At 12.00 on August 28, 2007, during the Polish Aviation Day ceremony, Maciej Rodak, The President of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, Witold Kamocki, The Vice-President and Director Andrzej Hawryluk laid a wreath at the memorial of Fallen Second World War Polish Aviators.
Polish Aviation Day is celebrated in civil and military aviation on the anniversary of the victory of Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura in the greatest international aviation sports event – The International Tourist Plane Contest “The Challenge 1932” in Berlin.
The contest included a 7363 km rally over Europe and technical trials - the short take-off trial, the short landing trial and the minimal speed trial. Żwirko and Wigura flew RWD-6 airplane. The victory was not only a merit of the craftsmanship of the pilot, but also the Polish aviation industry, which constructed a plane of large technical potential. (Stanisław Wigura was it’s co-constructor.)
On September 11, 1932, less than a month after the victorious competition, , Żwirko and Wigura died in a catastrophic accident in their RWD-6 airplane.
Until 1931 the aviation day had been held on November 5, the anniversary of the first combat flight of Polish military aircraft. This took place in 1918 with lieutenants Stefan Bastyr and Janusz de Beaurain as the aircrew. In the times of the People’s Republic of Poland, Aviator’s Day was held on August 23, on the anniversary of the first battle of the first fighters’ squadron in 1944.
This year’s ceremony opened at 10.00 with a Holy Mass for Polish Aviators in the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army. The wreaths were laid at the memorial of Fallen Second World War Polish Aviators. The ceremony was honoured by the fly-by of Iskra planes.
At 1.30 PM on the parade ground of the Air Force Headquarters, the ceremonial parade with National Defence Minister’s speech and ceremonial presentation of state and departmental medals took place.
The ceremony ended with participants’ meeting in the Air Force Headquarters’ gardens.