Biplane fighter pilots


Ingenjörlöjtnant Sten Åke Hildinger, SFK nr. 752

Åke Hildinger was born in Hammarö, Värmland, on 6 June 1914.

Before joining F19 he served as flygingenjörsaspirant (Engineer Cadet) at F8.

During his service with F19 he served as flottilingenjör (Wing Engineer) with the grade of ingenjörlöjtnant (Engineer Lieutenant) at the main base at Veitsiluoto.

At 14.10 on 10 March 1940 he took off from Veitsiluoto for a test flight in a Gladiator. The Gladiator he was testing had had an engine change. Something went wrong during the test and the aircraft was seen doing a long dive and when the pilot pulled up, an explosion was heard and the aircraft crashed into the ice-covered lake. When the rescue team reached the destroyed aircraft, Åke Hildinger was found dead in the cockpit.
The subsequent investigation showed that the aircraft has been torn apart in a steep dive at an altitude of 1000 meters. During the dive, the skies of the aircraft were twisted down and backward. This meant difficulty in pulling up from the dive and that only elevator hadn’t been enough and the uses of trim tabs were been necessary. Continuous dive with twisted skies meant difficulties and ends in the destruction of wings and fuselage. The investigation ended in a statement that the present ski design is not satisfying. The autopsy showed that Hildinger was struck by an aircraft part and unconscious when the aircraft hit the ground. He was killed instantly on the impact.

Åke Hildinger was buried at Norra Begravningsplatsen in Stockholm on 19 March 1940.

De stupade svenska frivilliga i Finlands försvarskamp 1939-1944 - Armémuseum
F19 - en krönika - Greger Falk, Svensk flyghistorisk Förening, Stockholm, ISSN 0345-3413

Last modified 23 September 2000