Valery Chkalov was a Soviet test pilot, brigade commander (1938), Hero of the Soviet Union (1936). First of all, he was the commander of the crew, who managed to make the first flight over the North Pole on the plane without making a landing. This happened in 1937 and Valery flew from Moscow (USSR) to Vancouver (USA).
The boy was born on January 20, 1904 in one of the villages of Nizhny Novgorod province. Today the village where the pilot was born is city Chkalovsk. His father worked as a boilermaker in state shops. And his mother died when the boy was six years old. The boy had excellent memory and good mathematical abilities, was a good swimmer. The father sent him to study at technical school in 1916. However, because of the financial difficulties and shortage of teachers, the school was closed in 1918. Valery returned home and began working with his father.
In 1919, Valery Chkalov saw the plane for the first time and aviation became his dream. He left for Nizhny Novgorod, where he met a fellow villager Vladimir Frolishchev, who worked in an aviation park. On his advice Valery joined the Red Army and began to work as a pupil of an aircraft fitter.