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Another Mighty Oak has fallen

Talip BÖLÜKBAŞI

info@airnewstimes.com

The Izmir Narlidere home lost a resident on Saturday May 7. Nursing home residents lost their friend who had been with them for a long time. Airmen from the Izmir air association used to visit her on national and religious festivals, and on the anniversary of the foundation of Turkkusu; those airmen who shivered under the endless blue sky while they were listening with love to  her memoirs, have been shocked with the death of this great airman…


On Saturday May 7, 2011, one free soul flew to the sky, as she was released from his 91 year old body. She flew to the sky; which had always been her first love for the 54 years she had been flying


It
was not announced in the headlines or in the newspapers. Her airmen friends announced her death by phone calls and on the internet. We were told by email she is not alive anymore


Another
Mighty Oak has fallen

We have lost Edibe Subasi Kutucuoglu. On Sunday May 8, her airmen friends and her airmen sons sent him off in a dignified ceremony,. This was on the same day as Mother’s day. Her airman sons were addicted to sky. She went her last trip on her son’s shoulders…


She was born in 1920 in Elazig. She moved to Adana with her family when she was 3 years old.
She met with Ataturk when she was 17 and she told him that she wanted to be able to fly like Sabiha Gokcen


She was one of the first female parachuters at the time of the foundation of Turkkusu and she was also first female acrobatic pilot of our country. In total, she jumped 104 times with a parachute which was a great number for that period. She made lots of acrobatic flights which almost made observers jump out of their skins
. Presidents, Queens applaud loudly her in USA, Holland, Greece, France and Italy


We were in Kastomonu, and whilst all the people were having fun there we were making our preparations for stunt flying listening to the flourish of trumpets in the background. The people were waiting with anticipation for our stunts. Meanwhile one of the drummers who was nicknamed Black Snake said that ‘I will fly with her’ as he pointed to me. Whatever we said, it didn’t work. He proceeded to come aboard with his drum on to the flight alongside us. He played his drums up there in the sky whilst on land his clarinet was used to keep people entertained there. Some years later various people were playing drum and clarinet in front of my house. I initially thought there was a wedding. But apparently Black Snake had come to Ankara and he was the one outside playing the drums’. As told to us from one of her memoirs.


Another memory comes from one of her visits overseas. ‘In 1954 there was no one using parachutes in Greece. They decided that one of the Greek officers would be jumping with us. The officer came to me and told me that ‘I am only jumping with this parachute because of you.  They told me that if even a Turkish women is able to jump using a parachute then why can’t we? ‘But his voice was trembling because it was his first jump. We boarded the plane; but when the time came and we were in front of the door he froze. I had to push him from behind to help him jump!


She overcame a lot of accidents. The last of them separated her from her great love; that endless blue sky. In 1957 she flew using a separated glider with one of her students. It was just at 50 metres, but the student who was flying with her on the autorotation made a mistake and two gliders crashed in mid-air. She wanted to save her student’s life and so she didn’t think twice but this led to a crash landing on the plane’s nose.
She knew that she had little chance crashing from that height and in that manner. The result was 22 broken bones and her body was badly burned. She suffered 15 surgeries within a 3 month period.


In 2005 she gave all of her medallions to the Turkish Air association’s museum on their opening day.


Another Mighty Oak has fallen. On Sunday May 8, her airmen friends and her airmen sons sent him off in a dignified ceremony

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Linda Scarf write

6/5/2011 12:29:49 PM

I remember particularly back in the '90s when Edibe came to my organization, in Alsancak. She gave us, the members of LET's TALK TURKIYE, a fantastic presentation of history, emotions and technical expertise. What an honor it was to be listening to this figure who has such a special place in the world's history!
One little story that I often quote her as saying is that she LOVED to swim! She said that in her life-time experiences she came to realize that the love of flying and the love of swimming go hand in hand!!
Now I have a 6 year ol
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