Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Air Drops

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default Air Drops

    Just curious if any of you folks have done air drops of gear and supplies in remote areas? I read an article not long ago that indicated that a Beaver has a hatch in the floor specifically designed for this, but I have not been able to obtain confirmation. Anyway I know some folks are doing air drops. I am looking for photos taken from the ground, and if any of you have anything like that, would it be possible to post it?

    Thanks!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  2. #2

    Default

    I don't have any photos, but I will tell you a story. In the early 70's I was Guiding sheep hunters for Rick Halford up in the Watana Country. He and I had done the Dall Sheep inventory for F&G (We did it twice, they did not like the results of the first count) so we knew where every Ram Lived.

    Connie knew I loved cookies. So Rick would fly in low and dirty (Dirty means full flaps and if applicable landing gear down) So he would drop camp supplies. Which included bags of home made cookies. Well he was only 15 feet up and I would catch the bags of cookies and supplies. He made a last pass and dropped two one gallon cans of Coleman Fuel. I was just inches from catching one that was coming perfect into my hands when I realized what it was and stopped.

    We normally had a 50% ruptured rate for fuel can drops, which was the reason for dropping two. This time both fuel cans survived impact. He had dropped a note on a pass before the fuel drop, but I just but it into my pocket with-out reading. I later read it........"FUEL CANS NEXT"

    Had two hunters, and we stalked up on two legal 3/4 curl rams that were feeding together. Well we surprised them, and they shocked us when we looked over the top and they were 15 "FEET" away. They just stood there looking at us. One got dropped at 15 feet, and the other exploded out of sight. We see him going up a narrow shale gulch. I was very stupid and lucky that day. The other hunter asked if he could shoot. I said, "good God, he is 500 yards away". The hunter said, "No seven hundred yards".

    His buddy said, "He can do it". I said, "OK". He shot over my pack frame, and dropped him on the second shot. To this day that was the longest shot In have ever seen.

    These guys had shot a lot of sheep in IDAHO, and they let me watch, as they processed those sheep. As I recall the fee for the Guided Dall Sheep Hunt was $1,500.00 total. As in $750.00 each. And that included picking them up in Anchorage and delivering them to the Lodge, Their days at the lodge (Not including food). Fairly good deal by today's rates.

    I have guided several hunters who had way more hunting experience than me. But a guides single most important job, is to see that the hunter does NOT get hurt.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    330

    Default

    I think that the hatch in the belly of the Beaver was originally a mount for a camera, but may have been used later as an airdrop opening. I have flown only one beaver among many in 33 years of Alaska flying that still had that belly camera hatch and it was not much more than 15 inches wide and round. ..not big enough for many possible air drops. Interesting Beaver site: http://www.bush-planes.com/DeHavilla...-2-Beaver.html

  4. #4
    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    485

    Default

    Tweeto did it for Lance K in one of his FWA shows. Also know of an outfit that does it out of a beaver in ADQ, but not with the hatch.

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks Area
    Posts
    7,274

    Default

    I have done a moose float were we had the raft and gear air dropped. Make sure any liquid container is full, as they will explode if there is any headspace.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX6lgwVqmKA

    Make sure they are brightly colored and have streamers attached so if they sink in soft tundra they can be found. Aside from from busted peanut butter and koolaid, everything made it fine including my Levitator, oars and oar saddles.







    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    91

    Default

    I've done it in NWT out of a Beaver with floats. There is a door about 15" in diameter on the floor where you sit with your legs spread tossing stuff out. It's a rush, cause the door seem pretty big when you're there.

  7. #7
    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Valley
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    Airdropping complicated. Don't need a camera hole nor a beaver. Sent you a pm Mike.

  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,216

    Default

    One of our old members here, and a friend of mine, killed himself doing an Air-Drop of food a few years back.
    Stall-spin in a PA-12.

    With today's draconian regulations, I am not sure I would post photos of myself doing it very recently.
    I do have it on good authority that it scares the crud out of you when a 60 pound folded blue tarp hits the horizontal stabilizer.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Nunavut, Canada
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Forty years ago I was a weather observer at a remote station in the middle of the NWT barrenlands. In those pre-satellite days the militay surveilance 'plane (the old piston engine, 145 octane guzzling Argus - a modified Bristol Brittania and predecessor of the current Aurora (US Orion) would fly over our island station once a week and drop a Sonobuoy tube in the lake containing fresh fruit, that morning's Vancouver newspaper and Playboy magazines. The fruit would not survive intact but was still (barely) edible. The newspaper survived and the Playboy magazines were still, uh .....useable!

    They offered to drop us fresh seafood from the coast in exchange for arctic char but we couldn't figure out how to get the char up to the 'plane.

  10. #10
    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Valley
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    Do you have any pics from your time there? You should post a couple. I bet that was an awesome experience…..Good and bad.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Man, I've really been contemplating this lately but the stories above are exactly what I was imagining. I need a camera hole..... that will fit a 40 lb wall tent.

  12. #12
    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Valley
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    Airdropping complicated. Don't need a camera hole nor a beaver. Sent you a pm Mike.
    I Screwed that up. Meant to say- "air dropping NOT complicated" tho Alex makes good point. As in all things don't forget to fly the plane first.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Nunavut, Canada
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    Do you have any pics from your time there? You should post a couple. I bet that was an awesome experience…..Good and bad.
    Wish I had some, but I was young and not inclined to take many photos. It would have been different if the digital age had arrived a little sooner.

    We were in the middle of a major caribou migration route, though my employer wouldn't allow us to hunt. The fishing was fantastic.

    I was fortunate to spend just May to August there. Not sure if I would have enjoyed the winter in that location.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    I've dropped newspapers and goody packages. My favorite was block ice into a lake for some friends. Huge splash. That was fun. My drops were from a typical Cessna. No problem on a nice day, no fun in the wind and bumps.

  15. #15
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,216

    Default

    This guy used to post here as PA12 or something like that. He was a very nice guy. HOWEVER, his experience and skill levels were insufficient for the type of flying he was attempting.
    After dropping, DO NOT turn so you can see where it is falling.
    And DO NOT pull low altitude turns at slow speed so folks on the ground can take photos of you flying by.



    NTSB Identification: ANC06FA080
    The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
    Accident occurred Tuesday, June 27, 2006 in Cooper Landing, AK
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
    Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N7658H
    Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    The private certificated pilot departed with a passenger in a float-equipped airplane for the purpose of dropping food packages to a group of hikers at a remote cabin. After arrival in the area, the pilot performed two low-level passes. On the third pass, the passenger, in the rear seat of the airplane, began dropping packages. The airplane then made a turn, and flew between the cabin and the side of a mountain slope, located north of the cabin, on what appeared to the be the fourth pass. As the airplane came by the cabin, witnesses saw the left wing and nose come up. The airplane then turned 180 degrees to the right, and descended to the ground in a nose-down attitude. The airplane collided with the ground in a near-vertical attitude. Members of the group cared for the pilot and passenger, and one member departed the cabin on-foot to notify law enforcement personnel. Rescue personnel responded and transported the passenger to a hospital. Examination of the airplane did not disclose any preimpact mechanical malfunction.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

    The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while performing a low level pass, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and collision with terrain. A factor contributing to the accident was an inadvertent stall.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Excellent advice, FloatPilot. My first air drops were to a sheep hunting camp and made from a 65-hp Champ on floats. And, yes . . . I learned a lot, mostly through good luck! I was truly an accident looking for a place to happen.

  17. #17
    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    112

    Default

    I have done drops in Kodiak from the Beaver camera hatch. It was for a bear guide and we dropped to an area that the Beaver could not land at. The camera hatch had a rolled up plastic piece (old snow sled style) and I would fly over the area and the guide would drop his stuff. Then I would land at a small lake about 8 miles aways (close to Karluk Portage for those who have flown Kodiak) and drop the guide and his hunter. They would then hike to where the gear was an set up camp, inflate the rafts and float the river to where we would pick them up an a week or more. Drops were easy. No Pics from me. PM me and I can get you the contact info for the AirTaxi owner who may have pics and/or more info.

    BD

  18. #18

    Default

    Sounds like I should have had that done for my Sturgeon River hunt. Would have samed me a whole bunch of gear packing!

  19. #19
    Member algonquin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seldovia, alaska
    Posts
    839

    Default

    I was told that the belly hatch in the beaver was for escape when on floats, if the plane was upside down. I really don't know if that was true.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •