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Unread 01-21-2021, 12:17 AM   #21
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Scary, of course.... but... she did walk away, and that's all that counts in the end. Was she flying solo??

There are some Huskys up here, but too many of the pilots try to fly them like a Super Cub and get in trouble. Regardless of what anyone says, they just don't fly like a Cub. I understand they're a good float plane though. The landing gear is like the old PA12 gear and often gets replaced with Cub gear here, which helps a lot. The southern border patrol bought 16 of them years ago and after the boys crashed too many of them they got rid of all of them and went back to Cubs. If you want to live to be and "old and bold pilot" up here, you fly a Cub.

I do run on 31" Bushwheels in the summer.
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Unread 01-21-2021, 12:30 AM   #22
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Scary, of course.... but... she did walk away, and that's all that counts in the end. Was she flying solo??

There are some Huskys up here, but too many of the pilots try to fly them like a Super Cub and get in trouble. Regardless of what anyone says, they just don't fly like a Cub. I understand they're a good float plane though. The landing gear is like the old PA12 gear and often gets replaced with Cub gear here, which helps some. The southern border patrol bought 16 of them years ago and after the boys crashed too many of them they got rid of all of them and went back to Cubs. If you want to live to be and "old and bold pilot" up here, you fly a Cub.

I do run on 31" Bushwheels in the summer.
Yes, she was flying solo. She has about 20 hours.

Husky's are big in my area. Three of my friends own them and they love them. But they are not flying in Alaska. They claim that they compare favorably with the Super Cub but none of them has ever flown a Super Cub. Neither have I. That statistic about too many of them crashing in Alaska is interesting. I'll mention that this weekend. The response should be interesting.

We fly on my friends private airstrip and we walk the airstrip from time to time to look for rocks protruding from the ground. Certainly a lot more tame than flying in Alaska.
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Unread 01-21-2021, 01:01 AM   #23
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They were flying the Huskys along the Mexican border not in Alaska.

The original Husky landing gear is a bungees under the front seat system, with no hydrosorb shock absorbers. My plane originally had that and it was a bitch to land on rough ground. You'd bounce like a tennis ball if you landed hard. Definitely dangerous. I couldn't wait to swap the gear out. Every Husky owner I've ever spoken with has claimed that they're as good as a Cub. Don't believe it. If they were as good as a Cub, all the guides up here would be flying them instead of $100,000 - $250,000 rebuilt Super Cubs, many of which were built in the 1950's or earlier. Mine is a 1947. Many of them fly at the "edge" all day every day during hunting season; if there was a better plane, they'd have it. Cost is irrelevant; Everyone walking away from every landing is everything.

Here's a picture of a friends freshly rebuilt Super Cub on a strip in August here in Fairbanks less than 2 miles from my house. He was taking off and a landing C-180? couldn't see him over his nose and landed on top of him from behind. Larry was pretty beat up, but was out of hospital and home after, I think, 2 days or less. The Cessna burned to a crisp and I think two onboard died. You can see what's left of it in the background here - just a small pile of aluminum slag. I'm pretty sure Larry starts every day with a big grateful grin at this point.
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Unread 01-21-2021, 07:26 AM   #24
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My friends daughter crashed his Cesna 172 a couple of weeks ago. Luckily she walked away but the plane was totalled. The FAA is doing an investigation but I suspect, by the way the plane was loosing power, that her problem might been icing in the carburator. The accident might have been prevented if she thought to engage carb heat. She is only 15 years old.

20 hours? Kinda young to be flying solo.... adult judgement plays a big part in getting out of critical situations. I get it that she walked away... that may have been her only chance. I’m sure she was trained in all sorrs of critical situations and when to apply carb heat is certainly one of them.

Lucky girl.






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Unread 01-21-2021, 02:25 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=Dean Romig;322632]20 hours? Kinda young to be flying solo.... adult judgement plays a big part in getting out of critical situations. I get it that she walked away... that may have been her only chance. I’m sure she was trained in all sorrs of critical situations and when to apply carb heat is certainly one of them.

Lucky girl.


She is young, but she was well trained and was flying solo on a training flight.

She picked the only spot where she could have survived a crash, the sparse area under high tension wires surrounded by tall woods and hills. She kept her head and somehow got the failing plane under control enough to make the landing in a very daunting area. Seeing the crash area, I was amazed that she was able to land where she did. Her father, despite the airplane loss, is very proud of her and rightfully so.

Carb heat is something that could be forgotten by someone not reading what his engine is telling him. I was flying with a friend in a J-5 Cub and he was losing airspeed and responded with more throttle. I screamed at him carb heat and the problem went away.

As for her young age, it all depends, like guns, on the maturity of the individual. I started my son flying when he was 14. He never had an incident. The only incident I ever had was when I foolishly took off with an overloaded airplane. In retrospect, it was a very foolish thing to do. I ignored the basics and almost paid the ultimate price.

I’m hoping my friend will replace the 172 with a 182. It’s a much safer airplane to fly on our somewhat limited airstrip.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash but, as Richard mentions, it will be at least two years before we know anything definitive.




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Unread 01-21-2021, 04:12 PM   #26
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I’m sure she’ll remember that incident forever Tom.

Again, she was incredibly lucky...





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Unread 01-25-2021, 06:15 PM   #27
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Richard…..quick question…..did you ever attend the Valdez Stol competition? I just re-watched some videos. Incredible! I saw just Super Cubs and experimentals.

I did know one of the great bush pilots, Sonny Thomas (Lowell Thomas Jr.) My father grew up with him in Pawling. He moved from Pawling to Alaska many years ago. But he always came back every couple of years or so. Up until his death, he still owned part of his father’s estate (more than 3,000 acres at one point) in Pawling.

He kept part of the property for some reason even after he moved. He’d come back to Pawling to see old friends. He never forgot Pawling and his friends here. He always landed on our airstrip which his father’s property bordered on the Norh.

He was an Alaska state senator and later Lieutenant Governor. He was in the air flying during the destructive Anchorage earthquake years ago. He took many pictures and movies of the devastation from the air. After the 1980’s he owned and operated the Talkeetna Air Taxi, a bush flying service.

The last time I saw him he flew in with a Cessna 185 A. He had to be helped out of the airplane and he couldn’t walk well.

Sonny build a small airstrip on his father’s property back in the 30’s. But when he flew into the trees, Lowell Thomas wouldn’t let him use the airstrip anymore. After 1948 he used our airstrip built by Thomas E. Dewey when he thought that his Pawling Estate was going to be the summer White House.
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Unread 01-25-2021, 11:06 PM   #28
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I briefly knew/met Lowell Thomas Jr and Sr. I met Sr at an evening bonfire/BBQ party on a beach in Juneau in '73 I think, and Jr when he and his young son flew into the glacier research camp I was working/studying at just to do some skiing around on the glacier. I never encountered either of them after that. I've been in Talkeetna many times but never saw Jr there, but knew he had an active air service and often flew out of there.

I've never been to the STOL competition since they moved it from Gulkana to Valdez. You risk getting stuck for days/weeks in Valdez if you fly there from here, and it's a long flite. It's gotten a bit too techy too with all those custom featherweight souped up planes. It isn't only Cubs and such that compete; they have classes that go up into the Single Otter class. My neighbor did a short field takeoff demo there with his C-1, which was designed as a supply plane for our aircraft carriers and would take off in less then 200ft empty and with low fuel. That was fun to watch and popular with the crowd. He flew that C-1 down to Oshkosh one summer when I was there also. I watched a friend compete with a S Otter that managed a takeoff in 88ft! My mechanic here pretty regularly wins or places high in the C-170 class; his is pretty amped up with a giganto engine with almost 2x the HP of the original O-300. It used to be mostly unmodified planes too, so the local hunting guides would all compete, and they would, using the good headwinds that ruled in Gulkana, get stock Supercubs in as little as 22ft. I watched a guy who had showed up with his family in their C-206; he was watching the competition and pacing all over and clearly fretting and wanting to get into the game. He finally gathered up his family and they started stripping the seats out and anything else they could remove and draining the fuel down to a minimum, after which he signed up and competed. He grunted that 206 off in, I think, 85ft and got more cheers than anyone else, especially from his enthusiastic family! The whole thing was more like a small town county fair than it is now. People come from all over the country for it these days. I'm sure you've seen some of the videos of how they go out of town, generally after the competition is over, and land on river bars in the area. There are good vids of guys hovering modified Cubs in just like a helicopter in strong winds and just setting them down with no rollout. There are also some idiots who push it too far and trash their planes. I think one guy 2-3 yrs back landed on a bar near a glacier face and a pc of ice calved off and and the wave it created hit his bar and rolled his plane up into a little unrecognizable ball of scrap metal and fabric. No thanks.
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Unread 01-26-2021, 12:31 PM   #29
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I love the Otters. My favorite jump plane was a twin Otter. It got us to jump altitude quickly. I enjoy free fall skydiving, among the best things I have done. I am AFFM (advanced free fall method) certifed. I haven't jumped in a couple of years. Unfortunately, I misplaced my log book in the move up from Maryland. When I finally find it, I'll start jumping again.

This is a picture of me and one of my jump partners Randy. We like to link in the air. In this photo I've just waved him off and engaged the chute. You can see it start to come out.
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Unread 01-26-2021, 12:47 PM   #30
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Riiiight... jumping out of a perfectly goot airplane just for the thrill of it...

I think if I wanted to wet my pants I’d just stand on the ground and do it.






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but because I'm a romantic - stuck on tradition - and to me,
a Setter just "belongs" in the grouse picture."

George King, "That's Ruff", 2010 - a timeless classic.
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