Incident Blériot XI Unregistered, Tuesday 2 November 1909
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Date:Tuesday 2 November 1909
Type:Blériot XI
Owner/operator:Jan Olieslagers
Registration: Unregistered
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Wilrijkse Pleinen, Antwerpen -   Belgium
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Wilrijkse Pleinen
Destination airport:Wilrijkse Pleinen
The Aviation Week of Antwerp (Vliegweek van Antwerpen/Semaine d'Aviation d'Anvers) was held from October 23rd to November 2nd 1909. While not the first time that an aircraft had flown in Belgium, it was the first time an event was held in Belgium where multiple aircraft and pilots would hold public flying demonstration to the larger public.

Thirteen early aviators agreed to participate in the event. Among them was Jan Olieslagers (1883-1942) who had already gained fame as a racing driver on both two and four wheels, and who had made his first flight at Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France only about a week earlier. As such, his experience as a pilot at the time of the event could be expressed in flying minutes rather than flying hours.

The timing of the event was unfortunate - the aviation week took place in the last week of October, and was marked by generally poor weather, with gusts and rain making flying impossible at times.

On November 2nd, the last day of the event, Jan Olieslagers had already performed several flights at the event with his Blériot XI, two of which (on October 26th and October 30th) had ended in accidents with damage to his aircraft. As the weather had improved enough to allow flights to take place, Olieslagers decided to make a flight in front of the public. About 300 meters after taking off, while in a turn, he banked his aircraft too steeply causing it to stall and crash. Luckily, Jan Olieslagers did not sustain any injuries.


Het nieuws van den dag : kleine courant, 4 November 1909
75 jaar luchtvaart Antwerpen, J.D. Ghoos, Uitgeverij De Vlijt, 1984


Revision history:

26-Nov-2023 08:14 Anon Added

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