Alexandru Papană was the son of a Romanian general, and entered the Romanian air force. He enjoyed competing in many sports, but mostly enjoyed flying. Together with a pilot friend, Dumitru Hubert, he competed in bobsleigh. In 1932 they took part in the Olympics, narrowly missing out on a medal in the two-man event. One year later, the duo would become World Champion in Schreiberhau (Germany). They won another World Championship medal in 1934, but their partnership ended when Hubert was killed in an airshow later that year. Papană himself also flew in airshows, and would regularly attempt to break flying records. He was also one of his country’s first flyers to enjoy gliding, and he took part in the hang gliding demonstration at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He then moved to the United States, first to fly in airshow, and later to work as a test pilot. In 1946, Papană killed himself by taking poison. In the suicide note, he requested his ashes to be spread out by a plane.