Losev Valery Mikhailovich 

Arctic hydrologist, an outstanding ice reconnaissance specialist. 
Born in the village of Ileshi, Volosovsky District, Leningrad Region. His parents were agronomists, working in state farms, first in the Leningrad Region, and from 1938 in the Novgorod Region, where the family moved, settling in the city of Valdai. 
The war forced Losev to evacuate to the city of Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory. Parents continued to work as agronomists at the state farm of the defense plant No. 703, which produced mortars, and in 1942 his father volunteered for the front, returning only in 1946. 
From the evacuation, the family returned to the Volosovsky district. In 1950  Losev graduated from the seven-year school and entered the Leningrad Medical School, but medicine was not his business. A year later, in the footsteps of his older brother, he moved to the Leningrad Arctic School, which he graduated in 1956 with a degree in hydrometeorology. From this point on, his whole life was connected with the Arctic. 
First there was work on Svalbard, then in
Arctic Research Division on Dixon as part of the aerometeorological group. The specialty of the aerologist was liked by Losev, but he lacked something in it. It was not enough for routine academic work. He read a lot about Arctic shipping, in the implementation of which one has to constantly and efficiently make decisions that ensure the safest and most successful navigation. In the winter of 1958  Losev managed to move to the scientific and operational department of the Arctic Research Division, where, prior to the start of navigation in 1959, he studied the techniques of ice aerial surveys, i.e. in fact, he mastered a new specialty, turning from an aerologue into an iceman. Then there were ice scout courses at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and already in May 1959 under the supervision of experienced instructors, he participated in ice reconnaissance in the Arctic. He did this in all the following years, gaining his own experience, learning from the experience of his elder comrades. 
Life has shown that Losev was born for this work, which requires extensive knowledge of all that relates to the Arctic ice, excellent visual memory, great analytical skills, instant reaction, belief in yourself and, of course, remarkable physical health. Losev had it all. He quickly became one of the best ice scouts. There are very significant words in his job description: “he enjoys great prestige among .... polar aviation pilots and sailors". These words are worth a lot. It is extremely difficult to win credibility with polar pilots and sailors, each of whom is his own authority. 
In 1975  Losev decided to leave the AARI. He was invited to the first crew of the nuclear icebreaker "Arktika". Here is the assessment given to him by the captain of the “Arctic” Yu.S. Kuchiev: “Losev V.M. - one of the best hydrolologists AARI. His agreement to work is an event of great importance, because the presence of such a high qualification on the icebreaker hydrologist is a guaranteed success of escorting ships in the optimal way. I ask you to give an instruction to speed up the clearance of Comrade Losev V.M.". 
All subsequent years  the work of Losev was associated with the Murmansk Shipping Company. Thanks to his professional skills, he became a legendary person in the Arctic. Let us cite the words of one of the leaders of the FSUE “Atomflot” N.G. Babich, who successfully started his career with an ice reconnaissance aircraft: “Imagine a situation - the plane rushes at an altitude of 100 meters. IL-14 per minute flies 4 kilometers. Hydrologist clung to the window. He must remember everything that he sees below, in the smallest detail. At the same time, his brain analyzes what he saw. At the same time, the hydrologist must draw a map of ice fields. And so for several hours.The stress is crazy. A person must initially possess phenomenal natural data - memory, a sharp eye gauge, he must be an analyst, a mathematician, an astronomer, a cartographer and a first-class aviation navigator. Determining the location of the aircraft with the hydrologists was often more accurate than that of the standard aircraft navigators. In Losev, this was brought to perfection - he felt the speed of the plane up to one kilometer, a turn - to a degree and took up the calculations only to determine the wind demolition of the car. And if there was no wind, then he could simply poke a finger into the map and say: "We are here." The words of Babich “felt the speed, felt the turn” are indicative. This "felt" does not come with experience, is not acquired by training, it is either there or it is not. This is a talent, it is given from above. 
Here is another impression of Babich: “... I met Valery Mikhailovich in person only in 1983 in Pevek. Then there was a very difficult situation. One transport was covered with ice and died, and another 29 were preparing for the winter. I was sent on a business trip, including so that I could substitute, if necessary, Losev. When I told him about this, I heard: "This will not happen." I really wanted him to take me flying. Barely persuaded. Then they flew by helicopters. We fly. And we flew far - 100 miles. We agreed in advance that after the flight we would compare our observations. I have prepared a tool, a map. And here I see that Losev does not write anything down. Just sitting next to the pilot and looking around. Sometimes he made a hand sign to him, and the pilot turned the car to the right place. Here it must be said that the pilots were schooled by Losev. He was the commander on board, not the pilot. Well, we flew so several hours, we return to the icebreaker. We rise to the bridge. In complete silence, all those who stood at the navigational table parted in front of Losev, freeing him of the passage. He passed like a king. I looked at the map, picked up a pencil and in a few minutes drew the entire ice situation. And at the same time and the course of the icebreaker. The captain gave a hint: “Valery Mikhailovich, why can't we get through here?” - “Why am I flying? You will go where I say! And only so!". - "Yes, yes, Valery Mikhailovich, we will do as you say." I was stunned. 
Losev creatively treated the improvement of ice aerial reconnaissance, was interested in the development of new means of collecting ice information. He took part in the tests created in one of the scientific research institute of the radar measuring the thickness of ice from an airplane. I checked the thickness of the ice, fixed by the device with the data of the polar stations and with its estimates of the age of the ice, estimated the errors of the thickness gauge, due to a number of factors, especially the ice content of the ice and its salinity. On this basis, made recommendations on fine-tuning the thickness gauge. He also made a number of proposals to make the device of such a constructive form that would allow to use it conveniently during the execution of ice reconnaissance. V.M. Losev was awarded the State Prize as a member of a group of specialists engaged in the development and testing of the device, and had other state awards. A year before his death, he was awarded the Order of Courage. 
Losev was one of the first to start ice reconnaissance at dusk and during the polar night. He argued that, having such icebreakers, it is possible to conduct Arctic navigation all year round. The only thing that, in his opinion, was lacking was a reliable helicopter for ice reconnaissance, equipped with radar, searchlight, and other necessary radio navigation aids for flying in the conditions of night and bad weather at a distance of tens and hundreds of miles from the native icebreaker. 
This weak link in the ice reconnaissance process played a fatal role in its fate.


Memorial cross at Cape Hydrolog Losev. Established on June 22, 2005

seamen of the icebreaker "Vladimir Ignatyuk" of the Murmansk Shipping Company.


In March 1999  the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Russia”, on which Losev worked, carried out planned piloting from the east to the west of the Latvian tanker “Samburgh”.The tanker delivered fuel to the port of Dudinka and was to return to Murmansk. The route passed through the passage. Ugra Ball. On March 8, Losev flew a Mi-2 helicopter, piloted by Y. Grekov, when the weather was good, he flew out to conduct ice reconnaissance. An hour after departure, Grekov contacted the icebreaker and reported that a strong wind had risen in the reconnaissance zone, and it began to snow. It was dangerous to work in such conditions, and the crew received permission to land the helicopter on fast ice from the south side of Vaigach Island, in which case. After this radio session, communication with the helicopter was interrupted. When all waiting periods were over, the icebreaker went in search of the missing, but could not approach the shore of Vaigach because of the shallow water. The next day, two Mi-8s and rescuers flew out of Naryan-Mar and Vorkuta in search of them. They found the car crashed when they landed 2 km from the village of Varnek on the island of Vaigach. There was no fire or explosion, but both crew members were killed by a strong blow. 
Losev's death stunned everyone who knew him. “... there is no such thing as Valery Losev, nor will there be,” said N.G. Babich. 
He was buried in the city cemetery of Murmansk in the village of Murmashi. 
Cape (Cape hydrologist Losev) in the north-west of the Yugorsky Peninsula. Named May 8, 2002 by the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation.


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