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Thread: The best flight ever

  1. #1
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    Default The best flight ever

    I had one of the best flights ever yesterday. I didn't even plan it. I went out to check on Miss T (our Taylorcraft), and decided that it was way to beautiful out not to fly. So I called home and left a message saying where I was going and for how long. I've made numerous landings on lakes with skis before, but none like this one so far. Towards the end of the flight I decided to head over to the Muklung and Iwithla area, about 10-15 minutes NE of Dillingham. As I got closer I had the urge to relieve myself. When I got there I started flying around the ridges. On one of the last shoulders I spotted a place that I thought might just be good enough to land, or at least drag my skis. So I made a pass, and then another one, and another. Getting a little bit more bold every time. I picked out a good touchdown point, and told myself "No pressure, if everything doesn't look good just go around. You don't NEED to land here." On my last final everything was stable, so I decided to commit. I held the yoke all the way back, and she plopped down an airplane length or less from my aim point. We slid to a stop, and I hopped out. Looking at Miss T was truly an amazing sight. I could see mountains and frozen rivers and blue bird skies everywhere I looked. Being out there all by myself with no one to give me lessons or advice was awesome. After producing a little yellow snow, I walked forward to determine how much real estate I had left. Clambering back into Miss T, I buckled up and firewalled the throttle. The mighty A-65 roared to life, and my 65 stallions charged forward towards the edge of the world. My tail was up in two seconds flat, and was at flying speed in no time. It was over way too fast, and entirely addicting. Slowly I turned towards home, and the fading sun. Savoring the moment all the way.

  2. #2
    Member PatrickH's Avatar
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    Default Looking forward

    I am still going for my private pilot's license. Your story gives me more to look forward to! It will take me a while longer to get to the wilderness, but I know it is out there.
    Thanks,
    Patrick

  3. #3
    Member AkPacer's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My opinion...

    That is what flying in alaska is all about. Now i just can't wait to get my plane out of its annual. Actually its getting in that seems to take alot of time.

  4. #4

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    Now why did you have go and tell a flying story like that! It makes me jealous as heck! I spent thousands of hours flying in that area both personally and as an airtaxi pilot. Though some days were boring you never got tired of the "really" nice days whether its up the lakes or out on Cape Constantine. I used to get away from it all and relax at a strip located in the Muklung Hills that you talk about. Those experiences give me something to daydream about while I sit for hours in the cockpit of the Boeing that I now fly.
    Cool story, it reminds me of home!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERKA71 View Post
    Now why did you have go and tell a flying story like that! It makes me jealous as heck! I spent thousands of hours flying in that area both personally and as an airtaxi pilot. Though some days were boring you never got tired of the "really" nice days whether its up the lakes or out on Cape Constantine. I used to get away from it all and relax at a strip located in the Muklung Hills that you talk about. Those experiences give me something to daydream about while I sit for hours in the cockpit of the Boeing that I now fly.
    Cool story, it reminds me of home!
    Its a good place to get berries and catch grayling too. We went on a snogo ride over there sat. and got about 25 ptarmigan total, 10 of which were mine. Saw a sow with two cubs that just woke-up, and about 8 moose. Beautiful place

  6. #6
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    Sweet story.
    It's funny that your's was the first post I've read on this site because I too fly a 65h.p T-craft down here in MN. The plane is my fathers and I've only have about 150 hrs. I'm going to school about four hours from where she is hangered and sometimes I get flying withdrawls and cruise pilot sites in an attempt to subside such urges. Funny thing it never helps especially after reading a story like that. Just had to comment........keep em coming.

  7. #7
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    Default

    great story ward!

  8. #8
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Default You did better than this guy!

    Uh, control tower, I'm in a little predicament here . . .
    __________________________________________________ ________

    I've just soiled myself . . .





    Full story:

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska...on/story/776605.html

    I think this is a Taylorcraft too . . . .

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    Uh, control tower, I'm in a little predicament here . . .
    __________________________________________________ ________

    I've just soiled myself . . .





    Full story:

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska...on/story/776605.html

    I think this is a Taylorcraft too . . . .
    The guy who was flying that plane is a guy I've been friends with since 1st grade and a top-notch pilot.

  10. #10

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    Top notch pilot? according to the article in ADN he has had his license about a year, and for 'crusty snow' those are pretty deep tracks. From the way it looks he was about 5 feet from being an ex-human. It is hard to admit that a friend screwed up, but it is about that time. Most times you go into a new place it is best to drag the landing area, that is what he should have done.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Good point, top-notch was probably not the best word choice. I agree that he screwed up, but I would have no problem getting into a plane with him, I trust this guy more than words can convey. He's one of the most methodic people I've ever met, too.

    and to keep with the title of the thead, last summer we went for a stroll around kachemak bay and that was the best flight of my life

  12. #12

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    1st grade and a top-notch pilot.
    He's landing,and about to go over a sheer cliff with what looks like a substantial drop off. Am I wrong in my reasoning here, but my thought would be to firewall it,and given the terrain, pitch down to get airspeed. But I read in ADN he was trying to "steer it away from the edge" On skis? More money than brains, IMO.

  13. #13
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    Default

    It is easy to make a judgement when your not in that pilots seat. Anyone can say "I would have done this or that", but I'm sure those of us that fly enough know that we've got away with stupid s*%$ that we know we shouldn't have, or could have just as easily gone wrong. I've always been told there are two groups of pilots; those that have, and those who will.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskadrifter View Post
    It is easy to make a judgement when your not in that pilots seat. Anyone can say "I would have done this or that", but I'm sure those of us that fly enough know that we've got away with stupid s*%$ that we know we shouldn't have, or could have just as easily gone wrong. I've always been told there are two groups of pilots; those that have, and those who will.
    OK I have made poor decisions in the past[mostly involving flying into IMC]
    my issue here is like so many others,he tried to save a botched landing and made a routine go round into a near disaster. Yes I do feel I would have reacted differently.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I think I would have done things differently too. I'm just saying hindsight is 20/20 and its often easier to see what went wrong when you are removed from the situation.

  16. #16
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default there is only one guy that saw the whole picture

    There was only one guy that saw what was hapening out the windshield and he did the best he knew how. pointing the finger is poor and should haves doesn't get it either. The kid did fine he and his pax are alive and well . Also What a great story this will be in ten years, I'd wager it'll get him a beer or two. Tom

  17. #17
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default More info

    I'm a student and not judging in any way... but it would be interesting to get the details about length of the landing attempt, length of room available, and length required for that configuration under the conditions he was in. I'm sure the young man doesn't like all of the attention but we all can learn from others mistakes. Maybe if any members here knows the family they could convince the young man to share some insights and some more info. Glad that he and his friend walked away from it safe.

  18. #18
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    Default

    I Don't think there is anything to learn from trying to get the details of this accident. It is just one of those things that can happen. When a pilot is in this type of situation he only has seconds to make a decision. If pilots had all the time to study the situation like the arm chair quarterbacks they would never ding up any airplanes. The fact is a bush pilot picks landing spots by judgement not by following a set pattern at an airport. Chances are there will never be another pilot land in this type of spot with the same exact conditions again. Ski flying can be some of the most unpredictable flying out there. Sometimes lakes and swamps can be so slick you think you will never get stopped. Just when you think you have it all figured out something changes, like ash ,it makes a supercub perform like a tailercraft.

  19. #19

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    Has any one but me noticed he is fantastically lucky to be alive,and had to retrieve his plane with a helicopter? Again from the terrain I saw in that photo, a go round would have been a non-event. Nothing I would be bringing up 10 years from now,as long as there where pilots in the room. Tourists may be impressed.

  20. #20
    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    Default experience

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement". Saw that quote at the clerks desk in the Palmer courthouse a few years ago and thought it was fitting!
    Ask not what your government can do for you. Ask how your government can go away and get out of your life

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