AKA Shahovskaja Evgenie Mihajlovna & Shakhowaskaya
Collection of Rene Hackstetter, 6-25-04

Collection of Rene Hackstetter, 6-25-04

     "Engaged voluntarily, as female aviator in the Army of the North-West, Princess Shakhowaskaya executed audacious raids above German lines. In the course of a perilous reconnaissance, her machine was struck by gunshots-- the aviatrice was wounded. The Tsar decorated her with the Military Order of Saint George."
This is from a 1916 publication.
Photo and caption translation via email from Dave Lam, 1-7-04

via email from Dave Lam, 9-29-03
     Russian Princess and cousin of the Czar, who learned to fly in a Wright, and later reportedly served in a reconnaissance squadron during WWI. Under a personal order from Nicolas II of November 1914, she was given the rank of ensign in the 1st aerial squadron. This was seen as a honorific, and she was not able to really get into the military. Born St. Petersberg 1889. Flew with Vladimir Lebedev at Gatchina, then moved to Germany to continue training with Wssewolod Abramovitch, chief pilot of he Wright Company. Received her license on a Farman (German license # 274, 16 Aug 1912) at Johannistal, near Berlin. Became Wright aircraft demonstrator for Wright company in St. Petersberg. Crashed a Wright in April 1913 at St. Petersberg, killing Abramovitch.
     There is lots of apocryphal history on her life after the war in Lebow's book "Before Amelia".
"interestingly, she was written up in "Lectures Pour Tous" of 15 Jan 1916, Page 594, with a photo according to the caption, she joined the Army of the Northwest as a volunteer aviator. She then executed audacious raids above the German lines. In the course of a perilous reconnaissance, her machine was struck with enemy fire, and she was wounded. The Czar decorated her with the Military Order of St. George."
     Most authorities say she did not really fly combat missions, and flew observers. She was according to some authorities a real harlot, and was at one time convicted of treason and sentenced to death by shooting. The Czar commuted the sentence to life in a convent. Later, after the revolution, she was chief executioner in Kiev, and reportedly a drug addict. "

Via email from Dolnikov Miron , 11-17-06
Translation from the Cyrilic courtesy of Bruno de Michelis.

Shahovskaja Eugenija Michailovna (daughter of Michael) (1889-1920)

A few months after the plane's crash (which happened on the 11th of April 1913), in which the famous aviator Abramovich accidentally died, princess Shahovskaja (feeling responsible for his death) affirmed: " After this tragic event, I'm not going to fly any more"

As a fact she did not, but she could not stop to be interested in Aviation. Being introduced to the new planes, she visited the "DUKS" factories.

From the spring of 1914 she started again to fly and when the first World War started, she asked His Excellence Nikolai II to be sent to the battle field as an air- force pilot. The Tsar granted her request and in November 1914 she started to serve as a junior officer in the Russian air force. There is not any evidence or reports of her flights, however rumors started about her multiple love affairs with high ranking officers.

Later she was accused of being a spy. She was arrested and sentenced to death. But the Tsar showed her (third cousin) mercy and changed her sentence to life imprisonment.

In 1917 the Bolsheviks released the (princess). During 1917-1918 she worked in the Kiev's pre-KGB organization and subsequently became a complete drug addict. She was later killed in a drunken shooting amongst colleagues.

Yours faithfully,
Dolnikov Miron


Before Amelia
Women Pilots in the Early
Days of Aviation
Eileen F. Lebow
Product Details
Cloth: 315 pages; 6x9 inches
List Price: $26.95
Your Price: $21.56
ISBN: 1574884824
Before Amelia is the remarkable story of the world's women pioneer aviators who braved the skies during the early days of flight. While most books have only examined the women aviators of a single country, Eileen Lebow looks at an international spectrum of pilots and their influence on each other. The story begins with Raymonde de Laroche, a French woman, who became the first licensed female pilot in 1909. De Laroche, Lydia Zvereva, Melli Beese, Hilda Hewlitt, Harriet Quimby, and the other women pilots profiled here rose above contemporary gender stereotypes and proved their ability to fly the temperamental heavier-than-air contraptions of the day.
Lebow provides excellent descriptions of the dangers and challenges of early flight. Crashes and broken bones were common, and many of the pioneers lost their lives. But these women were adventurers at heart. In an era when women's professional options were severely limited and the mere sight of ladies wearing pants caused a sensation, these women succeeded as pilots, flight instructors, airplane designers, stunt performers, and promoters. This book fills a large void in the history of the first two decades of flight
About The Author:
Eileen F. Lebow is an author and former teacher. Her previous books include Cal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz: The First Transcontinental Flight and A Grandstand Seat: The Army Balloon Corps in World War I. She lives in Washington, D.C.
     This book has two full pages of information on Eugenie Shakovskaya, incluidng a nice photo of her with Wssewolod Abramovitch seated in a Wright biplane.. The coverage of the many other pioneer women aviators is excellent. It deserves to be in the library of anyone who is interested in these remarkable women. For more information and to order, go to the publisher's homepage by clicking on:
Brassey's Inc.

Dolnikov M/

Shahovskaja Eugenija Michailovna died in 1920.
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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