AKA Miguel Lebrija Urtetegui
Miguel Lebrija Urtutegui
Collection of Pablo Arumbe, 8-7-09

     If you search on "Miguel Librija" +aviacion, using Google, you will find about 464 links. (8-8-09) You will be rewarded by visiting many of them, especially if you read Spanish. If prefer them in English, many may be translated directly from the Google entry. Among the more important ones are these:
Miguel Lebrija en su primer intentó de Vuelo
Miguel Lebrija in his first attempt to fly
Photo & text from Galeria de imagenes

     This page on the website of the Gobierno del Estado Aguacalientes ,Instituto de Educación de Aguascalientes, offers the most complete biography of Lebrija I have found on the net. If you read Spanish, you can enjoy the original article by clicking on the title above. However, if you need it in English, I have tried to make a translation for you which you will find immediately below.
     "Lebrija, who many consider to be one of the forerunners of Mexican aviation, was born in Mexico City, the 20th of November of 1887, the son of Miguel Lebrija Siurob and Maria Urtetegui. He studied commerce in the Colegio Williams and after graduation he served as private secretary to the manager of the Compañía Mexicana de Luz y Fuerza Motriz, S.A. His interest in aviation prompted him to construct a glider in 1909, to be towed by an automobile, which satisfied his desire to fly. At that time, France was the country which encouraged aviation, so he decided to go there in order to become an aeronaut. Afterward, he traveled to Germany and had the opportunity to fly in a balloon, which excited him so much that he bought one and brought it back to Mexico. In April of 1910, he ascended in it and later he began to offer balloon trips at a reasonable price.
     Aviation was being encouraged everywhere in the world and was initiated in Mexico by an enthusiastic industrialist, Ernesto Pugibet, who bought a "Bleriot" airplane to advertise the cigarettes that were being produced by his Compañía Cigarrera El Buen Tono, S.A.; Lebrija offered to fly his aeroplane and managed to raise it to a height of eight meters.
     In fact, the first to fly an airplane in the skies of Mexico was Alberto Braniff, who accomplished this feat in January of 1910. But Miguel Lebrija remained active and continued to fly in the Valley of Mexico. On the 3rd of August of 1912, using a "Duperdusin" aeroplane, he reached a height of 300 meters. From that day on, Lebrija continued flying over the capital, almost without interruption. He was the first Mexican to fly over the Catedral Metropolitana and the first to reach heights over 1.000 meters.
     He suffered several accidents, but rather than intimidating him, they only gave him a greater determination to master the art. Accidents, instead of making him fear the danger, would make him dare even further and did not harm him thanks to his serenity and ability. He was flying at a height of about 400 meters one day when a piston rod in the engine broke, but he was able to control the plane and eventually landed safely.
     In 1913, the Mexican Government named him Mayor Jefe de la Aviación and he was ordered to go to France to acquire several airplanes for the National army. Before carrying out this mission, he had to take care of a badly injured right leg which had worsened. He died on the 15th of December of 1913 after an operation on the leg. His body was transported to be buried Mexico, in the Cementerio Francés de la Piedad."

       He died on the 15th of December of 1913 after an operation on the leg. His body was transported to be buried Mexico, in the Cementerio Francés de la Piedad."
See above

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
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