Calvitsa (Calvits) Otto Arturovich 
(01.12.1888–07.03.1930)


One of the first polar pilots, aerial explorer of the Arctic, Siberia and the Far East. 
Born in the city of Joensu, Vyborg Province of Finland, in the family of a working sawmill. The income of his father, a highly skilled worker, allowed him to send his son to the gymnasium in Helsingfors, which he graduated in 1903. However, there was not enough money for further training, and a 13-year-old boy was apprenticed to a mechanical factory. Heavy physical labor hardened him, and communication with Russian and Finnish workers laid in him a sense of internationalism and revolutionary sentiment. In 1905, Calvitsa took an active part in the general strike of solidarity with the Russian proletariat, the four-month strike in Helsingfors and in the strike of 1906 in support of the Sveaborg uprising of Russian soldiers and sailors.
In 1908, having received the qualification of a metalworker, Calvitz went to work as a fireman of a sea merchant ship. Having accumulated the necessary amount of money for three years, he graduated from Helsingfors industrial school and again went to the fleet as a mechanic on the ships of the Finnish inland lakes. 
Calvitz took the most active part in the revolutionary events of 1917. He was elected commissar of the sailors of the insurgent ships, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Finland. After the victory of the counterrevolution in Finland, Kalvitsa managed to escape to Kronstadt, but in 1918, having already become a Bolshevik, he returned to Finland on the instructions of the party for underground activities. Issued provocateur, he was sentenced to death, which was replaced by hard labor. 
Five months later, Calvitsa and his friend made a bold escape from prison in Russia, which became his second homeland. 
A technically trained Kalvitsa was sent to the Finnish air squadron school in Petrograd, but he did not have to study for a long time. All forces were sent to fight Yudenich, the squad was disbanded, and Calvitsa fought as a machine gunner apprentice. He continued his studies at the flight school of sea pilots in Samara. 
After graduating from school in 1920, Calvitsa participated in the suppression of the Kronstadt insurgency in the ranks of the Baltic Air Fleet, for which he was awarded a silver watch on behalf of the Petrograd Soviet, and then as the head of one of the hydro squadrons he fought with the White Finns in Soviet Karelia. For his bravery, he was presented to the Order of the Red Banner, but he did not receive a well-deserved reward. 
In August 1925, together with the famous polar pilot B.G. Chukhnovsky Kalvitsa made the famous flight on a seaplane on the route Leningrad - Novaya Zemlya. They participated in the search for the Northern Sea Route, the exploration of ice near Novaya Zemlya, accompanied by a convoy of cargo ships to the Kara goods exchange expedition through the Matochkin Strait. With this flight began the regular work of Calvica in the Arctic. In the summer of 1926, together with a small seaplane on the ship “Stavropol”, he sailed from Vladivostok to Wrangel Island as part of an expedition led by G.A. Ushakov. The purpose of the expedition was to create the first permanent Soviet settlement on the island in order to stop the encroachment on him by the United States and Canada. Together with Ushakov, Calvitsa made several flights that allowed him to establish the true configuration and size of the island, to find places for the accumulation of fur-bearing animals, to choose a place for the Soviet colony.These were the first flights in the Far East North. 
When returning to Vladivostok, Kalvitsa made agitation flights for the first time in Anadyr, organized a ride on an airplane of local residents. 
In 1927, he was transferred to the civil aviation of the Dobrolet Society and sent to Verkhneudinsk (Ulan-Ude) to fly the first international airline in the country to Ulan Bator. For his dedicated work, the government of the Buryat-Mongolian Republic awarded him a silver badge. 
In 1928, Calvitsa was transferred to Irkutsk on the Irkutsk-Bodaibo hydro-salvage valve, Irkutsk-Yakutsk. These hydroavia lines, due to geographical and meteorological conditions, of great length were considered the hardest in the country. The Board of “Dobrolet” selected the most experienced, courageous and hardy people to work for them. And Calvitsa did not disappoint. The most experienced hydrist pilot, fearless polar ace, a kind and reliable friend, he won indisputable authority and great respect in the team of hydroelectric power stations and the Office of Siberian air lines. Among his comrades, he was called the Northern Wolf. 
In the summer of 1929, the government decided to organize a flight along the coast of Chukotka and Yakutia, to find out the possibility of exporting furs from the factories by aircraft and reconnoiter the ice situation in the  Long Strait for the wiring of the vessel with a removable watch on about. Wrangel. In an air expedition for the difficult and responsible flight, Calvitsa, already experienced in flying to the island, was appointed as a pilot, and the flight engineer, F. Leongardt, was a Hungarian revolutionary who had fled from his home country from the death penalty. With the aircraft "Junkers-13" by train to Vladivostok, then on the ship "Lozovsky" the crew arrived in the hall.Lawrence. From here, having collected and tested the plane, the pilots on July 25 began a large flight, making their way through the thick fogs to Wrangel Island. Having made several intermediate landings, July 30 arrived on Wrangel Island. After taking off from the island on July 31, they dropped information on the ice situation on the deck of the ice-cutter “F. Litke "and continued the flight. 
Only on August 19, after visiting a number of points on the coast of the East Siberian Sea, Nizhnekolymsk and Srednekolymsk, Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, they landed in Bulun on a pretty battered plane. The task was performed on "excellent". In his report, Calvitsa recorded all the information received about flight conditions, ice conditions, developed requirements for types of aircraft suitable for work in these conditions, and made important conclusions about the necessary modernization and retrofitting. 
The development of the airways of Yakutia developed on a wide front, so the most important task, in addition to expanding the aircraft fleet, was the training of new young cadres. As the most experienced pilot, polar ace, Calvitsa paid much attention to the training of newcomers, combining this work with the maintenance of airlines and the implementation of various special tasks. 
On March 5, 1930, the crew of Kalvitsy was ordered to fly to Bulun to provide quick medical care to wounded security officers who suppressed counter-revolutionary actions. 
On March 7, a PS-3 “USSR-176” plane took off from Yakutsk. In addition to Calvica, there was a mechanic FF on board. Leongart and radio operator S.S. Karchevsky. 
The flight took place in severe weather conditions that led to the accident near the settlement of Sangary. An investigation into the accident showed that the plane approached the village of Sangary at an altitude of 600–700 meters, made two circles over the river, choosing a landing site, since weather conditions did not allow to continue. At an altitude of 70–100 meters, a car was thrown down on the nose by a gust of wind, and an unattached mechanic Leongart flew overboard. Dropping out, he obviously hit the steering wheel and knocked him forward, which moved the plane to the peak. Because of the low altitude the pilot was unable to bring the plane, and he crashed into the ice at speed. The lightning reaction of the pilot allowed him to take a punch on the right wing (the pilot was sitting on the left), but nothing helped. The strike went to the engine, then the plane turned over, the tail section was torn off and thrown aside. Leongart crashed, Calvitsa was crushed by the engine, the radio operator Karchevsky was killed by a shock load in the fall. 
The government of the Yakut Republic requested permission from the central board of Dobrolet to bury the pilots in their city, but the Kalvitsa and Leonhart families, the staff of the Irkutsk hydroelectric station, and the heads of the Siberian air lines insisted on the burial of pilots in Irkutsk. With a special plane, their bodies were taken to the city and, with a large gathering of residents, the brave pilots were buried in the mass grave of Revolution Fighters at the central entrance to the Jerusalem cemetery (now Central Park of Culture and Rest). A monument was erected over their grave - a four-sided truncated pyramid, turning into a pylon on which a propeller was fixed. On the banks of the Lena opposite the site of the catastrophe is a monument. 
Karchevsky buried in Yakutsk.

 

The first monument O.A. Calvice on the banks of the Lena opposite the crash site

New monument O.A. Calvice


Bay in the Sakhanikha Bay in the south-west of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named by hydrographs of the North Hidrographic expedition   in 1930.

 

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