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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lituanica's Last Flight?

The small aircraft drones over the vast darkness below.  It's shortly after midnight, somewhere over eastern Germany.  Two sets of eyes, exhausted from 37 hours of flying, peer into the night. Flying in and out of rain clouds, lightening flashes. For a brief moment they see towers of billowing clouds. Then darkness closes in once again. Inside Lituanica's tiny cabin Darius and Girenas, cold and fatigued, huddle contemplating their situation.

They're now burning fuel from the main tanks in the wings. Their 27 welded Jerry cans in the back are empty. They have four hours of fuel remaining--- or do they? If they navigate around the storm they won't have enough fuel to make destination. But flying through the storm is not a good option, either. Then lightening flashes, illuminating a field suitable for landing. If they could land, they could wait out the storm.

Darius banks the aircraft, while Girenas grabs the flashlight and opens the window to look for the ground. Without warning the aircraft is pulled from the sky. Pine trees on the hill, just in front of the field, grabbed Lituanica and slammed her into the earth.

At 00:36 local time, six miles south of Soldin, Germany-- now Poland-- the Lituanica came to rest.

The next morning, while over 25,000 people wait at the Kaunas airport in Lithuania for their heroes arrival, women harvesting mushrooms and berries came upon the Lituanica.

Darius and Girenas did not complete their flight. 404 miles short of their destination, theirs was the second longest flight at 3984 miles, in thirty-seven hour and eleven minutes.

But the story doesn't end here...

~ Karlene


  1. This is heartbreaking, Karlene. I was so excited when the lightning showed them that landing field! What happens next?

  2. Wow what a breathtaking story! You literally had me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to hear what happens next!


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