On Sunday afternoon, a Piper Super Cub crashed on takeoff near Mile 95 of the Parks Highway. State Troopers say the report of the incident came in around 4:30 pm. The pilot, 46 year old Toby Ashley of Idaho, was preparing for takeoff when his plane hit a rut in the runway. That caused the right wing of his plane to strike a berm. The plane suffered significant damage, but Troopers say Ashley was uninjured. The FAA and NTSB were notified of the incident.
This story has been updated to better reflect the Mat-Su Borough’s role in the float plane lease program on Christiansen Lake.
On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors held its regular monthly meeting. Most of the discussion centered around float planes on Christiansen Lake, but other topics got attention as well, including flood mitigation and nuisance beavers.
On the issue of flooding, the board noted on Monday that the process of including East Talkeetna in the Talkeetna Flood Service Area is making progress. Currently, all of Talkeetna east of the railroad tracks is not covered under the Mat-Su Borough’s flood service area. That means that the borough cannot currently allocate funds or conduct any work on flood control in the area. The issue is in the hands of the borough clerk, and will ultimately require a vote by all residents of both East Talkeetna and the current flood service area. (more…)
In Talkeetna, a writer is looking to hitch a ride to Point Barrow. She doesn’t want to go by ground, however. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:
At KTNA, we often have people contact us asking for help finding a ride. Normally, it’s someone needing to get to town for an appointment or looking for a ride to the airport. On Wednesday, a very different kind of ride-seeker walked through our doors.
MANNING: So, you’re hitchhiking by plane, trying to reach all fifty states?
That’s Amber Nolan. She’s a travel writer who has been hitching rides on private aircraft for the better part of two years. Her goal for this leg of her journey is to make it from Key West, Florida, to Point Barrow, Alaska. Amber says her work has taken her all over the world, but she had not seen as much of America as she would like, so she decided to start traveling. (more…)
Talkeetna pilot and mother Katie Writer
was published this month
in Aviation for Women magazine.
(Text and photos follow audio, 12 min 37 sec)
Earlier this year I hit the ten-year mark of moving to Alaska for my first flying job. I recall the unknown of a new adventure being somewhat daunting. As a newly certified flight instructor, the responsibility of teaching others how to fly floatplanes in Alaska required professionalism beyond the years of flight training. Thinking back, I could have easily been stalled by fear of the unknown. (more…)
by: Greta Mart, KCAW – Sitka
A 48-second YouTube video catching the swift reactions of a Sitka floatplane pilot went viral this past week. KCAW’s Greta Mart tracked down the pilot and the man who took the video to bring us the full story of how a routine flight in Southeast Alaska made waves on news programs and websites around the world.
“…And a close call for the pilot of a pontoon plane in Alaska who just narrowly missed landing right on a humpback whale near Angoon…take a look here you’ll see just before the plane hits the water, the pilot then pulls up and then lands safely a few feet later…”
“My name is Rob Murray. I’m chief pilot at Harris Air in Sitka.”
On the morning of July tenth, Murray was flying four passengers into the small Southeast community of Angoon, coming down for a landing in Mitchell Bay.
“I didn’t see the whale…I was definitely looking right at the spot where the whale turned out to be…the first thing that I saw was just before touchdown was the spray, so thank god the whale decided to exhale because that is what I saw.” (more…)
On Saturday evening, Alaska State Troopers received a call from the passenger of a Super Cub that had crashed into a lake twenty-five miles east of Talkeetna. Troopers say the plane was being flown by Sheila Perskalla of Wasilla when she had difficulty landing the plane, and it went into the lake. The passenger, David Akers of Palmer, called the Troopers. The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted, and both the pilot and passenger were rescued. Pierskalla suffered minor injuries. Both she and Akers were transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.
The Denali Aircraft Advisory Council met last week to review information gathered during the last season of activity inside Denali National Park, and to what extent aviation had an impact on the wilderness experience of park users.
The Council was established 6 years ago to help establish voluntary best-practices to minimize noise disturbances within the park. At their most recent quarterly meeting, the council heard a number of reports from soundscape researchers, as well as representatives from user groups who had gathered information on how well the current air-traffic patterns for flight-seeing and back-country taxi services had coincided with the Park Services goals of minimal noise disturbance. (more…)
BOMBER TAIL – Northern Pioneer Helicopters assisted in a recovery project of the B17 north of Talkeetna on Thursday
In September 1951, a B17 bomber crashed north of Talkeenta. Bush Pilot Cliff Hudson is credited for saving the lives of the souls on board. This week and next, the wreckage of that plane is being airlifted out of the wilderness to Talkeetna and transported to Ohio for a project at the Champaign Aviation Museum. The story is about history, love of aviation, and a restoration project that some might think impossible. Sue Deyoe has more…
**Mahay’s, Northern Pioneer Helicopters, K2 Aviation and a large number of others are credited with help in this operation.
On May 12th, an accident involving a roped team of 4 climbers occurred near the summit on Denali. The rescue and retrieval of the climbers became a somewhat complicated mix of Park Service, military as well as volunteer assistance and may go down in the mountaineering history books. Sue Deyoe spoke with the helicopter pilot and one of the rangers in charge of the operation…