To the Schastya Bay


The crew made up of Anatoly Kvochur, captain, the Hero of Russia, and Sergey Korostiev, second-grade test pilot, Recipient of the Order of Courage, is flying along the legendary Soviet aviators’ route of the 1930’s.

The SU-30 is accompanied by a military flying tanker IL-78. The non-stop flight distance will be 12,417 kilometres. The flight will take about 15 hours.

Back in July 20th, 1936 the plane took off at 5.45 a.m. The crew was composed of Valery Chkalov, the second pilot Georgy Bajdukov and air navigator Aleksandr Belyakov. The flight route went through Kharlovka on the Kolsky peninsula, Viktoriya Island in the Barents Sea, Tikhaya Bay on the Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, Tiksi Bay, and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. While the plane was approaching Sakhalin the weather turned nasty, the crew was forced to land. The pilots realized that under such conditions the plane would crash into the shore peaks before reaching the Amur estuary. In the strongly misted twilight Chkalov did an incredible thing: he masterfully landed the heavy ANT-25 on the coastal stripe of Udd Island in Schastya Bay near Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. It was the evening of July 22nd, 1936. There was56 hours and 20 minutes of flight; and 9,374 kilometres were behind them.

Many pilots dreamed of repeating Valery Chkalov’s deed. Though, the modern aircrafts rather make it a tribute to Chkalov’s memory than a deed. The SU-30 will return to the airfield today, at 2.00 p.m.


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