth, but he had lost lift and the glider fell about 50 feet (15 meters) to the ground.
Seriously injured, he was taken to a doctor who determined that he had fractured the third cervical vertebra. He was then transported by train to Berlin where a very successful surgeon, Professor Ernst von Bergman, had a clinic.
Lilienthal died about 36 hours after his injury, 10 August 1896. Among his last words were, “Sacrifices must be made.”
His discoveries in controlled flight inspired the Wright Brothers to pursue aviation. He is considered to be one of the most influential of the early pioneers of flight, and is known as The Father of Flight.
6 July 1939: Ольга Васильевна Клепикова(Olga Vasil’yevna Klepikova) flew an Antonov RF-7 glider from Tushino airport, Moscow, to Mikhaylovka, in the Stalingrad region of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. She set two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Records for Distance at 749.203 kilometers (465.533 statute miles).¹
Klepikova’s glider was towed aloft by a Polikarpov P-5 biplane, and then released at an altitude of 1,000 meters (3,281 feet). She circled overhead for approximately an hour, gaining altitude, before heading toward Stalingrad. The total duration of the flight was 8 hours, 25 minutes.
Once she landed near Mikhaylovka, Tovarisch (Comrade) Klepikova was captured by “vigilant farmers” who presumed that she was a German spy. They turned her over to the NKVD (Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del), the infamous predecessor to the KGB.
Olga Vasil’yevna Klepikova was born at Tula, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) south of Moscow, on 10 October 1915.
Gospohzha Klepikova studied at the Tula FZU (Fabrichno-Zavodskoe Uchilishe), an industrial technical school, and she then worked as a lathe operator in an armaments factory.
Comrade Klepikova joined the Tula Aero Club in 1930, where she was taught to fly. In 1933, she was sent to Moscow as an instructor for the Central Aero Club at Tushino.
During the Great Patriotic War, Comrade Klepikova served as a flight instructor at Stalingrad. She worked as a test pilot at Kazan and then Rostov on Don from the end of the War until 1953.
Gospohzha Klepikova married a fellow test pilot, and they had two daughters. The family relocated to the area of Kiev, Ukraine. As of 2002, she lived in Vasiljena, Kiev, Ukraine, with a pension equivalent to $20 per month.
Olga Vasil’yevna Klepikova, an Honored Master of Sports of the USSR, died at Kiev, 27 July 2010, at the age of 95 years. Her remains were interred at the Baikove Cemetery in Kiev.
Gospohzha Klepikova’s glider was a Рот-Фронт-7 (Rot-, or Roth-Front 7), designed by Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov. It was one of five built at the Moscow Glider Factory. The Rot-Front 7 was a single-place, high wing monoplane glider, constructed primarily of wood. It was covered with 1.5–3.5 millimeter thick plywood. Wing flaps allowed the glider to land in fairly small areas. The RF-7 was 5.00 meters (16 feet, 4.9 inches) long, with a wingspan of 16.24 meters (53 feet, 3.4 inches), and height of 1.55 meters (5 feet, 1.0 inches). The wings had a total area of 12.5 square meters (134.6 square feet), with an aspect ratio of 22.5. As much as 120 liters (31.7 gallons) of water ballast was carried in a tank behind the pilot. There was a single, retractable wheel under the ballast tank, which was enclosed by two aluminum doors.
The RF-7 had a best cruise speed of 85 kilometers per hour (52.8 miles per hour), and it had a maximum speed of 88 kilometers per hour (54.6 miles per hour).
The Rot-Front 7 was considered to be the best aerobatic glider of its time, and was designed to withstand a load factor of 8 gs.
¹ FAI Record File Number 4386: World Record for Distance, Class D, Feminine: 749.20 kilometers (465.53 statute miles); and FAI Record File Number 13606: World Record for Distance, Class D, General: 749.203 kilometers (465.533 statute miles).
14 February 1979: Flying her Grob G102 Astir CS glider from the Black Forest Gliderport, north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sabrina Patricia Jackintell soared to an altitude of 12,637 meters (41,460 feet) over Pikes Peak, setting a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record and Soaring Society of America National Record for Absolute Altitude.¹ This record still stands. The duration of this flight was 3 hours, 18 minutes.
Pike’s Peak is the highest mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The 14,115 foot (4,267 meters) summit is located 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) west of Colorado Springs.
Sabrina Jackintell’s aircraft was a 1976 Grob G102 Astir CS glider (or sailplane), serial number 1171, FAA registration N75SW. The Astir CS is registered in the experimental category. It is approved for Day VFR Flight and may perform simple aerobatics: loop, chandelle, steep turn and lazy 8.
The Astir CS (“Club Standard”) is a single-seat performance sailplane, designed by Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Burkhart Grob e.K. and built by Burkhart Grob Flugzeugbau, Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany. The glider is built primarily of fiberglass. It has retractable landing gear and a T-tail.
The Astir CS was produced from 1974 to 1977. The current production variant of the G102 is the Astir III.
The Astir CS is 6,470 meters (21 feet, 2.7 inches) long with a wingspan of 15,000 meters (49 feet, 2.6 inches) and height of 1,26 meters (4 feet, 1.6 inches). The glider’s empty weight is approximately 255 kilograms (562 pounds). The maximum flying weight, with water ballast, is 450 kilograms, or 990 pounds. The minimum pilot weight is 70 kilograms, (154 pounds.) (Lighter pilots must carry ballast.) The Astir CS has a maximum speed (VNE) of 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour). The glider is restricted to a maximum of +5.3 gs. Negative gs are prohibited.
N75SW was recently sold. It is currently registered to an individual in Southern California.
Sabrina Jackintell (née Sadie Patricia Paluga) was born at Youngstown, Ohio, 31 January 1940, the second child of John and Sadie M. Skvarka Paluga. Her father was a steel worker who had emigrated from Chekoslovakia. She attended Wilson High School in Youngstown. Miss Paluga was a member of the Art Students League at the school. One of her paintings was exhibited at the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Ohio, in 1956. She was voted “Best Dancer” in 1957.
Miss Paluga graduated from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1960. While in college she began modeling and was featured on the cover of the fashion magazine, VOGUE.
In 1965 she drove Art Arfon’s jet-powered Green Monster land speed record car at the Bonneville Salt Flats, exceeding 300 miles per hour (483 kilometers per hour). Mechanical problems prevented the LSR machine from making a second pass in the opposite direction within the required time limit, so an official Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Land Speed Record was not set.
During her life, she lived in Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Southern California. She was married to Jerry E. Jackintell, also from Youngstown, and a fellow student at the University of Florida. They had a son, Jerry, and daughter, Lori. They divorced in El Paso County, Colorado, 9 June 1982.
Sabrina Jackintell died at Sebring, Florida, 15 January 2012 at the age of 71 years.