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Blumenau Flight Academy was formally established in 1941, but its history did not begin that year and neither did its birth. Take off with us on this flight back in time!

On the first of July 1924, our city received the German aviator Erich Laskowski who came to hold a conference on “German Aviation and especially Powerless Aviation”. At that time, Germany, which had just left World War I, was unable to build airplanes, so a solution was found: Glide-flights (Segelflug), promoted since then by enthusiasts and still practiced today in our school.

In 1926, motivated by this new practice, people from Blumenau who were enthusiastic about aviation got together at Oscar Groß's Bar and Restaurant, on "Wurststraße" (currently "XV de Novembro" street ) and created the Fliegerbund Blumenau: A fraternity of 35 people passionate about aviation and the desire to see it grow in our city.

During the first meetings, it was already thought about raising donations for the construction of aerodynes, thus concluding the first glider built in Brazil: The Phoenix.

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The entire innovative movement unfolding in the city of Blumenau did not go unnoticed by Eduardo Keßler and Alvino Vogelsanger, both from Joinville, who years later would design their own glider, based on the Phoenix.

The first plane to land in our city was the Iguaçu on May 5th 1932, under the command of Joachim von Rübeck. The landing took place at the Coronel Feddersen street, on Luiz Böttger's property. In the photo with restored coloring below, the German consul Otto Rohkol on the left and on the right the pilot Joachim von Rübbeck (founder of the future airline Aerolloyd Iguassu Fluggesellschaft).

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Even before being formally made official by the extinct Department of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Aeronautics, we  already carried out operations in a restricted manner. However, in 1941, the then mayor of Blumenau, José Ferreira da Silva, invited the flight instructor Dauto Caneparo, who came from Florianópolis to teach the Pilot Training Course, obeying the guidelines of the Brazilian Air Force, which provided all material to our flight academy.

On this occasion, many residents were enraptured as they watched Commander Rubeck perform touch-and-go procedures, in what we now call “runway three-six”, here in Blumenau.

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The first class of student pilots consisted of forty avid student pilots, including Miss Anne Mari Techentin and Miss Zigried Branco. Here, a copy of the medical discharge form (today known as the Aeronautical Medical Certificate) belonging to Carlos Erwin Schneider, a student of the first class of pilots at Blumenau Flight Academy.

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As at the time Blumenau Flight Academy still did not have official headquarters, the Mayor, alongside América Nautical Club, managed to find a room for conducting theoretical courses in piloting. On the 04/22/1941, our flight academy was finally founded, and it was even published in the newspaper “O Arauto das Aspirações do Valle do Itajahy”.

After many a month of theory taught at the then headquarters of Blumenau Flight Academy, on January 21st 1942, the long-awaited Pipper J3, registration “PP-TJH”, arrived, the first plane destined to instruct pilots in our city, as reported by Carlos Erwin Schneider (Pilot trained in the first-ever class of our school):

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After the arrival of the “PP-TJH” at our school, the following month, more precisely on February 11th 1942, two air officers arrived here: Major Rubi Canabarro and Lieutenant Priano Pereira Souza, in command of two planes extremely powerful American bombers at the time. Such officers patrolled the Brazilian coast in order to verify the possible presence of Nazi submarines in our region.

During World War II, the runway used in Blumenau was widely used by Brazilian Air Force planes, due to maneuvers carried out in the region and this made Blumenau become a strategic city for officers who came to stock up on supplies, because at the time in other cities they were very scarce, or very expensive.

The city had a harmonious coexistence with the Brazilian Air Force (BAF) officers, who attended the dances held at Blumenau´s Hunting and Shooting Club and some even dated local girls, which was not very well seen by the BAF, since at the time the army was extremely strict with people born and descended from germans.

At that time, businessmen from Blumenau (with German descent) had serious restrictions on leaving our city (even for work) and could not leave without a “safe conduct”.

Many of these businessmen had the help and cooperation of our flight school, as our lorry by then was not stopped at the army barriers and had a free pass. Businessmen would come together with an aviator to the flight school and from there take off to Florianópolis and other big cities. Because of this, many companies did not completely stop their activities, thanks to the help from the aviators from Blumenau Flight Academy.

At the time, it was common to see the Junkers tri-engine landing on our airstrip (image on the side), as it made frequent commercial flights in the Itajaí Valley.

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In the image on the left side, the class of pilots graduated in 1945, with the first plane that our school received from the Department of Civil Aviation. From then on, our school only grew...

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Among many directorates, presidencies and administrations, Blumenau Flight Academy has always been a reference in Brazilian aviation, training pilots with excellence and in 2010, it formed its first class of flight attendants. We continue to this day to be one of the best training courses for Flight Attendants (image).

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In October 2021, Blumenau Flight Academy introduced in its structure the first  Airline Pilot Standard/Multi Crew Cooperation course in the state of Santa Catarina, a prerequisite training for airlines (on the picture, the first  Airline Pilot Standard/Multi Crew Cooperation class of Blumenau Flight Academy).

Always aiming for the best, reaching higher and higher flights and keeping our reputation with our heads held high! Every day that passes, this story gains another chapter, and you can be part of it too!

Sources: Acervo do Aeroclube de Blumenau, Fundação Cultural de Blumenau, Arquivo Histórico José Ferreira da Silva, “Histórico da Aviação Blumenauense e do Aeroclube de Blumenau 1924-2001” por Marlis Matteusi.

On April 22, 2022, the we received the visit of the first Brazilian Astronaut and then Minister of Science and Technology, Marcos Pontes, who gave a lecture and visited our school.

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