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Thread: Bill Rusk - Down but OK!

  1. #121
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Thanks Folks. I am so glad Bill jumped off his Cub and swam to shore when he did. I have seen some recent aerial photos and it is terrifying to think of anyone going over those spillways. Turns out Bill's Cub happened to stop on a closed spillway but that was pure luck. There is nothing to stop anything from going over. If you have ever viewed a dam up close at the spillways and sense the immense energy and power of water you know what I mean.

    I agree on the bureaucratic nonsense and everything under the guise of "homeland security". Bill has been a gentleman and very reserved throughout.
    Last edited by Bugs66; 06-07-2011 at 01:28 PM.

  2. #122
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    Christian,
    I am Bill's sister. From our family, I would like to express our sincere thanks for all you have done these past few days to care for Bill. Your generosity has been tremendous. Thank you.

    To all of you I would like to convey my gratitude and absolute awe! I have read every post and I have never known a group of individuals of this caliber. Truly, you are all high fliers.
    Thank you, each and every one of you, for your prayers, support, offers, assistance, care, concern, humor, friendship, and encouragement. Bill is an amazing guy - I am beyond blessed to have him for a brother, as he is to have all of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts...we are so very grateful to still have Bill.
    Thank you again and again.
    Last edited by bacseatflyer; 06-07-2011 at 02:01 PM.

  3. #123
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Christian, thank you. All of us wish we could have "hyperspaced" to your side and assisted with Bill.

    Bill's character and personality make it easy for one to care for him and wish the best for him.

    Hang in there Bill.

  4. #124
    StewartB
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    Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to remind us of what we have. I'm ever the optimist. I'm glad the plane didn't do damage to the dam.

    A plane is a tool. A combination of parts. They'll make more.

    Words of wisdom sent to me by my kid this morning. They seem appropriate.
    I am thankful for...
    ...the mess to clean up after a party
    because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
    ...the taxes I pay
    because it means that I'm employed.
    ...the clothes that fit a little too snug
    because it means I have enough to eat.
    ...my shadow who watches me work
    because it means I am out in the sunshine.
    ...the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot
    because it means I am capable of walking.
    ...all the complaining I hear about our government
    because it means we have freedom of speech.
    ...that lady behind me in church who sings off key
    because it means that I can hear.
    ...lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing
    because it means I have a home.
    ...my huge heating bill
    because it means that I am warm.
    ...weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
    because it means that I have been productive.
    ...the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours
    because it means that I am alive.
    There are three kinds of days:
    1. Good days,
    2. Great days, and
    3. Outstanding days.
    I hope yours is Outstanding!
    Stewart

  5. #125
    Widebody's Avatar
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    Bill,

    Haven't checked in here for a while and today when I did, I sure didn't like what I seen.
    I'm very pleased and thankful that you're ok.

    Brad

  6. #126

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    Bill, fly to Portland next week and you can fly my cub to Johnson creek, I will fly the 180

  7. #127
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Christian,

    Thanks for being there! Let's all hope that Bill can remain in good spirits.

    I better call him, maybe we can get him to JC to chaperone Ed and E
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  8. #128

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    Bill I am glad you are OK And very sorry for your loss.

    Jerry

  9. #129
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I also am very sad to hear of Bill's loss. The knowledge that he is talking about his next Cub is a good sign.

    I must be mistaken. I have been under the impression that there is usually a safety barrier across a body of water upstream of dams just for the purpose of preventing situations such as Bill's loss. The plane should have snagged on the barrier.
    N1PA

  10. #130
    Patrol Guy's Avatar
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    All this makes me think that going to this might be worth while?

    FAASafety.gov --------------------------------------------------------

    You have asked us to notify you when a seminar is scheduled that meets your criteria. The following seminar may be of interest to you:

    "If You Choose To Do It At All: What You Should Know About Flying Over Water"
    Topic: What you should know about flying over water, ditching your aircraft, and search & rescue procedures
    On Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM
    Location:
    Portage Co. Airport Flight Center
    4039 Nanway Blvd

    Ravenna, OH 44266

    Select Number: GL2539031

    Description:
    Kyle Jones, who was Chief of USCG Search and Rescue for all of the Great Lakes, will discuss flying over water operations, how to ditch an aircraft in an emergency, and search & rescue procedures.

    To view further details and registration information for this seminar, click here:
    http://www.faasafety.gov/SPANS/event...aspx?eid=39031

    The sponsor for this seminar is:
    Ohio FAASTeam

    The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:
    Basic Knowledge 3 1.00


    Bill put me on the long list of "real glad you are ok" list. John

  11. #131
    wefly4u's Avatar
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    Bill:

    So sorry for your loss but glad to hear you're alright. Airplanes can be replaced. Know that you have the 'Worlds best support Group" here waiting to help in any way we can. I still think you need to get to the cabin at West Turner Lake when you can. Wishing you the best.

    Ray
    "Those that take risks may not live long, but those that take no risks never live at all"

  12. #132
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Yesterday I had the privilege of picking Bill up at the airport in MSP and taking him to RNH to claim his pickup truck and belongings. He has quite a story to tell. Your posting, John, is particularly important in Bill's survival story...emergency egress out of a capsizing, upside down aircraft. I learned a great deal over a great hamburger, onion rings and waffle fries, listening to his experience. His ability to stay calm and utilize his survival training seems to have played a major role in his survival.

    He drove home last night and plans on spending a couple of days in his man cave, sorting out his thoughts, "looking for the Lord's direction" (my paraphrasing). Bill is considering all his options, and is grateful for all support he has received from this group of people. We sat there remarking about how comforting it is to have so many people concerned about him, sending messages of support. In this world of impersonal connections (texting, IM, etc), how fortunate it is that we are able to cross paths electronically and be able to effectively communicate our feelings of joy and sadness, hope and loss, to each other. From all walks of life. What a rich quiltwork we weave here with each other.

    I think it really important that people here have refrained from asking too many questions, speculating too much, as we wait for Bill to describe what he learned from this experience. For one thing, he is still traumatized by the experience, trying to sort out all the events of the last 7 days. Secondly, he undoubtedly is under scrutiny by the FAA and we must ALL be careful what we post here. It is also appreciated that the vast majority of posts have been supportive, sparing Bill from any "horror stories" out there involving difficulties with insurance companies, the feds, etc. He is quite aware of the legalities with which he must deal, and with insurance issues.

    I look forward to reading what Bill will have to write and share with us, and wish him the best with getting his plan together.

    Randy

  13. #133
    DW's Avatar
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    Randy thanks for your post, very well said, and we are all following this closely.

    Dennis

  14. #134
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    I second that Randy,,, very well said...

  15. #135
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    http://www.vp-mi.com/news/article_b5...cc4c002e0.html

    A short article from our local weekly newspaper today.

    Bill, the sheriff is a good friend and neighbor of mine......
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  16. #136
    Patrol Guy's Avatar
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    I just spent 6.6 hours in the scout seat today listening to xm radio.

    Fox news said there was a man caught on surveillance video scaling a chain link fence at one of our nation's dams yesterday. He climbed up on the dam and was videoing something. They are looking for him, but I was thinking "I wonder where that was?"

  17. #137
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Sounds like Eaton trying to get a good look at a set of floats so he can by some at the Flea Market


    Great post on Bill. I talked to him this morning, and his spirits are above what one would expect. It takes a strong person to deal with this stuff, I am glad I have had the honor of talking to and meeting Bill. I will enjoy the camp fire with him next time! (he talked about coming to JC next weekend)

    Dan, does that sheriff shoot strait?????
    Last edited by aktango58; 06-08-2011 at 07:49 PM.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #138
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    That was a great thing you did Randy picking up Bill like that. Writting down his thought's right now will really be important to jog his memory when all the question's start coming. It would be great to see him at Johnson Creek.


    Bill

  19. #139
    Coyote Ugly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Yesterday I had the privilege of picking Bill up at the airport in MSP and taking him to RNH to claim his pickup truck and belongings. He has quite a story to tell. Your posting, John, is particularly important in Bill's survival story...emergency egress out of a capsizing, upside down aircraft. I learned a great deal over a great hamburger, onion rings and waffle fries, listening to his experience. His ability to stay calm and utilize his survival training seems to have played a major role in his survival.

    He drove home last night and plans on spending a couple of days in his man cave, sorting out his thoughts, "looking for the Lord's direction" (my paraphrasing). Bill is considering all his options, and is grateful for all support he has received from this group of people. We sat there remarking about how comforting it is to have so many people concerned about him, sending messages of support. In this world of impersonal connections (texting, IM, etc), how fortunate it is that we are able to cross paths electronically and be able to effectively communicate our feelings of joy and sadness, hope and loss, to each other. From all walks of life. What a rich quiltwork we weave here with each other.

    I think it really important that people here have refrained from asking too many questions, speculating too much, as we wait for Bill to describe what he learned from this experience. For one thing, he is still traumatized by the experience, trying to sort out all the events of the last 7 days. Secondly, he undoubtedly is under scrutiny by the FAA and we must ALL be careful what we post here. It is also appreciated that the vast majority of posts have been supportive, sparing Bill from any "horror stories" out there involving difficulties with insurance companies, the feds, etc. He is quite aware of the legalities with which he must deal, and with insurance issues.

    I look forward to reading what Bill will have to write and share with us, and wish him the best with getting his plan together.

    Randy
    Extremely well said... Here's to a good outcome...
    "Pops Dory"
    They used to say there are no old, bold pilots, Hell, looka here...

  20. #140
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    This message showed up on my PM board. I believe she intended to post it here but perhaps she is still learning to use this forum so I will cut and paste it here.

    Words are hardly adequate for the care, encouragement, support, and prayers you have expressed and given to my son Bill.
    Thank you, Christian, for your special role, and Buck, for your assurance that the Supercub Group would take care of him. I believe!
    The hands of God work in mysterious ways as seen thru all of you.
    My deepest thanks,

    A Grateful Mom



    Thank you, Mom

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  21. #141
    DW's Avatar
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    Moms their the best.
    Last edited by DW; 06-09-2011 at 05:49 PM.

  22. #142
    Snert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Yesterday I had the privilege of picking Bill up at the airport in MSP and taking him to RNH to claim his pickup truck and belongings. He has quite a story to tell. Your posting, John, is particularly important in Bill's survival story...emergency egress out of a capsizing, upside down aircraft.
    How did he handle driving over the Mississippi and St Croix rivers?

  23. #143
    Jerry Gaston's Avatar
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    Bill Glad to hear your OK , Your a lucky man landing in the water especially during flood stage on that river. God must have been watching over you. Let me know if there is anything that you need on this end.

  24. #144
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Bill -

    I'm sure glad you are safe my friend. Alaska will still be there next year. And KUDOS for Christian and the other great SC.org members who are all standing by to help you.


    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  25. #145
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Bill, or anyone who likes a coincidence:

    I flew the smoker into Minneapolis for a prebuy on a 180 Cessna and ended up at New Richmond, Wisconsin (just over the border East of the Twin Cities).

    This is the former home airport and factory location for Baumann floats. Bill's airplane was put on floats and test flown at New Richmond before his trip. I saw the ramp and float pond that is in those first video's Bill made. I ate lunch with a guy who flew Bills Cub while Bill filmed from the back seat. He said the a/c was a real work of art!!

    What a bunch of interesting, welcoming, and gracious residents there! They don't know Bill, but they like him well, and certainly feel for his situation. They treated us wonderfully also, even when my client declined the purchase of the a/c based there.

    Interesting coincidence.

  26. #146
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    I still do not "know" exactly what happened and probably will not ever know. I have some ideas but I do not want to speculate in a public forum. I am sharing the following to perhaps help others. If you have ever "water skied" your cub, or considered it, you need to think this out as the flip and water entry will be just a quick and violent as mine was. I have water skied. After this I will not ever do that again.

    I was on straight floats, not amphibs, but I think the result would be similar if you had the wheels in the wrong place on a water landing.

    I set up for a touchdown on the Clark Fork River about 3 miles upstream from the Cabinet Gorge Dam. At the time of the approach I knew there was a dam in front of me but I was unsure of how far away it was. Everything was totally normal, headwind and down current which is a good set up for a floatplane. The flaps were retracted as I planed to touch on the step and gently glide to a stop. I had been flying the river for several minutes and did not see any debris so I was comfortable. The last thing I remember prior to the crash was glancing to the left. My next thought was "Oh my God I crashed my airplane and I am upside down in the river". There was absolutely nothing between. No touchdown feeling, no glide on the step, no feeling of landing, absolutely nothing between I am flying and what a beautiful place and "Oh my God I've crashed and I'm upside down in the river".


    My next thought (Lots of chair flying of just this type event, it is pretty much the worst case) was GET A BREATH. I had just enough time to gasp before my head was under water. Elapsed time at this point probably less than 1 second. My next thought was "orient yourself". Where is the door, where is up, where is the lap belt release. I had a 5 point set up in the cub and had planned to release with my left hand so my right hand would go for the door. If I had not planned this I would probably have used my right hand on the belt release (I am right handed) which would have naturally predisposed me to use my left hand to feel for the door. This would have been wrong as I do not have a left door and would have been disorienting. So this was all preplanned and fortunately it came to mind under pressure.


    I released the belts, remembered NOT to inflate the life vest I was wearing and came out between the forward right float and the cowling. I inflated my life vest as soon as my head came to the surface.
    I climbed up on the fuselage and stood between the floats aft of the rear spreader bar. This put me in about waist deep water. I stood there a moment to try to get my head together. I saw blood on the float in front of me so I knew I was hurt somewhere. I wiped the water out of my right eye, so I could see and discovered blood all over my hand. I could see out of my right eye so I knew the eye was OK and that I was probably just cut somewhere around there. My glasses were gone of course and I need them for near vision, just a normal factor of aging. I pulled my Iphone out of my shirt pocket and did the best I could to send a text to my sister, not easy to do when you are shaking, cold, disoriented, working with one eye and no glasses. "Help Crash SOS" is what I sent. I tried calling but no service. Text often works when the phone does not so I sent a second text. "Crash Clark Fork river 20 miles east Pend ore lake". That is not what came out with the auto spelling and one half working eye it came out as "20 ilrs lake pens on clark Fork river" My sister is very intelligent and with the help of spot was able to figure out what I was trying to say. Amazingly enough, the text messages went through so that my family was able to start the process of trying to contact folks to initiate a rescue. In my preflight instructions to my family I had listed contacts all along my route, so they contacted Christian Sturm and the Bonner County sheriffs dept. It took 15 or 20 minutes to get this all rolling with some confusion thrown in but they did a great job. In the meantime I am getting really cold. I looked around at all the stuff that had been ejected from the plane and what was floating away from the plane. Nothing was close. I tried to see if I could find anything that could be used in a survival situation. My clothes bag was floating about 75 feet away. That was the only useful thing I could see among maps, books, pots, paddle, etc. I decided the extra cloths might help even if wet. I left the plane, swam to the clothes bag and drug it back to the plane. When I got back and looked there was not much in the bag, I had opened it in flight to get my baseball cap out and as a result most stuff was thrown out as it flew out of the plane. By the way, I had no bruises to the back of my head so I don't think anything hit me from behind in the crash. After realizing that the bag was useless I let it go and chastised myself for the extra time in the cold water to retrieve a useless item. I am now back standing on the aft fuselage waist deep in water leaning up against the float. Time to slow down and think. Not coming up with much. I noticed the tail under water appeared undamaged. Interesting. The left float (right side when upside down) looked intact with no damage. The right float bottom had a gaping hole and was ripped open about 3 feet in front of the float. With the murky water I could not see the forward part of the float at all.


    I started looking at the river banks and evaluated my drift. I was going right down the middle and not getting closer to either shore. Not good. I knew there was a road following the river but I could not remember which side it was on. It is wooded and unpopulated in this area. If I swam to the wrong side I figured I was toast. I had no way to start a fire and I knew I did not have a lot of time with hypothermia. Total time wet at this point about 15 minutes. I drifted past an inlet in the river with a break in the trees and there was the road 250 yards or so away. Good. At least I knew which side to go to. A yellow truck went by and I waved frantically. No response. Not good. I started looking for an exit point on that side, I knew where to focus my efforts now. The bank is steep and 10 plus feet high. With no place to get out of the river it does not do much good to swim to the shore. The yellow truck came back and stopped. I guess the lady thought it was odd to see someone waving from funny looking pair of canoes. I yelled that I needed help. She asked what she could do. I told her I was going to try to swim to shore over there and if she could meet me there (a trek through the woods for her) I would need help there. She agreed. I jumped off the floats and back into the ice water bath again. I planned my swim and current drift to come out at a low bank area. The current took me about 150 feet further downstream from my plan and when I hit shore there was a vertical 10 foot embankment to try to get up. I was doing a modified backstroke (the life vest restricted movement and made any other swim stroke impossible). I knew the cold was going to be a problem ( about a 150 to 200 yard swim)and the last 100 feet or so it was. I was loosing my muscular control and had to tell my arms what to do. I also sucked some water as I lost coordination. (total time wet up to this point probably close to 1/2 hr) When I hit the bank there was only one small rock to get up on. The river was like a pool, in that the bank was vertical both above and below the water. No place to get out except that one rock. I managed to hold on to a dead bush that did not have much for roots and tried to climb up on the rock. The roots pulled out and I went back in the water. Try again. Don't pull so hard. Be gentle with what is left of the only bush around. I got my right foot on the rock. Tried several times to get my left foot on the rock. Leg was not working very well. Grabbed my pants with my left hand and pulled my foot on to the rock. Great. Standing on a rock in about 6 inches of water with no place to go. Looked back upstream at my planned exit. No way to swim up current and no way to wade or walk there. Worse downstream. Started climbing embankment. Slid back down. Legs and arms not going where I tell em too. What should have been a 30 second scramble for any country boy took about four or five minutes. Covered in mud now. Got to the top and managed to wobble like a newborn calf to my feet. Surprised and pleased I can walk. Start up path looking for lady and road. Went about 100 yards and heard a voice. We Marco Poloed ourselves together. I told her I was hypothermic. She said she saw a house back this way. I followed. She ran ahead and got the lady of the house to the door. Explained the problem and we got inside. I asked for a hot shower. She did not have a shower, bath only. Small, older home. We got the tub started but the water pressure was low and it was not going to help. Out of the wet clothes, and she got pair of jeans, much too big and a flannel shirt and a blanket. I wrapped in the blanketand sat on the couch. Uncontrollable shakes going on. One of the two ladies had called 911 and an ambulance was on the way but it would be 15 to 20 minutes before it could get out this far. I tried to get the elder homeowner lady to call my Mom just to let her know I was OK. That was the only phone number I could remember. With these fancy phones I don't have any numbers memorized. In my fog I was not sure of that number either. My cell phone is now dead. Worked for the first text then died. Finally got through to mom and she told me Christian was on his way. I told her to call him back and have him go to the Sandpoint hospital where I was told they would take me. Bleeding all over this lady's blanket. Feel sorry about that. Funny how the mind works in these situations.

    Continued next post.......
    Last edited by behindpropellers; 06-29-2011 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Added spacing
    Very Blessed.

  27. #147
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Continued.....


    The lady got a couple of heating pads and we put one on my back and one on my chest. That helped. Still uncontrollable shakes, getting worse.
    The ambulance arrived and they got me inside and tucked in the hypothermic sleeping bag with heat packs all around me. Off to the Hospital, 30 to 40 minute drive. On 02. Warm and moisturized. Uncomfortable but probably helped. By the time I got to the hospital I was feeling better and most of the shakes were going down. In the ER they put me under warm blankets and the doc looked at my eye. Cleaned it and put 7 small stitches in the lid. When my black eye goes away it should be just another laugh line.
    Christian arrived about an hour after I got to there. He was kind enough to get some sizes from me and go to Wal-Mart and get me some clothes. That worked well because the hospital was not quite ready to release me. They continued to monitor my blood pressure and pulse, and temp for a while. At this point I was able to discover that I still had my wallet in my pocket. That was a nice bonus. Normally I take it out of my pocket and put it in my vest . I can't sit on it anymore like I could in my younger days. It causes my leg to go to sleep now. But for some reason I left it in my pocket. At least I had money, drivers license, credit cards, and my pilots license. Every thing dried out at Christians house and a new wallet from Wal-Mart fixed that problem.
    Christian got back from a shopping trip, I changed clothes and we got out of there. Everyone at the ER room in Sandpoint was super nice, professional and friendly, but I just wanted out of there ASAP. By now it is near 1900 hrs my time and I am really tired and hungry. Christian took me to dinner and then to his house. I made a short post on SC.org and shot a quick email to my son then went to bed. After all the adrenaline and excitement, I was in the letdown phase and just totally exhausted. I slept hard for about 10 hours.
    It is now saturday morning and I woke up with some new aches and pains. I had some bruises that were not apparent in the ER room. The first thing I did was file a NASA report. Then I got through to the NTSB rep and reported the mishap. The initial call was mostly mom and apple pie stuff, name address, phone #, tail number, and administrative stuff. Wayne Pollack from the NTSB was nice but thorough. Eric Barr from the spokane FSDO was also on the line listening in but he asked no questions. I contacted via Email the AOPA legal services department just in case. I recommend joining the legal services plan. I spoke to a lawyer Monday and it helped ease my mind.

    The whole purpose for this narrative is not to garner more attention (I did not start a new thread for just that reason) but rather to try to pass on the things that happened and to post the good and bad so that others may learn from my event.



    The good.

    I spent a lot of time chair flying this event. It is probably the worst case scenario for a float pilot (or someone who chooses to water ski a wheel plane). The night prior to starting the trip I sat in the plane in a dimly lit hangar and went over this very scenario. I thought out what would happen. First thought would be to get a breath before going under water if you can. Better to start this with full lungs rather than empty. Next ORIENTATION. You don't have a lot of time. With all the adrenaline your heart is going to be going a mile a minute and you will not be able to hold your breath very long. Try running around the house several times then standing in a ice cold shower and see what you can do. So I knew I was not going to have much time thus I knew I could not afford to be disoriented. I knew that my natural reaction would be to use my right hand to release the belts (I am right handed). I also knew if I did, I would probably start feeling for the door with my left hand. Instant disorientation. Ergo I chair flew, first push out with the right hand, then use the left to release the belts, then follow my right hand out. I also knew prematurely inflating the life vest could trap me in, or under, the plane, so I had reminded myself not to inflate the vest until my head was fully above the water. That worked out.

    I was wearing an inflatable life vest. Wear one ALL the time you are in a float plane. Period. I might not have survived without it.

    I put extra time and money into my seat belts, (actually thinking of this exact scenario). I had a full 5 point harness like the ones in the airlines. One hand, quick release, that will work even with tension on the belts. Even with this I smacked my face on the panel, or something ricocheted and hit me.

    Text messages will often work when the voice part will not. It is a separate network. This was discovered during the aftermath from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The entire phone system was inop but the kids were texting all their friends. I knew that and used it to my advantage, and I was lucky that my phone worked for a couple of minutes after getting wet. It died sometime after sending the two texts.

    I had an emergency contact list that I had emailed to family and friends with contact info in the event of an emergency. It worked.

    The heating pads made a huge difference while waiting for the ambulance. Lesson to remember for hypothermia.


    The bad

    I had a survival vest but thought the lower 48 was populated enough so was not wearing it. It had fire starting materials in it. If I swam to the wrong side of the river I could have built a fire to get warm until I could have gotten help. I also had a sat phone in my vest. I should have been wearing the vest.

    I wasted time in the water swimming after a wet bag of clothes, but perhaps more important, it never crossed my mind to go back under water into the plane to get stuff out. I had not thought this out beforehand (chair flying) thus never thought of it. I could have gotten my sleeping bag which was synthetic and would have been invaluable with hypothermia. Certainly would have resulted in less time in the water than swimming after the clothes bag, but it would have required removing the life vest to get under water. I am not saying you should do this, or not, but my point is I never thought of it. It is an option you need to chair fly and at least consider.

    I did not "have" to land in the river. The down side to rivers is that if something happens you may very well end up with no airplane to salvage, or much greater damage due to the force of the moving water crushing the plane as it goes down stream. If I had been in a lake I would probably have had a pretty easy salvage and rebuild. I did not do a damage check (too cold to even think about that) but the only damage I did see prior to swimming for shore was a hole in the float. So……, if you don't have to land in a river, don't.





    Folks, I am not an expert, nor am I trying to tell anyone what to do, or how. I am not qualified to preach in any way. I am Blessed to be alive and I am in debt to the Lord and to all of you for your kindness and support. I am posting this to maybe try to help others.



    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  28. #148
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    thanks
    for sharing!

  29. #149
    85Mike's Avatar
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    Bill
    Thanks for the very informative post. You've reinforced my thoughts exactly. If you do not "have to" do it, it's better not to.
    This is especially true of water skiing. Never have and hope never "have to" try. Same with short strips. I have a personal minimum unless I "have to" which I do quite often.

    Mike

  30. #150
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    Bill, I'd first like to thank you for making this post. Its not easy to share our vulnerability to the world and our mistakes. I give you a big pat on the back for that. But I know from talking to you on the phone last week that you wanted to share your experience both to say thanks to everyone that was concerned for you and as an effort to maybe help someone else avoid the same situation.

    Secondly my I'm impressed that you were able to keep your wits about you after such a violent life-threatening event. My guess is that the life vest saved your life. Your pre-flight preperations, like the vest, thinking through seat belt release, contacts along the route, texting your SOS to someone like your sister all spell intelligent forethought and coolness under extreme pressure.

    As I mentioned to you earlier too, I was out at my hangar the afternoon you flew over and I remembered seeing a Cub on floats pass overhead following the river. That would have been less than an hour before your trouble. We had a very cool spring and our snow melt was late (its still melting) and there was a lot of trash floating down the river with very high water levels. Stuff like trees, dead cows, fences, etc. were going down river. My guess is that you hit something like that landing.

    The Clark Fork drains all of the water from western Montana and I've had a couple of close ones on wheels and skis. It is a river to be respected. I told you about my experience a couple of winters ago breaking through the ice on skis in the very same location as your trouble. I was sliding to a stop on the ice when I broke through. I instantly jammed the throttle ahead, still had some flaps out and just barely got back up to flying speed. Perhaps more on that later. My point is the rivers can be tricky and dangerous, especially upstream of a dam. In this case the river had opened some holes that re-froze and thin ice was all there was in areas. Dan
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  31. #151
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bill. You are a dude.

    Randy

  32. #152
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    Bill, thank you for sharing. I have a confesion to make. I flew to JC this past weekend and took my survival vest....but didn't wear it. Your story reminds me I need to wear it. I honestly intended to, but chose not to because I feel I have too much stuff in it right now and need to slim it down. Pretty stupid I guess.

  33. #153
    cafi19's Avatar
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    Dear God!

    We are so thankful for the outcome Bill, I figure you escaped 3 times!

    Thanks for sharing! I have thought through some things....even opened the door prior to landing on water that made me nervous...but clearly haven't thought through enough!!!

    cafi

  34. #154
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    Bill I am glad that you are still here to tell that scary story. John

  35. #155
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    Bill, you forgot to mention you were the winner of the "3-State-Debacle" trophy at JC!

  36. #156

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    Bill thanks for sharing, it really gives something to think about for everyone. Sounds like that 1 second really grabbed by surprise. Heres a chair flying thought i go through. I have no floats and always on wheels and trying to imagine a way to survive a engine out over a body of water with time to think about the consequences of a water landing. The flipping sounds like a not so good deal, scary, and was wondering if on wheels if it would be better to try and time it, timing would be crucial, to hit right or left rudder all the way plus aileron to somehow get it to turn to its side to have a wing catch the water a little. With wheels i would think no matter what, its going over, if straight ahead. Any thoughts??

  37. #157
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    tempdoug - Have you seen this thread?

    http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...nt-on-Columbia

  38. #158
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    Bill,

    Thanks for the info....hope to get more later. Nothing like training to fall back on when the chips are "all in!".

    Jerry
    If the pilot fears to test his skills with the elements, he has chosen the wrong profession.....Lindbergh

  39. #159
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    Thanks Bill for the very informative post. Last Christmas Jen awarded me a survival vest knowing where I now take the cub. I honestly had scoffed at them before until I saw one on Jim Crane. I respect Jim as a very steady Eddie pilot and new that it was good sound reasoning for him to wear one. I do have Mustang SOS for float flying but have got away from wearing them.
    Thanks for a little dope slap to put common sense back in order.

    Once again I thank God you are here to tell the story!
    John
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a well preserved body but rather to slide in sideways, well used up proclaiming "WOW What a Ride"

  40. #160
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    Bill
    That story is not nearly as interesting as the one going around the rumor mill. That one had you floating downstream clinging to an inflatable doll. I'm glad you set us straight.
    In all seriousness, sharing your story will no doubt save a life someday , based on how and where many of us fly, maybe mine. Thank you.

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