May 01, 2009

Alaska Near Death Experience

A Taylorcraft perched precariously in the edge of a 1500 foot cliff in the Talkeetana Mountains in Alaska. From the Anchorage Daily News.

On April 19, Soplanda attempted to land near 6,000 feet on an unnamed peak east of Bald Mountain in the Talkeetnas to explore ski and snowboarding opportunities on some adjacent slopes. Unfortunately, the snow atop the peak where he touched down was crustier than the young pilot expected.

The skis on the airplane, instead of grabbing soft snow, went sliding across hard snow. With cliffs ahead, Soplanda tried to steer the aircraft to the left to stay on top of the peak.

It almost worked.The right ski, however, went over the cliff, the plane tilted at about a 60-degree angle, and there it stopped.

To top it off some brave soul climbed out on the plane to rig it for recovery. Y0u got to be tough in the north country. Hate to second guess but sometimes its nobler to push the go handle rather than try to save a bad landing.

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