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Thread: Flying tools and gear into the bush?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Flying tools and gear into the bush?

    I am some what new to the site and very intrigued with bush flying and the alaskan life. I wanted to hear some stories of different tools or gear that have been flown into the bush. (boats, snowmobiles,building materials,etc).

  2. #2
    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Well lets see. I have had four wheelers in the back of a Piper Saratoga as well as in the back of the Beaver. The float Beaver will carry 3 55 gallon drums of fuel; the Saratoga two. The Saratoga will easily handle 55 cases of, um.., er.. soda pop. I have hauled fish fry in a special tank in a Beaver and have air dropped a bear guides entire camp at the river he wanted to float down - then landed him and his client in a small mud hole a 5 or 6 mile hike from the airdrop.

    I have had canoes, kayaks, john boats, row boats, and lumber, tied to the upright struts on a float Beaver. I have had a full blown 600lb wave runner tied to the side of a single Otter on floats - just tilted up on its side on the top of the floats and strapped to the upright struts. (note here - I don't really recommend this one - the thing flew like a pig even though we had a rowboat strapped on the other side.)

    I have had numerous loads of plywood strapped to the float spreader bars under the belly of 180s/185s/206s/and Beavers. I have heard of a 20 foot extension ladder strapped to the top of a 206 on wheels (this one is definitely NOT recommended - it ain't legal and I heard the airplane was a bear to fly). I have had well drilling machines in the back of a Beav as well as Tundra two wheelers, rafts, wall tents, and logs for log cabins. Pretty much anything you can fit in the door, and unload by yourself or with people at your destination is do-able although weight is, of course, always a factor; as is the balance of the thing.

    External loads are another issue and there are specific rules of thumb for tie down as well as position. For instance, one would think that you would carry a row boat prow forward on an exeternal load. But that would be a bad idea as it is much more preferable to have the smooth transistion to normal air towards the rear (ie bow pointing aft) so as to not creat a huge vaccumm right near the horizontal stab. So carry rowboats, on an external load, with the stern facing forward. I think 14' was the limit we used but I don't remember if that was for the 206 or the Beaver. 4x* sheets of plywood weigh about a 100lbs for each inch of thickness. So two 1/2" thick pieces weigh 100lbs - we used this figure to judge the weight of the sheets on the spreader bars.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    East-central Alaska


    Hi cat track,

    Yep, airplanes are the pickup trucks of the backcountry and coast here in Alaska. To add to what Beaverdriver said, I've flown many pounds of salmon, generators, drill presses, small lathes, boilers, aircraft engines, vehicle engines, air compressors, table saws, dogsleds, big tractor tires, outboard engines, woodstoves, refridgerators, full size stoves, couches, chairs, a complete dining table setup, tv's, doors, windows, ad nauseam. This was carried in Cessna 185's, 206's and Beavers, sometimes landing in postage stamp lakes, other times on narrow rivers, or in coves and inlets in saltwater.

    A Beaver can carry a 250 gallon bulk fuel tank in the center section with the seats remove, and I have flown many thousands of gallons of fuel in a Cessna 206 with a 150 gallon tank in mounted in the area behind the pilot seat.

    Just about everything made has been carried either whole or broken down into manageable size pieces, in airplanes here in Alaska.

  4. #4

    Default thom2249

    Bob Reeve had a company slogan

    "Anything, Anywhere, Anytime"

    That just about answers your question.


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