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Thread: Got buzzed by a jerk bush pilot

  1. #1
    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Default Got buzzed by a jerk bush pilot

    Not sure which forum to put this in, so I just decided to throw it in this one. We had a crazy encounter this last weekend while backpacking at Lost Lake on the Kenai Penninsula. It was Friday evening, the light was beggining to fail and it was a beautiful, clear sky at the time. A fellow forum member and I were hanging out by the lake near the tent just watching a float plane go by, when all of a sudden he took what appeared to be a violent turn toward us.

    At first, we had thought that he was turning to land in the lake, but that was not the case. He kept coming, increased speed, in what I considered at the time to be a kamikaze-style attack. Just when we thought that he was about to crash into us and we started to scatter, he made the attempt to pull up and to the side and just barely, and I mean just barely was able to crest over the top of the surrounding hills to our back and our side to recover and gain elevation. He then continued along his previous course and left the area, toward the direction of Seward. He got as close as about 20 feet from us, without question.

    Just to give some further details, we were not able to see his tail numbers, we did absolutely nothing to provoke such behavior other than watch him fly by. It smelled as though he was burning oil or something and it was the only aircraft in the area that left an odor as it passed by. I do not know what kind of plane it was other than I know it was not a Super Cub. It had floats and appeared to be blue with white trim, but I could be mistaken as it was hard to tell at the spur of the moment and we saw many planes over the weekend.

    I did not report it to the authorities as I didn't think it was worth it as I had almost no information to go on, particularly the tail numbers. Nobody was hurt, although we easily could have been and he seriously almost won a Darwin Award himself, for his ridiculous stunt.

    Anyway, thought I would share, I have never even heard of anything like this happening much less seen anything like that. Anybody else have this happen to them?

  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Lots of possibilities. Maybe he thought you were someone he knew and knew his plane. Maybe he was being territorial. Maybe you didn't see the bear sneaking up in back of you........haha.
    You may be able to check with flight service and see who had an active flight plan in that area at that time. Drive by the airport in Kenai and check the float pond, or whereever float planes park. probably never get your questions answered tho.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Default Grizzly 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Flintlock View Post
    Not sure which forum to put this in, so I just decided to throw it in this one. We had a crazy encounter this last weekend while backpacking at Lost Lake on the Kenai Penninsula. It was Friday evening, the light was beggining to fail and it was a beautiful, clear sky at the time. A fellow forum member and I were hanging out by the lake near the tent just watching a float plane go by, when all of a sudden he took what appeared to be a violent turn toward us.

    At first, we had thought that he was turning to land in the lake, but that was not the case. He kept coming, increased speed, in what I considered at the time to be a kamikaze-style attack. Just when we thought that he was about to crash into us and we started to scatter, he made the attempt to pull up and to the side and just barely, and I mean just barely was able to crest over the top of the surrounding hills to our back and our side to recover and gain elevation. He then continued along his previous course and left the area, toward the direction of Seward. He got as close as about 20 feet from us, without question.

    Just to give some further details, we were not able to see his tail numbers, we did absolutely nothing to provoke such behavior other than watch him fly by. It smelled as though he was burning oil or something and it was the only aircraft in the area that left an odor as it passed by. I do not know what kind of plane it was other than I know it was not a Super Cub. It had floats and appeared to be blue with white trim, but I could be mistaken as it was hard to tell at the spur of the moment and we saw many planes over the weekend.

    I did not report it to the authorities as I didn't think it was worth it as I had almost no information to go on, particularly the tail numbers. Nobody was hurt, although we easily could have been and he seriously almost won a Darwin Award himself, for his ridiculous stunt.

    Anyway, thought I would share, I have never even heard of anything like this happening much less seen anything like that. Anybody else have this happen to them?
    Sounds as though it was most likely some adolescent-brained driver with more money than sense! I doubt that it was a personal attack; and I doubt that it was meant as some sort of territorial maneuver. Just some dumbass that will one day make the newspapers, leaving behind a wife and several small childrene.

    Alaska just ain't what it used to be, is it?

    Mort Mason

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Were you goat hunting? Maybe it was a rogue guide. They've been known to defend "their" guide spots. Lost Lake ain't exactly a secret though.

    Tim

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    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    No, we were not hunting at all. Just standing there by the lake next to a tent, looking at the mountains and watching aircraft fly by. It couldn't be anymore "innocent". Whether it was a territorial issue or just some nut trying to have some fun by scaring us, I have to say that I consider it some sort of totally unneccessary aggressive and threatening action that had the potential to harm us and it will probably one day bring that fellow a Darwin Award.

    That is a popular trail... There were runners, mountain bikers, hikers, and other backpackers that used the trail that weekend. Not to mention several other aircraft that landed in the lake as well. I doubt he would have done this on Saturday or Sunday when there was more witnesses. This was on Friday evening and nobody was there.

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    Default Ever think

    Ever think the guy just came in to hot cause winds changed, was a log in the lake, ect. and abandoned the approach? Pilot might not of even seen you.

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    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Ever think the guy just came in to hot cause winds changed, was a log in the lake, ect. and abandoned the approach? Pilot might not of even seen you.
    Was it you?

    That is completely absurd. The winds were totally calm, we were on the open tundra, right next to the lake and we stuck out like a sore thumb. It was totally obvious what was going on. I was there. I saw what I saw, and I was, at a point, concerned for my well-being. I find it appalling that some of you are trying to find excuses for not only the pilots' illegal behavior, but his/her childish and maverick move that appeared they had seen one too many movies. It was the opitome of what one could call hot-dogging and taunting and nearly got himself and us killed or maimed in the process.

    I reported this not for the possibilities of why he did this as I am satisfied with my own view on the matter, but instead to see if anyone had ever had this happen to them before and to find out what they did about it.

    Thanks for any help.

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    Default absurd?

    I wish it was me, that would mean I could afford floats. Pilots are people just like anyone else, and I cant tell you why my wife does half the crap she does, let alone a stranger. Not trying to insult you either, just saying there could be a reason, maybe not too.

    Terry

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    Member akmac's Avatar
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    I had my family out on the trapline about 10 years ago when we were buzzed by a Cessna 180. I recognized the airplane and was able to get a clothing description of the pilot to include hair color, sunglasses, jacket color and even the color if the shirt under his jacket. I then drove around local airports until I found the airplane, got the N number and called it in to the FAA. An investigator looked into it and gave the suspect a warning.

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    Pretty thin skin.

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    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armst View Post
    Pretty thin skin.
    What's that supposed to mean?

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    This fall my partner and I were stalking a fork horn bull during bow season when we were buzzed numerous time by someone till the moose spooked. but with no numbers not much you can do.This guy was even spooking the birds in the area. I was on a small rise and on at least one pass he was bellow me.Alex

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    I've been hunting and had planes drop in to look at the same animal I was chasing. I doubt they ever saw me. I'm sure there have been times I've been flying and dropped in to make a pass or two over an animal I spotted. There may have been hunters down there as well. I'm looking at the animal, not spending my time trying to find guys who may be there. Hunters are usually trying hard NOT to be seen, right? No laws were broken in any event.

    I've been fishing in small holes when a boat goes by and messes me up. Maybe I should take their numbers and start reporting them.

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    Default bush flying

    Most people that complain about low flying airplanes are egocentrics. They think that anyone who would dare invade there "space" is trying to victimize them personally. They don't grasp the reality that us pilots can't see hunters on the ground and have no intention of offending you. When we do fly low to look over an animal, we are focused on that animal and the terrain to avoid hitting the ground. When you post your tales in this forum you are not going to get much sympathy.

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    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
    They think that anyone who would dare invade there "space" is trying to victimize them personally. They don't grasp the reality that us pilots can't see hunters on the ground and have no intention of offending you.
    But there are obviously pilots out there who are jerks, and couldn't care less about what you're doing.

  16. #16
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    lets not forget two little rules:
    1. your not supposed to harass and annoy wild game
    2. If you endanger someone on the ground whether you see them or not your wrong.
    Now the real bottom line, ADFG has defined harass as causing the animal to react in anyway. I know a fellow that made a turn around a herd of Caribou on the Caribou hills at 1000' and was reported and they tacked him by N# and fined him.
    I take no stand here, just passing on infro.

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    Reading this thread makes me wonder what happened to Alaska.

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    I'd agree that any interaction with those on the ground are incidental and unintended. There are areas I do fly down to minimum elevations typically looking at game or scouting a walking route from/to somewhere. Maybe a water route free of rocks.
    I might even suggest that some people would have an inflated ego thinking I (any pilot) had any interest in them at all. If I want to see people, there are cheaper, less dangerous ways I can do that. Personally, it's not worth my life let alone my time.
    There was one occasion that I did interupt a rather amorous couple that were, ah, SUNBATHING on the Butte quite by accident.
    Besides, if there were intent in a buzz job, planes are distictive and with little effort a guy could find someone pretty easy with out running off to Big Brother. Yes, there are jerks everywhere. Our response is what measures a person.

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    Flintlock, these guys are not giving much sympathy, thats where I come in.

    This guy was an ass, not only did he put his life at risk but yours too. Its too bad you couldn't have gotten a number so you could look the guy up and ask some questions-- but as a previous poster said, there are jerks in this world and there's nothing we can do about that. The only thing we can control is how we deal with it. I would chalk it up as a close call and laugh about it.

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Yup!

    Quote Originally Posted by Packer View Post
    Flintlock, these guys are not giving much sympathy, thats where I come in.

    This guy was an ass, not only did he put his life at risk but yours too. Its too bad you couldn't have gotten a number so you could look the guy up and ask some questions-- but as a previous poster said, there are jerks in this world and there's nothing we can do about that. The only thing we can control is how we deal with it. I would chalk it up as a close call and laugh about it.
    Packer,

    I'm with you, given that the report is true (and we have no reason to doubt it). Dunno about you, but it seems a little dumb to be flying 20' off the ground in those conditions, and it sounds like the guy nearly bought the farm in the process. What amazes me in this thread is the guys who actually think the guys standing on the lake shore are the real jerks here, but what can you say?

    If that happened to me I would certainly be looking for numbers and making the necessary calls. I don't know whether that makes me a jerk or not, but it certainly might keep the pilot from parting someone else's hair with his floats in the future.

    Isn't there some sort of regulation about flying that close to the ground when you're not taking off or landing?

    -Mike
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