SYMBOLS Stories of cultural life.

Skaza Miroslav, unlucky pilot from the city of airmen

On the grave of a military pilot is depicted the moment just before his young life extinguished. In the front of a realistic depiction is a crashing military aircraft, which is tangling in the tree branches. I the background is the idyllic seaside and the city.

Miroslav Skaza, lower lieutenant of the Air Force of Yugoslav People's Army (JLA), represents the third generation of Maribor airmen.
The earliest flight in Maribor was in year 1889, conducted by a visiting Czech artist, who flew in a hot air balloon and jumped with an umbrella from it. Nineteen years later, Oskar Rziha from Maribor and also Czech, made a plane from wood and canvas, but without a motor. In March 1908, he repeatedly flew with construction from the top of a hill nearby Maribor more than 600 meters far. Rizha later made two other motor aircraft, but he failed to fly with them. In the years before World War I, the Society for Aviation Graz organized in Maribor balloon flight, which was driven by man from Maribor, named Macher. The balloon rose to 800 m in height and flew all the way to Slovenske Konjice. The following year, the city had its own balloon, and Macher flew with it all the way to the Baltic Sea.

Less successful was the first air show in Maribor, otherwise highly visited. Plane motor has risen up to 8 meters high and then fell to the ground, fortunately without fatal consequences for the pilot. But the very next day a military plane circulated over the city , which then successfully landed on Tezno and sketched the future fate of the city. Due to its favorable location on the outskirts of the Alps, constant wind and clear atmosphere, Maribor became a city of airmen before the start of World War I. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy the airport at Tezno served the army of the new state of Serbs, Croat and Slovene. In 1930, at the airport got the first civilian hangar in Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was erected by members of the Flying Club Maribor, established three years earlier.

From the city of pilots also came Miroslav Skaza. In early June 1961, a 24 year old pilot made last flight. His military jet plane crashed south of the idyllic Istria town Rovinj. Aircraft wreckage was later found in today's forest reservation, unfortunately, also the dead pilot. A few days later he was buried with full honours at Pobrežje cemetery. Lower officers and cadets held the honour guard around his coffin. And before Skaza was placed in an early grave, the unit of comrades fired shots in his honour. The tomb of the young aviator was then filled with number of wreaths and flowers. Later his close relatives erected this tombstone with a depicted aircraft, a symbol of ascending, which represents the desire of the spiritual being to separate from the physical world.

plane crash