It’s taken nearly 70 years, but an American Douglas C-47, which was flown by Soviet forces during WWII, that crash landed in Siberia in 1947 is set to be recovered. Russian and American forces are joining together in the recovery effort, hoping the plane can be restored back to working condition again.
Amazingly, the plane piloted by Captain Maxim Tyurikov had no casualties from a total of 32 passengers as it was forced down during stormy weather. The wreckage includes a message written by the captain, explaining the cause of the crash and that everyone survived.
Tyurikov’s words read: ”I’m Tyurikov’s board. There are 3 women and 6 children onboard. On 22.04.47 at 00:30 we took off from Kozhevnikovo and headed for Krasnoyarsk. At 5:30 was the emergency landing. No casualties.”
Unfortunately, surviving the crash didn’t mean they were safe, the passengers faced a harsh 3 weeks in the freezing cold and they ran out of food as they waited for rescue. Tyurikov was among those who didn’t make to see his rescue, he and eight other passengers died while trying to find rescue.
His remains were finally found after six years, when a reindeer herder discovered them. There was no sign of the other passengers who went with him, and there remains have never been found.
Tyurikov’s daughter, Avelina Antsiferova, has been trying to get her father’s plane brought home nearly all her life. She was only six when she saw her father for the last time. When she heard about his death and the accident, she made it her life’s mission to see and touch her father’s plane.
“I have been waiting for this moment all my life,” she told the Siberian Times. “I studied the story of my father, and searched the documents in archives.”
“If I can touch this plane, then my life is not lived in vain.”
When she finally saw his plane, it was like everything in her life had been leading up to this single moment.
“You can understand my deep feelings, when I saw this silver-coloured airplane from above. It was like a bird lying outspread in tundra.”
“All my feelings awakened in me. There was quite a cool, northern wind. This is the far north, after all, and we even saw a reindeer running in the tundra far away.”
“I climbed into the cabin, where my father had been at the helm. I touched all this, I felt everything. All this was so dear to me. I had dreamed for so long of seeing his plane, but I was so lucky to be able to get inside it. It was such an emotional moment.”