This little airstrip is one of our nastiest. You can watch the video and it will significantly diminish its nasty little disposition. It is difficult for a number of reasons. The biggest problem it that it sits on top of a knob so the winds are never funneled in any one direction, instead the wind swirls and is seldom a help. It is difficult to see because the tundra hides it almost entirely. I don’t dare wander off the established strip because of the sharp rocks would destroy my $3200 tires. To add to the difficulty of visibility is the fact that the far end of the strip disappears just seconds before touch down because of the center of the strip is so much taller than the end. This is a relatively new strip, only 4 years old. We only use it twice each summer and its always an adventure. The video makes it look like I simply turned and landed, but the truth is that I made 5 passes before I got the wind to cooperate. If a nasty strip like this allows me to power-up and go-around I may make several attempts until I can feel the winds are in my favor before setting down. The worst thing you can do is get in a hurry, the ground isn’t going anywhere.
So after making five passes, fighting the wind, and struggling to locate the exact position of the strip I finally got it on the ground, I crawled out of the plane and unloaded the 300 pounds of groceries. I was waiting while they sorted through the supplies, and enjoyed the opportunity to stretch my legs. A teenage girl walked over to the 1962 Super Cub and spent a long time standing at the door gazing at the faded old instruments, wooden floor boards, and manual controls. After some-time she turned to look at me and in disbelief and acknowledged, “You mean you landed that thing here MANUALLY, I thought it was all electronic ? !!”. I just about died laughing… but she’s probably right someday I’ll get replaced by a bush plane drone. Until then I’m gonna enjoy every second.
I threw in a couple of scenic clips from random flights this summer, but most of this video was taken on the day of the flight described above.