CIS Center provided organizational and financial support for the evacuation of the C-47 Douglas aircraft, the first exhibit of the future North Park-Museum.
One of the brightest pages of the Great Patriotic War (this is how World War II is traditionally called in Russia) history is the activity of the Krasnoyarsk air route of the Red Army Force. Today it is more known to the hole world as the Alaska-Siberia route or ALSIB.
During the Great Patriotic War, Soviet pilots risking their lives transported from the US to the USSR combat and transport aircrafst supplied under the Lend-Lease program. The decision to create the route was made on October 9, 1941, and the first planes flew from Fairbanks on October 6, 1942.
Almost 3000 people worked for three years in harsh conditions of the Far North. Pilots, navigators, boardwriters and flight mechanics flew over the Bering Strait, tundra and taiga, a pole of cold; engineers and technicians, despite the frostbite, prepared the aircraft for flights. The result of this collective work is more than 8000 aircraft that passed along the highway and entered the army.
After the war aircrafts were used for passenger and freight traffic. One of those plains was C-47 Douglas.
On April 23, 1947 the C-47 Douglas aircraft carried out a passenger flight to Krasnoyarsk with stops in Khatanga, Dudinka and Turukhansk. At 7 25 pm the liner flew to its first destination with 28 passengers. But only 33 minutes after the left engine refused. The last radio exchange with the board took place at 9 30 pm, then the connection was interrupted. Maxim Tirikov’s crew made an emergency landing in the middle of the tundra. Luckily no one died on board.
As soon as there was ho aid after several, the captain Tyrikov, along with the radio operator and the mechanic, went for help. No one else saw them again.
The search for the vanished board lasted almost three weeks until on May 11, 1947 when the crew of Fyodor Shatrov found the aircraft 180 kilometers northwest of the village of Volochanka. There were survivors with children among them. 24 people returned home. But the plane where people spent 19 days remained in the tundra for 70 years.
Evacuation of the C-47 Douglas
In 2016, the international team for the evacuation of the C-47 Douglas went to Taimyr: 15 people, including experienced mechanics, rescuers and engineers. It was planned that the team will disassemble the aircraft within two weeks. And they were going to work around the clock, using all the opportunities of the polar day, when the sun does not go beyond the horizon.
The work began on the 6th of August. The plane was dismantled into 7 parts: the fuselage, the center wing, two engines and wings. Using the Mi-8 helicopter the aircraft was delivered to the barge by parts, which the employees of the Yenisei Shipping Company brought to the Pyasina River. Then on August, 11 (with a lot of time ahead!) "Douglas" sailed to Dudinka, and then along the Yenisei to Krasnoyarsk.
180 km from Volochanka
The C-47 Douglas and all the finds from the accident site will become the exhibits of the future North Park-Museum. Prior to this Douglas will be placed on a special site of the Expedition Center of the Russian Geographical Society in the Siberian Federal District. In the near future, the condition of the aircraft will be estimated by the specialists and preparation for restoration works will begin.
Book about the history of the Krasnoyarsk air route, which is better known as ALSIB (Alaska – Siberia).