These guys took this moose off a short strip in the Chugach. The strip is only about 320′ long and it ends in a creek in both directions. It’s a fairly short strip even when the braking is good, with smooth tires and 3″ of snow it almost feels like the airplane accelerates when the brakes are applied. I think it’s because when the plane first touches down a deceleration is felt and normally when I stomp on the brakes you can really feel it. Well, on the snow when I hit the brakes I am braced for a deceleration, but I feel nothing so it feels like the airplane actually speeds up. There is this fleeting moment when it flashes through my brain, “UH OH! I don’t know if this pig is going to stop in time ?” A second after that thought pass through the brain the forces of gravity and friction combined with a loss of inertia results in a measurable deceleration.
If I remember correctly the moose horns in this picture measured right near 60″. Usually there are no adverse affects to a moose antler being attached to the wing … but occasionally the wind will catch them just wrong and they will vibrate in the wind forcing me to cruise at minimum airspeed to diminish the affects. On a strip like this it takes two trips just to haul the meat and horns. It’s about 500-600 pounds of meat on the average moose, but with the horns and everything else it’s not uncommon to get more than that. We can take a moose in one trip if it is all boned out and the airstrip is more than 550′ long. I made 5 take-offs and landings on this nasty little snowy strip this day. 2 for the moose, 1 for gear, 2 for the hunters.