Doru Davidovici (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈdoru daˈvidovit͡ʃʲ]; 1945–1989), was a Romanian aviator and writer. Born in a Romanian-Jewish family, Doru Davidovici became one of the most loved Romanian fiction writers in the 1980s.[1] During the communist years, his books gave an unusual sense of liberty and new horizons by describing the experience of flying, and the closeness it forged – both between pilots and between pilots and their machines. The plane is seen by Davidovici not simply as a machine that enables one to fly but as an actual character, with its own personality and almost with its own soul.

Doru Davidovici
Doru Davidovici in flight gear
Birth nameDoru Filimon Davidovici
Born(1945-07-06)6 July 1945
Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania
Died20 April 1989(1989-04-20) (aged 43)
near Perișoru, Călărași County
Service/branchRomanian Air Force
Years of service1968–1989
Unit86th Fighter Aviation Regiment
Writing career
SpouseAgnes-Ruth Valentin
Childrentwo children

Biography edit

Early life and military career edit

Doru Filimon Davidovici was born on 6 July 1945 to Paul and Etti Davidovici.[2][3] He attended the Higher School of Active Aviation Officers, graduating in 1967 with the rank of Lieutenant. He continued his studies at the Military Academy between 1977 and 1979.[4]

After he completed his conversion training on supersonic fighters, he was assigned to the 86th Fighter Aviation Regiment in 1984 where he flew on MiG-21 aircraft. Between 1981 and 1986, he served in various roles such as patrol commander, squadron commander, and inspector in the Military Aviation Command. From 1986 until his death in 1989, he worked as an instructor on the MiG-21.[4]

The cockpit incident edit

In 1974, soon after taking off on a mission, the canopy of his airplane broke off knocking him unconscious. When he woke up, the aircraft was diving towards a forest but soon he managed to regain control and bring the airplane to level flight. Under the instructions of his flight leader, he then began the process of landing.[4]

While everything else was under control, he noticed a piece of the broken plexiglass still attached to the metal frame of the cockpit. Fearing it could tear off and hit him in the face, he grabbed the piece with his right hand while keeping the controls of the aircraft with his left hand. Unsuccessful in his attempt, and with an injured hand, he tried again with his other hand, eventually managing the tear off the piece. While on approach he tried to lower his visor, but his arm got twisted by the air current and flung backward, outside the cockpit, dislocating his shoulder. He managed to land the aircraft while his right arm was still twisted. Soon after landing, the medics managed to save his arm.[4]

Writing career edit

He began his writing career in 1973, publishing the book titled Caii de la Voroneț ("The Horses of Voroneț"). With this book, he received the First prize at the publishing house's debut contest.[5] His works soon gained popularity, giving readers a sense of liberty by describing the experiences of flying and presenting new horizons, and in other works of his presenting UFOs and aliens.

Due to his writing about flight, his books were particularly popular among aviators. Young pilots even asking for his autographs on books while at the Air Base, with him always happy to sign them right on the wing of his MiG-21 RFMM.[4]

Investigation by Securitate and censorship edit

Due to his family's close ties to Israel, he became a target for the Securitate. His father, Paul, had been investigated two times in 1953 and in 1963, while his mother, Etti, was arrested on suspicion of treason being released two years after her arrest. Davidovici's wife, Agnes, worked as a translator for Agerpres and had many contacts in Israel, West Germany, France, and the United States. Thus, both Doru (under the codename "Aron") and his wife were investigated by the secret police.[2]

In 1987, the Securitate intercepted one of his letters to writer Cornel Marandiuc. In this letter, Doru complained that his newly released book Lumi Galactice was censored with "incompetent erasures and clumsy additions".[2]

Later career edit

Sometime at the end of 1987, or the beginning of 1988, Davidovici wanted to leave military aviation and wished to become a pilot flying internal routes for TAROM. He was however denied this request.[2]

Death and legacy edit

Doru Davidovici lost his life together with Dumitru Petra on 20 April 1989 during landing procedures while returning with his MiG-21UM from a training flight to the Borcea air base.[1][4] The place where he crashed near the village of Perișoru (44°23′4.04″N 27°36′9.51″E / 44.3844556°N 27.6026417°E / 44.3844556; 27.6026417) is marked with a pile of boulders.[6]

His work was influenced by writers like Ray Bradbury, Radu Tudoran, and Bertolt Brecht.[citation needed] He is often compared with French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Both found a source of literary inspiration in their profession, and they both died, at about the same age, flying a fighter plane.[7][6]

The MiG-21 modernization program, which later became known as the LanceR program, was initially called the "DD Program", meant as a tribute to Doru Davidovici.[8]

Davidovici was married to Agnes-Ruth, née Valentin, and had two children, Irina and Ștefan.[2][4]

Literary works edit

His published works include:

  • Caii de la Voroneț (1973)
  • Ultima aventură a lui Nat Pinkerton (1975)
  • Insula nevăzută (1976)
  • Intrarea actorilor (1977)
  • Zeița de oricalc (1977)
  • Celula de alarmă (1979)
  • Culoarea cerului (1981)
  • Aripi de argint (1983)
  • Lumi galactice (1986)
  • V de la Victorie (1987)

Published posthumously edit

  • Ridică-te și mergi (1991)
  • Dezmințire la Mit (1991)

Besides his narrative work, Doru Davidovici is known for his essay on the UFOs, Lumi Galactice – colegii mei din neștiut (Galactic worlds – my colleagues from the unknown), published in 1986. Here Davidovici regards, once again through his pilot eyes, the UFOs and the issues raised by their presumed existence.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Georgeta Cozma (2016). "Defying gravity. Doru Davidovici" (PDF). CONVERGENT DISCOURSES. Exploring the Contexts of Communication. Arhipelag XXI Press: 313–314. ISBN 978-6068624174.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sorin Turturică. "Dosarul de la CNSAS al lui Doru Filimon Davidovici. De ce l-a urmărit Securitatea pe cel mai cunoscut aviator-scriitor al României". Historia (in Romanian). Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Summary Bibliography: Doru Davidovici". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Mariana Iancu (20 April 2021). "Ziua în care a murit Doru Davidovici, pilotul care a învățat păsările să zboare". Adevărul (in Romanian).
  5. ^ Györfi-Deák György. "Doru Davidovici as SF writer & UFO researcher" (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 28 February 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Mihnea-Petru Pârvu (2 May 2015). "Povestea pilotului român care a întâlnit un OZN". Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian).
  7. ^ Cătălin Floroiu (20 April 2000). "Dor de Doru…". Archived from the original on 6 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Romanian Air Force". Scramble (NL). Archived from the original on 28 December 2005.

External links edit