Galkovsky Nikolay Yakovlevich
(1905–1937)


Soviet polar pilot.
Born in Ivanovo-Voznesensk in a working-class family. He graduated from school, he studied at the Ivanovo Industrial College. Since childhood, Galkovsky, like his brother, became interested in aviation, joined the Society of Friends of the Air Force, later transformed into Osoaviakhim. Because of his desire to link his life with aviation, he left the technical school and entered the military communications school, after which he served in one of the hydroaviation units in Sevastopol, then from 1928 continued to serve in the Moscow Air Force Research Institute. Galkovsky quickly entered the cohort of the best aviation radio operators of the Soviet Union, flew the flagship radio operator at the festive air parade, in 1934 took part in a flight on the route Moscow-Kiev-Vienna-Paris-Lyon-Strasbourg-Prague-Moscow on the four-engined plane TB-3.

The 1930s were a period of rapid development of Soviet aviation, implemented for the first time expressed by S.А. Levanevsky idea transarctic flights. It so happened that the author was ahead of the ideas of V.P. Chkalov and M.M. Gromov, who made flights to America via the North Pole.

 

Galkovsky (right) with brother

(photo from the Lvov archive)

Parents Yevdokiya Ivanovna and Yakov Semenovich and sisters Nina (left) and Larisa

(photo from the Lvov archive)


Flight Levanevskiy began August 12, 1937. He had to open a commercial highway across the pole. The crew of the aircraft N-209 designed by V.F. Bolkhovitinov entered the second pilot N.G. Kastanayev, navigator V.I. Levchenko, G.T. Pobezhimov and N.N. Godovikov. Planned radio operator L.L. Kerber could not go on the flight and was replaced by Galkovsky, whose highest professional qualities were well known.
We took off in the evening from the airfield near Moscow, and all subsequent information about the flight is known exclusively from Galkovsky radiograms. On August 13, at 13 hours and 40 minutes, he transmitted: “We fly around the pole. It was given to us difficult. Beginning in the middle of the Barents Sea, all the time, heavy clouds. The altitude is 6000 meters, the temperature overboard is minus 35. A strong wind. Everything is good…". But after an hour the message about the failure of the last engine due to damage to the oil pipe. In practice, this was the last message containing information about the flight.
The search for the Levanevskiy's plane  lasted nine months. 24 Soviet and 7 foreign aircraft surveyed 58 thousand square kilometers, but no reliable traces could be found.
Cape on the island of Becker Archipelago Franz-Josef Land. Named by cartographers no later than 1955.

 

Cape Galkovsky

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)

 

 

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