Airplanes, Women, and Song: Memoirs of a Fighter Ace, Test Pilot, and Adventurer
Syracuse University Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
Boris Sergievsky's life of high adventure began when he fought as a Russian infantry officer and fighter pilot against Austria-Hungary during WWI, and against the Red Army after the Bolshevik revolution. In 1923, he came to the U.S. and joined Igor Sikorsky's airplane company as chief test pilot.
Over the next ten years, Pan American Airways established routes across Latin America and the Pacific, using Sikorsky flying boats. Sergievsky tested them all and flew many of the inaugural flights.
Sergievsky dictated this lively and personal memoir in 1934, when he and Charles Lindbergh were about to set eight world's records in a giant Pan American "Clipper". By then, Sergievsky had made pioneering flights across vast stretches of Latin America, carrying everything from mining machinery to boa constrictors. He flew Osa and Martin Johnson across uncharted African jungles, survived a tidal wave that smashed his flying boat in mid-ocean, and escaped a blazing crash when his airplane caught fire in midair. Through it all, his sense of humor remained intact, as did his passion for beautiful women.
The editors, who knew Sergievsky well during his later years -- he was Adam Hochschild's uncle -- have written three dozen sidebars to put Sergievsky's memoir in context for today's readers, and to describe his further adventures in the next three decades. More than forty rare photographs enhance the story of Sergievsky's eventful life.
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Out of the Blue
Sergievsky flies the Chilean S38 over Central America 1931
Sergievsky an expert horseman clears a high jump
Kira and Orest Sergievskys two children
Boris and Gertrude Sergievsky with their daughter Kira 1940
A RUSSIAN YOUTH
A map of the Eastern Front in World War I
WAR IN THE MOUNTAINS 2
Lt Shudnovsky killed when he collided with a German aircraft
A Nieuport 21 fighter on its back after a rough landing
REVOLUTION AND UPHEAVAL
Sergievsky during his service as a Royal Air Force flying instructor
Sergievsky and Russian prisoners in Poland 1921
ON TO NEW WORLDS
Sergievsky and other Russian workers in front of the Sikorsky S29A
The sole Sikorsky S32 which Sergievsky flew over Colombia
Russian troops enter Lemberg on September 31914
Sergievsky receives his colonels Order of Saint George
Tsar Nicholas II and his uncle Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevich
Sergievsky and members of the 25th Scouting Squadron 1916
WAR IN THE AIR
his June 61916 battle
Sergievskys FAI license as a PiloteAviateur issued in 1917
Sergievsky with his Frenchdesigned Russianbuilt Nieuport 17 fighter
Sergievsky and squadron mates visit nurses at a field hospital