Károly Magó

My name is Warrant Officer Károly Magó, and I am a flight engineering soldier serving with the Hungarian Defence Forces 86th Helicopter Brigade, and a military historian at RepTár Szolnok Aviation Museum.

I have been interested in flying ever since I was a child. This attraction led me to non-commissioned officer training at Szolnok Aviation Officer Training College, and, in 1994, I passed the military aircraft mechanic exam. For six years, I maintained MiG-21bis, Yak-52, Mi-2 and Mi-8 aircraft.

In 2000, I took the opportunity to request to be transferred to Szolnok Aviation Museum, where, in addition to restoring the aircraft on display, my task has been to research aviation history.

I have been one of the chief organisers of the Szolnok Model Competition since 2002, and, in 2003, my MiG-19 PM model was voted the most beautiful aircraft model in Hungary by a professional panel of judges, making me a Master Modeller. Since 2010, I have been Head Judge of the Moson Model Show, one of the most prestigious model competitions in Europe.

Since 2003, I have been the professional supervisor of the search for, and recovery of, more than thirty Hungarian, German, Romanian, Soviet, English, and American aircraft wrecks, as well as the search and exhumation of seventeen missing Hungarian, American, Polish, and Russian aircrews. As the leader of the Hungarian recovery team, I have also organised six international wreck research expeditions with Russian, Slovak, and Italian researchers. During the expeditions, we introduced new procedures and methods, with the help of which we managed to conclude successful searches related to several previously unclear Hungarian aviation incidents that had involved Hungarians or had occurred within Hungary. One of our most interesting projects was the investigation of Vice-Regent Lieutenant vitéz István Horthy’s accident, the search for the crash site, and the investigation of the causes of the accident. My most extraordinary and harrowing task was recovering the TAROM IL-14 airliner that crashed in Hungary in 1963 and exhuming the passengers trapped in the wreckage.

I was elected among the journalists of Aranysas (Golden Eagle) Magazine in 2006, and I still publish mainly about the history of Hungarian aviation units, the fates of airmen and the search for aircraft wrecks. I am an active member of the Hungarian Aviation Historical Society, and several of my studies have been published in the society’s yearbooks. I have co-authored several books and published three books of my own on the history of wreck research, the aviation history of the town of Szolnok, and fighting on the Eastern Front.

In 2013, I passed the certified military historian exam at the University of Miskolc with excellent grades.

I have received recognition from the town of Szolnok, the Russian town of Voronezh, the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County Archives of the Hungarian National Archives, the Hungarian Defence Forces, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation, the Foreign Minister of Poland and the President of Hungary for my work in the field of aviation history and the search for missing pilots.

On 10 January 2013, I joined the debate on the topic of the book, and, since then, it has been my main area of research. Meanwhile, my little daughter Adrienn was born; before her birth, I had lived only for research. I would like to dedicate this book to my little daughter, and to all my modelling friends.