Look closely and you will see that there is a line connecting the Super Cub to the Helicopter. I was returning from the Portage Glacier area through the Knik drainage when I happened upon this scenario and managed to get a picture. You can imagine this is not a cheap activity for the poor owner of the airplane. This airplane does not appear to be badly damaged because the wings and tail section are still attached. But it does not take a very big mistake to send the pilot reaching very deeply into their back pocket. After yesterday’s post I thought this was an appropriate follow up. When I am tempted to do something questionable I remember images like this. The average helicopter bill for transport out of the weeds is somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000. I don’t know about you, but that would send me digging very deep into my back pocket. For such a humbling picture it sure has a gorgeous back-drop.
I should add that mishaps like this seldom hurt anyone. There is a lot of “bent metal” in Alaska, and especially during the summer months. Often this is caused by the pilot stepping too firmly on the brakes and nosing-over. Usually these mishaps are caused by one of three factors: Improper use of a short airstrip, misjudging the winds, and most commonly, in-proficiency. I often fly guys who own their own Super Cubs. They know they are not proficient, so they fly with Mike and I into areas they would not have been comfortable with. Sure it cost them a few bucks, but it’s a lot cheaper than hiring a helicopter to pick-up the pieces.