The pilots polar aviation
The pilots polar aviation

The pilots polar aviation


Flights over the Arctic began in 1914. Then the pilots often had to perform the role of rescuers. When a hundred years ago three polar expeditions (Rusanova, Brusilova and Sedova) disappeared at the same time, Yan Nagursky set out for them on a seaplane. But long after it, simple enthusiasts made Arctic flights. 

In 1918, the development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) began, connecting the European part of Russia through Siberia with the Far East. In 1929, three Komseverput aircraft conducted ice reconnaissance over the NSR. It became clear that the aircraft can cope much faster and better with tasks that icebreakers need more than one day. The idea arose to create a service that would coordinate flights. And in 1931, the first polar aviation unit appeared. Conquering the Arctic has become easier. 


The pilots polar aviation 2

The pilots polar aviation

To get to the natural resources of Siberia would be difficult without the plane. In his polar aviation pilots flying closer and closer to approaching the North Pole. 

The military quickly assessed the role that polar aviation could play in conflicts. During World War II, polar aircraft were often accompanied by Allied convoys. The center of the polar pilots is Krasnoyarsk city. It was there that airplanes are adapted to work in the conditions of the far north, and after that they are forwarded to polar airfields. During the Second World War, Krasnoyarsk was a transit point for US aircraft. Heavy torpedo bombers were used to protect convoys from fascists. Their task was the destruction of enemy ships and submarines: it must be said, the torpedo bombers coped with it very successfully. As one of the polar explorers recalls, when the first American aircraft was delivered to Krasnoyarsk, it was completely disassembled. The instructions in English were attached: two engineers understood as best they could. 

And now polar aviation pilots are working in extreme conditions. They often fly in the old-fashioned way: “by eye”. The romance of the flight profession in polar explorers is fully preserved. 

The question of the professional training of pilots for flying in the polar region began to be addressed in the 30s of the last century, with the beginning of the commercial development of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route.  

In 1934 was Nikolaev school marine pilots was transferred to the Northern Sea Route. And then we began training pilots polar aviation. In the future school graduates praise far beyond his native Mykolayiv. Hence, at the time, came out best Soviet polar explorers.

Since then, the geography of polar flights has expanded dramatically: today, polar aviation pilots fly not only over the Arctic latitudes, but also to the opposite pole of the globe. They start in Cape Town: from there to the sixth continent, only six hours in the air. Provided that the weather turns out to be flying, the plane can also make it back in time. But Antarctica is unpredictable. The variability of weather conditions is aggravated by the fact that locators are not tracking the plane here. And the pilot can only rely on his experience, skills and intuition, and not on the navigation systems. Visibility often approaches zero: there is only an ice strip in front of our eyes. And the voice of the dispatcher is heard, which informs the pilot of the weather data. Professional polar pilots here are worth their weight in gold, and their skill can, at times, be compared with the art of a jeweler.

On November 11, 2005, it was necessary to deliver fuel to the Russian Vostok station. But the conditions did not allow landing. Then they decided to throw off the fuel by parachute. A site was marked out near the station. Having made six calls, Russian polar pilots landed 168 barrels of fuel from a height of 28 meters. Only one of the 4,5 platforms went XNUMX meters into the snow (the parachute did not open). Since then, the Russian crew has made several such maneuvers every season. None of the foreign pilots has yet been able to repeat them.

Unfortunately, the problem of training is again acute. At this time, only one Russian crew flies regularly to Antarctica. And that makes only some kind of 12 – 14 flights in a season. There are six commanders left in the country who can fly over Antarctica. The age of the majority has passed for 50. When and where the shift will come is an open question. At the present time in Russia there is not a single operating center for the training of pilots of polar aviation.


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