North Pole, April 15, 2000
With this Earth Flag the parachute landing on the North Pole has been performed. The airdrop was executed from the plane AN-26 that had made the Moscow-Khatanga-Srednii Island-North Pole flight. Dropped onto the North Pole was a group of 26 persons. This international expedition had been arranged by Russia but paratroopers from Ukraine, USA, Canada, Australia, Holland and South Africa also took part in it. Airdrop conditions were difficult with air temperature of 29 degrees Centigrade below zero, wind of 12 m per second. However, the landing was safe and successful for all.
The first on the left is Vladimir Chukov, the Expedition Head. The second on the left (in the General's uniform) is Aleksandr Khalutin, 87 years of age, an Aviation Major General. There is no one else in the world who would have ever been airdropped on the North Pole in such an age. Nor there will be anyone like him or breaking his record in the world in the foreseeable future. This event is worth entering in the Guinness Book of Records and it represents the continuance of the glorious traditions of the Russian Aviation. The third of the left is Evgenii Bakalov, the head of the paratroopers' crew.
Thanks to Kristina Tomczak, President of Miracom Partners International for sponsoring the Earth Flags for this expedition, and very special thanks to Russian Cosmonaut Commander Anatoly Berezevoi for seeing that the Flags arrived at the North Pole!"
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