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connecting the dots...
 from Tom Anusewicz Collection
photo credit Associated Press
March 4, 1930 - Boris Sergiesky sets new S-38 altitude record of 19,400 ft. Boris hands the qualifying instrument to Luce Christopher from the NAA.
Born in Russia in 1888, Boris Sergiesky learned to fly in 1912. His life of high-adventure began when he fought as a Russian infantry officer, winning the Imperial Russia's highest honor for leading his infantrymen in a charge that captured a fortified enemy hilltop. He then took to the air to become a fighter pilot and a combat ace against Austria-Hungary during WWI. In 1923 he emigrated to the U.S. and after a short time of menial jobs, he joined Igor Sikorsky's airplane company where he became the chief test pilot. Boris worked for Sikorsky Aircraft and helped with the development of many of the early flying boats. In 1946, he bought one of the newest seaplanes built by Grumman. His G-73 Mallard was the fourth built and he flew charter operations until 1964, when he sold the airplane after loosing his pilots certificate at age 77.
Read more about Boris Sergiesky.

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Igor Sikorsky and Charles Lindberg with new S-38 in 1929

flight cover and photo from Tom Anusewicz Collection
fBoris Sergiesky in front of his G-73 Mallard NC2940
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photo from Tom Anusewicz Collection
Grumman Mallard G-73 / NC2940 (N83781)   J-4
photo from National Air and Space Museum
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photo from Tom Anusewicz Collection
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photo from Tom Anusewicz Collection
Grumman G-73 Mallardserial number J-4
registration NC2940 / N121SP / VH-SPL / N83781       / N604SS
NC2904 Grumman Cert. Notice 1946.jpg
NC2940 G73 Bill of Sale 1946.jpg

Boris Sergiesky purchased NC2940 in 1946 and operated it until 1964, when he sold it to Rockwell (Aero Commander) 

It arrived at Antilles Air Boats in 1978 after many owners and registration number changes.

Grumman Bill of Sale
NC2940 Registration 1946.jpg
Grumman Certification Notice - 10/18/46
Grumman Mallard J-4 operated by Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle as N604SS had its last flight on 10/28/86, due to an accident. Forty years after its first flight. 

When the Sikorsky S-38 and S-39 were selected to be the aircraft of choice for Martin and Osa Johnson's Africa adventures, Boris Sergiesky assisted flying the aircraft from Johannesburg to Nairobi. to ensure they were tested and ready to complete the journey.

photos credit Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum

An incredible story of adventure and so much more!

The Johnson's

Martin & Osa Johnson - Africa.jpg
In the first half of the last century Martin and Osa Johnson rev.jpg
Thank you to Conrad G. Froechlich, Director of the Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum for his assistance 

Over the years, there has been a little confusion over aircraft used by Johnson's. The early days of aviation primarily used seaplanes because runways were basically non existent . Martin & Osa Johnson's Africa adventures and  H.F. Johnson Jr. search for the carnauba palm tree in South America, both utilized the Sikorsky S-38.  John Seward Johnson, son of founder of Johnson & Johnson flew a Grumman Goose for many years around Florida and the Bahamas. 

Different stories but all amphibious.


Samuel C. Johnson Jr.


was the fourth generation of his family to lead 

S.C. Johnson and Sons, Inc.

Samuel ensured that the company continued to tell the stories of the early days and the S-38 aircraft in South America.

The company  continued to move into the latest aircraft designs in support of their business worldwide.

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SC Johnson DA900 Falcon 1988
different paint scheme
more Sikorsky's closer to home...
Inter-Island Airways / Hawaiian Airlines


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