Sviderskytė, G., Stankūnavičius, G., Rimkus, E.

Weather conditions during a transatlantic flight of Lituanica on July 15–17, 1933


This article focuses on the 1933 transatlantic flight of the airplane Lituanica and weather conditions en-route. Using reanalysis methods and comparative analysis of historiographical data, the authors aimed to restore the weather conditions and to evaluate pilots’ decision-making process in rapidly changing situation during a flight from New York to Kaunas. In this study, the apparent flight path of Lituanica (actual flight path remains undocumented) was divided into three stages, with weather conditions investigated for each segment. The findings suggest that weather-based decision making was essential throughout most of the flight and could have played a vital role in the final stage. Over the European mainland, deteriorated weather conditions became unfavourable to maintaining the heading to Lithuania. The adverse weather had forced pilots to abandon their flight plan and consequently led to an attempted forced landing and the fatal crash in Germany.


Keywords Steponas Darius, Stasys Girėnas, Lituanica flight, meteorological reanalysis

Full text

Select year