The Soviet polar pilot Ivan Cherevichny was a pioneer in the exploration of the High Arctic by air. Cherevichny began his polar flights in 1934, conducting flights along the Yenisey River from Krasnoyarsk to Igarka and to Dudinka. In the winter of 1935, he was the first among the pilots working this route to fly from Krasnoyarsk to Igarka in one day, without stopping overnight. Soon he was transferred to the air route Irkutsk-Yakutsk-Tiksi. In the summer of 1935, he investigated a new air route, Yakutsk to the upper Kolyma River. In the winter of 1936, Cherevichny flew from Irkutsk to Yakutsk to Tiksi to the New Siberian Islands in an open-cabin R-6 aircraft to evacuate the staff of the Cape Shalaurova weather station, which had burned.
Beginning in 1936, Cherevichny participated in airborne ice reconnaissance in the Arctic. And that year he surveyed the ice condition in the Laptev Sea. His total flying time created a new record for that period— 700 hours. The data he collected on the ice situation were used for setting a course for the F. Litke icebreaker, leading a group of military ships, which were the first in history to complete the North East Passage from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean.
In the summer of 1937, setting off for ice reconnaissance in the Laptev Sea in a Dornie-Walh hydroplane, Cherevichny conducted research on flight conditions along the new air route Yakutsk-Verkhoyansk.
In February 1938, Cherevichny in a Shavrov-2 aircraft, as a member of an air group based onboard the icebreaker Murman, participated in an expedition rescuing the members of the first drifting station North Pole-1 headed by Ivan Papanin in the Greenland Sea.
In the winter of 1939, Cherevichny completed a long-distance flight on the route Moscow-Kolyma-Krasnoyarsk in only 15 days. In 1939, Cherevichny carried out ice reconnaissance in a Consolidated aircraft over a vast area from the western coast of Novaya Zemlya to the New Siberian Islands. On August 3,
1939, he flew to the unstudied area surrounding the Pole of Inaccessibility, and reached the bearing of 79°10' N 167°30' E.
In the following year, again in a Consolidated aircraft, he investigated an extensive area from the Barents Sea all the way to the East Siberian Sea. An aerial photosurvey of the ice was carried out, together with a detailed mapping of its distribution. In the northern part of the East Siberian Sea, the boundaries of the famous Great Siberian polynyas (areas of open water in sea ice) were traced. On July 12-13, 1940, Cherevichny once again completed a flight into the "blank spot" around the Pole of Inaccessibility, reaching the bearing 82°17' N 170°00' E. The aircraft was in constant flight for 22 hours and 15 minutes, covering a distance of over 4000 km. In August-September
1940, Cherevichny participated in a special hydrolog-ical expedition by the Arctic Research Institute (ARI) in the Laptev Sea onboard the vessel Akademik Shokalskiy. The aviasextant set up on Cherevichny's aircraft allowed the ship's location to be determined with great accuracy. In December 1940, onboard an SSSR-N-160 aircraft, Cherevichny opened a direct air connection between Moscow and Port Provideniya.
On the basis of the high-latitude flights in 1939-1940, a plan was developed for a new airborne expedition to the Pole of Inaccessibility; Cherevichny and a group of those who agreed with him submitted this plan to the ARI. The expedition took place under the direction of Cherevichny in a TB-3 airplane in the spring of 1941. The aircraft, equipped as a scientific laboratory with a research team onboard, flew out of Moscow on March 5. The flight path lay through Amderma-Cape Zhelaniya (Novaya Zemlya)-Rudolf Island (Franz Josef Land), Cape Arkticheskiy (Severnaya Zemlya)-Cape Chelyuskin (Northern Taymyr)-Kotel'ny Island (New Siberian Islands) to Wrangel Island, selected as the base of the expedition. The ice reconnaissance was carried out along the entire route. In the period April 3-29, Cherevichny, with a scientific group onboard, completed three flights from Wrangel Island toward the Pole of Inaccessibility with landings on pack ice at predetermined places in order to carry out an array of research. Altogether, Cherevichny spent 144 hours in the air, covering a distance of 26,000 km. The method (Airborne High-Latitudinal Expeditions Sever (North)) of investigating High Arctic with the help of air expeditions using landings on pack ice, developed with Cherevichny's participation, won wide acceptance in the USSR in the period 1948-1993.
During World War II, Cherevichny continued his work in polar aviation. He occupied himself with ice research, carried cargo and passengers, and executed command military tasks. In October 1943, carrying out a military command assignment, Cherevichny completed a flight under conditions of approaching polar night and in inhospitable weather from Dikson to Tiksi. Along the way, for the first time in history, ice reconnaissance was carried out in the polar night. In 1945, Cherevichny completed a high-speed trans-Arctic round-trip flight from Moscow to Chukotka.
In 1948 and 1949, Cherevichny participated in Sever-2 and Sever-4 expeditions. On April 23, 1948, his aircraft landed on the geographic North Pole for the first time in history. "For heroic exploits, shown in carrying out the special assignment of the government in the Arctic," Cherevichny was singled out with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
In 1951-1952, Cherevichny in an LI-2 aircraft, with ice reconnaissance and aerial photography, participated in the high-latitudinal expedition Toros (Hummock) organized by the ARI in the area of Vilkitskiy Starit. In 1954, Cherevichny headed one of the aerial crews of the Sever-6 expedition, which landed research groups on drift ice in various places in the Arctic Basin.
As one of the most experienced Arctic pilots, Cherevichny was involved in developing the program for aerial operations in the framework of the First Soviet Antarctic expedition. In 1956-1957, he commanded the aerial crew of the Antarctic expedition. After his return from Antarctica in 1958, Cherevichny participated in support for the drifting research stations Severny polius-6 and Severnyi polius-7 and continued to be active in polar aviation until 1961.
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