Golovin Pavel Georgievich
(13(26).04.1909–27.04.1940)


Outstanding polar pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union.
Born in the city of Naro-Fominsk in the family of an employee. Back in school, Golovin began to show a love for flying art. Like many other pilots, it all started with gliding. At the age of 15, he enrolled in a glider circle, built one glider after another with his friends, and participated in glider competitions. Love for the gliders did not pass with him even when he became a pilot. Golovin owned the world records for the duration of the flight alone (12 hours) and with a passenger (11 hours).
Golovin went through a short and difficult life journey. In 15 years, after graduating from school, began working in the artel of carpenters. The first attempts to get into a military school failed, and he entered the Moscow Construction College. But the development of the construction specialty was not, and could not be, the work of his life. All thoughts, all plans for the future were connected with the sky. Without interrupting classes at the technical school, Golovin, in circles and flying clubs, continued to master the flying skills. His abilities and sense of purpose did not go unnoticed. He received a referral to the central airfield in Moscow, entered the Tushino Flight School, successfully completed it and, having received the title of pilot at 21, remained to work as an instructor at the school. In 1934, after meeting with the famous polar pilot A.D. Alekseev, who was fascinated by his stories about flights in the Arctic, Golovin went to work at Glavsevmorput and the navigation of the same year, together with the pilot MP Kozlov was engaged in ice reconnaissance in the Kara Sea.
From this point on, its activities are permanently associated with the development of the Northern Sea Route, with the Arctic. It was in this field that he accomplished his main life affairs and entered the history of the exploration of the Arctic. Golovin worked on the Yenisei air line, made ice reconnaissance in the Laptev Sea, transported winterers, food, medicine, equipment. In 1936, for a month, he carried out the task of finding the victim of an accident in the tundra to the east of Fr. Dixon aircraft M. Lindel. This responsible and hard work, which ended with the discovery of the accident site and the rescue of the crew, affected Golovin’s health. From fatigue, nervous overloads, poor nutrition, he became sick with scurvy, but already in the navigation of the same year he took part in the ice-cutting campaign “F. Litke ". At that time, preparations began for a flight to the North Pole for disembarking the first drifting station there. Golovin, included in the upcoming expedition, is already aboard the “F. Litke ”strenuously replenished his knowledge in astronomy and navigational business.
An air expedition consisting of five aircraft launched from Moscow on March 22, 1937, with the Golovin first flying the H-166 aircraft. His main role was in reconnaissance flight to the pole and finding out the possibility of landing on the ice, which was, as he later wrote, “the only sore point whose solutions no one knew.”
Before the main flight, Golovin made several sorties from the northernmost island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, Rudolph Island, to the north.
With the establishment of summer weather on May 5, 1937, Golovin went to the pole and reached it in good weather and fair wind in 5 hours and 13 minutes. Having established that landing on ice is possible, he turned back. The headwind sharply reduced the speed of the aircraft, fuel consumption increased. At the end of the sixth hour flight from about. Rudolph was informed that the dome of the glacier, where the runway was equipped, is closed by fog. Soon the plane entered into heavy clouds. Golovin was forced to fall so sharply that the antenna almost touched ice and water. When the Karl-Alexander Island glacier appeared, from which it was less than five minutes to summer from Rudolph, only 10 liters of fuel remained. As the pilots say, on the “red light bulb”, without circles, the plane went down to the landing with the wind. The happily completed flight lasted over 11 hours. Golovin was honored to be the first Soviet pilot to fly over the pole. His flight eliminated the last doubts in the successful achievement of the goal of the expedition - landing on the ice research station.
After that, Golovin made several more flights north of the ZPI and then returned to Moscow with the whole squadron.
Upon returning to Moscow, members of the expedition were taken in the Kremlin I.V. By Stalin. All were awarded orders, eight people, including Golovin, were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (Hero Star number 40).
In the summer of the same 1937, he took part in the search for an S.A. Levanevskiy plane, then made the flight Moscow - Tiksi.
In the spring of 1938, Golovin participated in the shooting of sailors with the ships “G. Sedov, Sadko and Malygin. On April 3, aircraft of the link of Hero of the Soviet Union A.D. took off from Tiksi. Alekseeva - “H-170”, “H-171”, “H-172” (Orlov G.K., Golovin). Not having spent two hours after landing on the ice, they went back, evacuating 22 people. They were separated from Tiksi by 1,100 km, so an intermediate base was created for the second flight on the frozen lagoon of the Kotelny Island. On April 18, the H-170 and H-172 Alekseev and Golovin took out 83 passengers. April 26, the last flight - 79 people. After that, 11 people remained on the drifting vessels (33 in the whole caravan).
In the summer of 1938, on a twin-engine amphibious "N-207" Golovin made a flight along the route Moscow-Whalen - Moscow with a total length of 29 thousand kilometers. Departing from Moscow on August 8, the plane reached the Tiksi Bay on August 15 (modern aircraft travel this route in a few hours). After several flights in the area of the New Siberian Islands, Golovin flew over to Indigirka, Kolyma, and then, passing along the Chukotka coast, in early September splashed down in Uelen. On September 6, he flew back and, through Tiksi, Igarka and Krasnoyarsk, arrived in Moscow on September 18.
In all his numerous, most difficult and most dangerous flights, Golovin proved himself to be a fearless ace pilot, who did not lose his composure in the most difficult situations. He can rightly be considered one of the pleiad of the glorious Soviet pilots who grew up during the years of birth and the formation of domestic aviation, in the glorious years of the development of the Soviet Arctic.
In his last years, Golovin was finally able to become a military pilot. He participated in the Finnish war, defending Leningrad and the north-western borders of the USSR.
In October 1938, Golovin switched to test work at the aircraft factory number 22 (Fili). Test one of the bomber design N.N. Polikarpov ended for him tragically.
On April 1, 1940, Golovin, who already had the rank of colonel, performed three familiarization flights on one of Polikarpov's previously flown planes. On April 26, on the day of his birth, he performed the first flight on a newly released car - the first production aircraft of the St. Petersburg №2 / 1. The next day, the next flight to determine stability and controllability took place from the Central Moscow Frunze airfield, followed by the chief designer. After half an hour of flight, the plane unexpectedly fell into a corkscrew and fell on the airfield. Eyewitnesses saw how the plane Golovin fell out of the clouds, spinning in a flat spin. Already at a low altitude the pilot tried to leave the car by parachute, but there was no longer any height for rescue. The journalist Lazar Brontant recalled: “April 30, 1940. Yesterday Golovin buried Pashka ... Golovin flew in a Polikarpov machine with engineer Aleksandrov and flight mechanic Dobrov. Suddenly fell into a corkscrew, and then turned into a flat corkscrew. When it became clear that the car was gone and people could not be saved, Pavel tried to jump out (at a height of 100 m using the disruption method). He vomited and entangled in the stabilizer. So there they found. The car made 7 and a half turns, slammed and caught fire. Two completely charred, Golovin - a little. But, in general, everyone was cremated immediately at night. Yesterday, the ballot boxes were exhibited in the club of factory number 22 ... We bricked the aviators on the girl in the wall. ”
Commission chaired by A.V. Lyapidevsky came to the conclusion that the car was in good condition, and the accident occurred because of the plane's transition into a flat spin. The cause of the break in the corkscrew could be either the hit of an aircraft with insufficient longitudinal stability in the clouds, or rough piloting. According to the commission, Golovin is an energetic and courageous pilot, but not sufficiently experienced and cautious as a tester, when entering the plane at the turn he immediately began from large angles. However, this version cannot be considered proven by objective facts. The Commission, for example, did not pay attention to the fact that the day before, when the plane was being hauled from the factory airfield to Central Golovin, there was a sharp increase in warming up of the right engine as compared with the left one. From a survey of technicians it turned out that M-105 engines had seized up earlier. The conclusion about the normal operation of the motors was made on the basis of the absence of metal chips in the oil filters, but only the left-hand engine of the engine was examined, as the right one was burned. Hence, the conclusion about the correct operation of both motors was not confirmed. And most importantly: in the photograph of the remains of the destroyed right motor, the whole blade of the screw is very clearly visible! This could happen if even before the crash of the aircraft the right engine was jammed. Most likely, the disaster occurred due to the failure of the engine, followed by loss of spatial orientation of the pilot. Of course, a certain role was played by the insufficient experience of Golovin in flights to St. Petersburg and the small reserve of the longitudinal stability of the aircraft on critical conditions.
He was buried in Moscow in the columbarium of the Novodevichy cemetery.
For outstanding services to the Motherland, Golovin, in addition to the Hero Star, was awarded the Orders of Lenin, the Red Banner, the Red Star and a medal.
Cape in the west of the island of Kun archipelago Franz-Josef Land. Called cartographers in 1953.

 

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