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…
Aviation, whether people love it or not, has a large presence in the Upper Valley and Talkeetna in particular. Climbers swarm the village at this time of year. Soon tourists will wander the streets, and on the sunny days, they clamor for a chance to see Denali up close. Last year, an event started to honor resident Cliff Hudson. Sue Deyoe spoke with one of the organizers of the event that honors the famous bush pilot:
About a month ago, Talkeetna residents received a Talkeetna Airport Improvement project flyer in their mail box. It outlines the entire improvement project in stages. It answers general questions and gives a hazy timeline. But the controversial project continues to have lack of funding.
correction: Christine Nelson’s title is Director of Planning and Land Use
The Build a Plane project has grown wings since last summer when it was introduced as an idea for students to learn more about the aviation industry in Talkeetna. The project may be the biggest volunteer effort Talkeetna has seen in years. Sue Deyoe was at their recent project evening and has more on the project.
Kahiltna Basecamp Put In – B company’s 52nd Aviation Regiment’s “Sugar Bears” assist with Denali’s operations each spring.
The sights and sounds of spring in Talkeetna not only include birds returning to their summer home, dripping water and children playing, but Army Chinooks and Blackhawks. The military aircraft from Fairbanks, along with 15 or more troops, show up in Talkeetna each spring for training. The annual event is one of the most unusual peace-time missions in Army helicopter airlift operations history. However, this year is different.
The FAA and the National Safety Transportation Board are investigating an aviation accident that occurred on the Talkeetna Village airstrip last Saturday afternoon. FAA officials say a wheeled piper PA-22 flipped over when trying to land on the snow-covered airstrip. There were 2 people on board, but no one was injured.
NSTB investigators say the plane sustained some structural damage.
The FAA is looking into the regulatory issues involved in the crash – if the pilot had all the current licensing and medical requirements and if the aircraft was current. The NSTB is investigating the cause of the accident.