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Thread: Bush plane mission

  1. #1
    Member Fliifast's Avatar
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    Default Bush plane mission

    I'm researching what would be the best bush plane to purchase or partner in. I'm just amazed at how easy some of these off field gravel bar landings look on YouTube. I've watched these so many times that I look for tracks from other planes or cut brush to give just a little extra clearance. It's a matter of time before I buy something that matches my mission....fishing! I need a little help on deciding what to get. I see Super Cubs as the front runner and would like to know more about mods. Do I really need 31" tires for landing on 2" gravel? Can I get by with 160hp for 2 guys and gear? I'm not sure I need 60 gallons of fuel for a trip from Wolf Lake to the Klutina and back? What would be a max useful load and would better landing gear increase useful load.

    Please leave info or ideas here or pm me. I plan on flying with someone that can show me the ropes and where to go for fishing and easy landings. I know some of these YouTube landings look cool, but I'm not risk taker....been there and done that years ago. I just want an ATV with wings and to go where 99% of the other people can't get to.

    fli

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    For fly-out fishing, with a max of two people, I would opt for a 150-160 horse PA-18 or PA-12 on EDO 2000 floats. Problem solved.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Alex, shame on you for that simple ans., no wait your right! LOL I second Float Pilot, it's just that simple. Although you could spend lots of money trying to make something else work and do what a simple fairly stock Super Cub or PA12 with some mods will do. All kidding aside Do lots of research and get up to speed on the different plane available and pick the one that trips your trigger. Then find someone with one and try and get a ride. Good luck.

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    If you want to be the top 1% skip the fixed wing and look for a helicopter.

    Pilot skill is the primary ingredient for off airport ops. Buying a plane won't make you capable of taking it tight spots. That takes time and experience.

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    Member Fliifast's Avatar
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    No way I'd ever get in one of those again. I have to much entrenched skill to retrain now. I think looking out the door of a helicopter drove me to learn how to fly. I think I'll stick to wheels or floats.

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    If fishing is the mission get the floats. Water is where the fish are.


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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    If fishing is the mission get the floats. Water is where the fish are.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, but more than one WORLD CLASS fishing lodge has used wheel-mounted aircraft for its daily fly-out fishing trips. One such lodge, which charged $7,000 per person per week, was historically booked two years in advance. There's plenty of excellent fishing to be enjoyed when flying wheels.

    Near Anchorage, consider the Chuitt River, the Little Susitna, Lake Creek, Willow Creek and others.

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    Yes, but more than one WORLD CLASS fishing lodge has used wheel-mounted aircraft for its daily fly-out fishing trips. One such lodge, which charged $7,000 per person per week, was historically booked two years in advance. There's plenty of excellent fishing to be enjoyed when flying wheels.

    Near Anchorage, consider the Chuitt River, the Little Susitna, Lake Creek, Willow Creek and others.
    Agreed. I went to floats one summer and I'll never go back. Not on the cub anyway. We obviously caught fish but not nearly the GREAT fishing available on tires. If you are a good hand with a cub I'd not even consider floats. The problem is: it will take years and hundreds of hours to be a good hand. A cub on floats is a dang quick learning curve so maybe thats a better option for you. A lot harder to bend stuff IMO.

    About any other aircraft I'd think floats may be the better option. Tho, our Cessna stays on wheels and I've never really wished I had floats. My good fishing spots on wheels outnumber the free days I have to go fish them so I guess that's all a guy needs. The only exception is right after thaw it'd be nice to have the wagon on floats to do some pike fishing for a month with the kids.

    The point is float guys like floats and wheel guys like wheels. Its definitely not as easy as saying one is better than the other. It depends on your mission. Identify specifically where you are going and what you are doing. Realize that operating an aircraft on wheels in the off airport environment is a long learning curve. And if you have the money, buy an R-44 since you are not hunting with it. No question.

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    The learnng curve for a Cub on floats may be easy on a lake but add the common perils of flowing waters and it requires more skill. Crosswinds, sandbars, difficult banks, boat traffic, rising/falling water levels, etc all make float flying more difficult. Beaching and leaving the beach on flowing water can be a topic on it's own. Fly floats on and off of rivers for very long and a pilot will have some stories to tell. :-)

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I guess it would also depend on your preferred fishing style. I used to be a running-water spin-casting type. Back then I landed on gravel bars and hiked to most fishing spots.
    These days I am more into calm water fly fishing.... I like to drift around a glassy lake while sitting or standing on the plane's floats and sip some hot tea from my thermos.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  11. #11

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    Where are all the good fishing spots for those with wheels around the Fairbanks area? Anybody know?

    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    Agreed. I went to floats one summer and I'll never go back. Not on the cub anyway. We obviously caught fish but not nearly the GREAT fishing available on tires. If you are a good hand with a cub I'd not even consider floats. The problem is: it will take years and hundreds of hours to be a good hand. A cub on floats is a dang quick learning curve so maybe thats a better option for you. A lot harder to bend stuff IMO.

    About any other aircraft I'd think floats may be the better option. Tho, our Cessna stays on wheels and I've never really wished I had floats. My good fishing spots on wheels outnumber the free days I have to go fish them so I guess that's all a guy needs. The only exception is right after thaw it'd be nice to have the wagon on floats to do some pike fishing for a month with the kids.

    The point is float guys like floats and wheel guys like wheels. Its definitely not as easy as saying one is better than the other. It depends on your mission. Identify specifically where you are going and what you are doing. Realize that operating an aircraft on wheels in the off airport environment is a long learning curve. And if you have the money, buy an R-44 since you are not hunting with it. No question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I guess it would also depend on your preferred fishing style. I used to be a running-water spin-casting type. Back then I landed on gravel bars and hiked to most fishing spots.
    These days I am more into calm water fly fishing.... I like to drift around a glassy lake while sitting or standing on the plane's floats and sip some hot tea from my thermos.

    My friend, you are enjoying life much too much . . . . .

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I guess it would also depend on your preferred fishing style. I used to be a running-water spin-casting type. Back then I landed on gravel bars and hiked to most fishing spots.
    These days I am more into calm water fly fishing.... I like to drift around a glassy lake while sitting or standing on the plane's floats and sip some hot tea from my thermos.
    For sure
    Depends on the mission

    I think catching a halibut from the cessna floats would be a kick!

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Your Avatar shows Minnesota. So there are many lakes there. I would think allot of it comes down to what kind of storage options you have for your airplane on floats or wheels. You mentioned Wolf Lake, so there are slips there but it can be a pain in Anchorage to find a float slip. I believe we are all assuming you have at least your private pilots license. If so stick with wheels and once you get that figured out get a float rating and try floats. The main thing is practice. Then the second thing is knowing where to go.

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    AK-Hunt, I'll give you a good mark and I'll film it if you ever want,lol. Engine parts came today, boat will be ready tomorrow. Should be a good fishing summer.

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    Yea they make it look easy on Youtube and that sort of flying comes from years of day in and day out doing that sort of flying. I fly both airplanes and helicopters for a living and some of the things you see on Youtube I would not even attempt to do. But that is me. I understand the Idea of being able to go fish where nobody else can go or reach most of the time, I done my share of sand bar flying in helicopters. I don't know what you hold for certificates and ratings or what you have for flight times, its going to be and issue between you and your insurance company. A super cub been mentioned, and its a good airplane and will treat you right, if you treat it right. As for the R-44 well, if you have a boat load of money but not enough to buy an operate a Bell 206 yea its an option. Either way its not going to be cheap and it will really take some time to get comfortable doing what you want to do- years would be my guess. I had an uncle that wanted me to fly him all over doing the fishing and hunting thing, he thought that the airplanes and helicopters operated like cars as far as costs go. He once asked me to take him to some little lake you could not even get to with an airplane it was to small to land on with floats, I had a helicopter back then, and after I did some figuring on flight times and such, I told him write me a check for 3000 dollars. And was in 1984. And I would have broke even on the DOC for the aircraft. Never mind about my time and the lost revenue that I was going to loose at the time. He had no clue, like most people don't on what the real costs are when you are talking aircraft or boats for that matter, bottomless money pits.

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    Part of the original query ".....to go where 99% of the other people can't get to"

    In Minnesota, I suspect there's not as many airplane owners/drivers as in Alaska. In Alaska, I doubt that there are any places where "99%" of the people can't get to. Lots of Supercubs, PA-12's, light 180's, helicopters, etc up here along with some very very skilled pilots.

    If you really want to "go where 99% can't go", save your money and take a few guided/fly-in/boat based fishing trips every year....obviously not "just me" location, but with the guides and infrastructure, you'll probably have a better chance at fish while having a very enjoyable time.

    If you're set on a plane, I'd suggest (in this order), Supercub, 180, then PA-12. Given my avatar, you can evaluate why I pick the order. Once you've selected one or the other, spend 3 - 4,000 hours learning to fly as good as the plane. If you can fly so well that the plane is what limits where you go, you may have a shot at being in the 5% that can access that special spot.

    Opinion.

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    pa12drvr is pretty well on track. However, five hours of dual aerobatic instruction will erase that 3 - 4,000 hours in a hurry. After five hours of aerobatic (acrobatic) instruction, you'll know what both you and your airplane can do. He's right about Super Cubs, C-180s, and PA-12s, though.

  19. #19
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    Aviat Husky's are also pretty good on floats. Even the older models. I am not nuts about them on big wheels due to their trim system, but on floats they do just fine and with the constant speed prop they get you to your target location before your bladder explodes.

    Also there is nothing wrong with a heavily modified Aeronca Sedan with a 180 horse and floats. Lots of room for gear like an inflatable kayak and a big cooler.

    Of course a good pilot can make-up for the lack of an expensive plane.
    I often point out that many moons ago, When I had a full head of hair,,,, My buddy and I were all impressed with ourselves when we landed his L-21B ( military Super Cub) and my old PA-12 with droop wings, onto a short gravel bar in the Skwentna River. While we were slapping each other on the back, we heard the putt-putt sound of an Air-Knocker ( CHAMP) coming down the river. That Champ pilot did a perfect three point and stopped in half the distance that we needed to use. He jumped out of his pristine little 90 horse, put his fly rod together and then caught a couple big fish before jumping back into his Champ and taking off down river. That guy was a real bush pilot...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  20. #20
    Member Fliifast's Avatar
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    Good story Float pilot. I've got over 18,000 hours but only 2000 in singles mostly in tricycle gear. I think I have around 100 in tail wheel cubs and 180,185. I've taught aerobatics but not in 15 years. I'm still thinking I will buy or build a hanger around Sterling or Soldotna. Maybe finding an instructor with a Super Cub for fun on big tires. If you know any great instructors let me know. I will be hanging around Soldotna the 25th-27th and maybe checking out strips at scout or Kenai.

    It kinda gives me shivers thinking I may have to cross the inlet on one engine but hey...you guys do it.

    Does anyone here have a slip or parking at Hood?

    fli

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