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Far from flitting

Publication date: 2017-10-17

Tags: miscellany

Far from flitting

Here we often mention old flying boats safely crossing over the oceans, but the interwar public was more interested in singlehanded flights of single-engine planes with an ordinary undercarriage.

The presented seven-seater passenger Lockheed Vega, christened Lituanica II, was used in 1935 for solo flights across the Atlantic.

One time the pilot Feliksas Vaitkus (1907-1956), an American-born of Lithuanian descent, heading non-stop to a destination in Kaunas, was forced to make an emergency landing on an Irish crop field after a 23-hour flight in harsh weather conditions.

The plane was utterly wrecked but the brave Vaitkus survived without a scratch. When he finally reached Kaunas he was welcomed as a hero and received the Commander's insignia of the Order of Vytautas the Great.

Latvian stamp presenting Feliksas Vaitkus and the Lituanica II aircraft

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