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Thread: Worst day at work ever

  1. #1
    DJ's Avatar
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    Worst day at work ever

    I guess I found one of the rarer ways to wreck a Cub. Thought I would write it up here so others can learn from my mistakes.

    It started with a medical emergency call (supposedly life and death) in challenging weather to a difficult airstrip on Thursday, February 3.

    I got a late start (10:30 am) due to weather and a late decision to take a doctor on the flight. This always raises risk in mountain flying. The patient was a long-time friend and though I felt that I was handling the emotional pressure fine, I later realized in hindsight that my risk tolerance on this flight was unconsciously much higher than normal, maybe 30% higher. This is very subtle and maybe one of the biggest lessons to remember.

    The airstrip is a short one-way at about 11,500 ft msl with a challenging profile. Right at my limits in good weather. Even in dry weather, it has issues with orographic fog during the morning and increased risk of tailwinds on final as the day progresses. These factors, especially when I saw the humidity and winds aloft should have been reasons to abort the mission given the characteristics of the airstrip. It really doesn’t tolerate any extra groundspeed on final. I decided to “try” anyway and gave more thought to the weather than the landing. This desire to “try” and save a life was the way I justified going into conditions that I knew were probably beyond the limit. I even told the doctor there was only a 30% chance we could land, but the farther I went successfully, the more positive I felt.

    En-route we were able to follow river valleys west and then north in good visibility, avoiding the numerous rain showers. The conditions were ideal for carb ice and we picked up a bunch in cruise, adding extra stress.

    At the destination, the strip had fog and cloud around and above it but after a few minutes of loitering, I saw a clearing trend in the fog and thought I could try an approach. It would have to be a short high base, turning to final at about ¼ mile. I was outside my comfort zone but I rationalized that it was just a practice shot. There is a go around option down to about 1/8 mile final and I let that be my out without actually deciding if this was a landing attempt or not. About then we got some misty rain on the windshield. This was against my rules for a STOL approach. I almost broke off the approach but with the pressure that this might be my only chance I impulsively chose to continue anyway.

    The approach was a little rushed with high groundspeeds on the GPS initially. They seemed to be trending downwards and a final check before my committed point showed maybe 4 kts left-quartering on the tail. Everything else looked pretty good and I committed. At the threshold I felt some excess groundspeed and must have also been a few feet high due to my fear of being low with water on the windshield. I floated about 100 feet and touched near the base of the steep section of the strip. This immediately creates a bad situation on this strip due to the length and contour challenges.

    The strip is about 450 ft usable with additional 130 ft narrow curving, crowned overrun at the top end with steep drop-offs on both sides. The first ~120 ft is gentle upslope (~8%) then a short 100 ft pitch of 25%, then 10% undulating and becoming narrow towards the top. Off the right side there is a bit of a bowl which sucks the airplane right if care is not taken.

    When I hit the steeper slope still fast, the tail dropped from inertia, I went airborne up the steep pitch and landed at the top. I was right of centerline and drifting toward the bowl on the right. Braking on the wet grass was poor. I knew there was room to get stopped if I could keep it on centerline. With brakes alone, that was not happening so I added a bunch of power and rudder to the left and ended the landing run with a low-speed power ground-loop to the left.

    We came to a complete stop pointing north, perpendicular to the strip and sitting in the bowl off the right side below the crown and maybe 30 ft off centerline. As the plane stopped, the right, outside, uphill wing dipped momentarily but didn’t touch the ground. Then we started to rebound back to the left. The plane balanced for a moment and rolled super slowly onto the left (downhill) wingtip.

    I panicked, thinking the wing would be damaged. In hindsight I am sure it was not. The ground was spongy tundra moss and the tip over was super slow (tire folded). Very anxious to get the plane upright, I shut down and jumped out without setting the brakes. I had tunnel vision at this point from the adrenaline of my bad landing. The plane was more or less perpendicular to the slope in the bowl. I wiggled the strut and noticed the left tire was rolled under and the plane showed no tendency to move so I pulled down to tip it onto both wheels. With the doctor’s help we easily tipped the plane upright. After I let go of the strut to walk back to the cockpit he called out, “watch out, it’s moving!” The tailwheel swiveled and swung downhill aligning the main wheels with the slope which was probably 15%.

    I believe the correct action would have been to grab the tail and steer it back perpendicular to the slope. Instead, I went for the brakes. Pushing on the right brake by hand was not quite enough to lock up the wheel. We were getting pulled slowly down towards the steeper terrain behind and below.

    From there it was like a nightmare as we steadily lost control. Finally the doctor yelled at me to let go. It was a good thing he did as my mind was 100% focused on the plane. When I jumped clear we were moving downhill at close to a run with zero hope of changing the situation. The horror of helplessly watching and hearing a Cub go off the mountain backwards is hard to compare to anything except maybe watching your pet get hit by a car.
    It reached about 30 mph, tail-first. Then the tail fell down a vertical, caved-out part of the hillside and dug in. It reared up vertical, flipped backwards and out of sight into the gully below.

    I sat for a moment on the hillside in utter disbelief hoping I would wake up from a nightmare. I told the doctor, “this is the worse day of my life.” The moment passed and I realized we needed our gear from the plane. When I got to the plane there seemed to be no indication of fire so I got access to the cockpit and shut off the master. I also shut off the 406 ELT which had activated. I didn’t want anyone looking for us as we were not lost or injured and I knew the way to shelter and the way out to a road.

    Gas was trickling out of wing tank vents so I grabbed the fire extinguisher and my Garmin Inreach (broken) and got a little way away. The doctor soon reached me and since there seemed no immediate risk of fire, we retrieved our backpacks and survival gear out of twisted tail of the plane. We also spent nearly an hour looking for his cell phone which we finally found, also undamaged.

    From there we hiked out to the patient’s house in light rain. On the way we found some cell signal but my phone would not connect and had the "emergency calls only" message. Finding no one home at the patients house we assumed the family had evacuated her by land (she ended up being fine). We left our medical gear, gps, headset and handheld radio to save weight for the hike out to a road. About 30 mins farther up the trail I heard a single turbine aircraft approaching. When it circled directly over the wreckage I knew it was one of my friends in the Mano a Mano C-208. There was full cloud cover and light rain so they couldn’t see us or the wreck. I really regretted leaving the handheld behind and thought of returning for it but decided they would only make a couple of circles, giving up the search before I could reach the radio. We hurried up the trail hoping to get cell signal on the ridge. I was wrong. They circled for at least 20 mins directly over the 406 ELT and SPOT tracker coordinates in dangerous conditions trying to get a look at the plane. Once and a while we would see the silhouette of the Caravan through a thin spot in the cloud. I knew these holes made it extra dangerous as they would be motivated to keep trying. Finally, to my relief, they left and shortly after, we reached cell signal and made a call home that we were fine. From the ridge to the next village was an easy hour of downhill and we arrived well before dark and stayed the night with a friend. The next day we hired motorcycles to take us to a main road and arrived home about 42 hours after the incident.

    Comments and criticism welcome. You won't hurt my feelings. I want to learn as much as possible from the mistakes I made.

    P.S. Steve do I get a flip flop hat for this, even though I wasn't in the plane?

    If anyone is cleaning out their hangar, I'll be posting WTB ads for a bunch of stuff for the rebuild effort.

    The recovery effort was unnecessarily exciting...another story. To be continued...
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  2. #2
    DJ's Avatar
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    Photos of the recovery, grueling as it was, the real excitement started half way home. I probably need to wait a bit to share. Suffice it to say we are not in possession of the fuselage at this moment...

    Huge gratitude to the guys and gals that dropped everything to help. Apologies to those of you who have helped with this mission and trusted me to take care of this special Cub. I'm very, very sorry to let you down. To the rest of you, sorry for the awful photos, be careful out there.

    Thankful for God's mercies. No one was hurt in the incident or recovery and we had 3 out of 4 days with good weather during the rainiest month in this very wet cold place.Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  3. #3
    courierguy's Avatar
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    I'll go: First off, sorry as heck about the plane. Your write up is one of the best first person accounts of an aviation related "incident" that I have ever read, absolutely riveting.

    As one who lands slopes a lot, almost exclusively, and while on skis, this has always been in the back of my mind, losing the plane due to it rolling or sliding off a mountain. I have also had a tire (29" Airstreak with 2.5 PSI and a very steep slope with too slow of a turnaround) fold over, it is very disconcerting to say the least. Mine also unfolded once I lifted the wing, no damage to it. Again....what a story, sorry you had to live it.
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  4. #4
    DJ's Avatar
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    This is the same airstrip on a happier day last spring.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eA6gYRqsEMA

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  5. #5
    DJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I'll go: First off, sorry as heck about the plane. Your write up is one of the best first person accounts of an aviation related "incident" that I have ever read, absolutely riveting.

    As one who lands slopes a lot, almost exclusively, and while on skis, this has always been in the back of my mind, losing the plane due to it rolling or sliding off a mountain. I have also had a tire (29" Airstreak with 2.5 PSI and a very steep slope with too slow of a turnaround) fold over, it is very disconcerting to say the least. Mine also unfolded once I lifted the wing, no damage to it. Again....what a story, sorry you had to live it.
    I spared you the 6 page version that I wrote for myself. Someone recommended writing it up in full detail to preserve the lessons and then move on. It has helped.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  6. #6

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    No one was hurt, that's the main thing. Build the plane back up better than it was already, and learn from the mistakes that were made. Shake it off, nothing happened that can't be fixed!
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  7. #7

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    anyone get hurt?

  8. #8
    DJ's Avatar
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    Nope...one broken rib, probably on the back of the long step trying to reach the brakes from the ground. Thankfully I had the doctor to yell at me so I didn't get hooked on something and go down with it.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    Nope...one broken rib, probably on the back of the long step trying to reach the brakes from the ground. Thankfully I had the doctor to yell at me so I didn't get hooked on something and go down with it.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    GOOD!!! then it was just a bad day, not a worst day, we all have them.
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  10. #10

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    Great write up, but very sorry to read it. I for one will learn from it! Hang in there, and thank you for posting! Ken
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  11. #11
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    DJ,

    Glad you are OK and here to write about it.

    Tim

  12. #12
    skukum12's Avatar
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    Grace of God nobody hurt, excellent.
    Planes can be fixed or replaced, obvious.
    Lessons learned, life goes on.
    Seeing an FJ40 in it's element, wish I was behind the wheel.

    Thanks for the write up.
    "Always looking up"

  13. #13

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    The caliber of your character is highlighted in your willingness to share this experience and ask for feedback, WOW! Thank you!
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  14. #14
    mvivion's Avatar
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    An amazing story, indeed! I am glad that nobody was hurt bad. I've left a plane on a mountain, one that had carried me many places safely, and I know the pain of losing a great airplane. But, as a friend told me later, we can find another plane, as long as we are safe and were able to reach safety.

    Your story is compelling and well told. I've landed enough slopes that this is an excellent reminder of the hazards there, and on narrow LZs.

    Glad you're with us to share the story and the warnings.

    MTV
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  15. #15
    flagold's Avatar
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    I'll admit I don't check in very often anymore and sure do hate to see something like this when I do. Glad you and everyone connected is OK. Any of us that have lost one certainly share your pain, but good truthful advice above. Now for the good news: you get to think about all those mods you always wanted!
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  16. #16
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear DJ but really glad only the plane got wrecked, good you and the Doc are okay!

  17. #17
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    Good read of a bad experience. Thanks for sharing. I see a lot of good parts for your rebuild being hauled off the mountain. Sorry as heck that your plane got buggered, but you're still here and can now address all the things that you wanted to change in it.

    -Cub Builder

  18. #18
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    DJ, I am so, so so sorry. I know some of how you feel. You described it quite frankly and I don't even like thinking about it. Time heals all wounds, they don't go away but it gets better.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  19. #19
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    DJ
    Great write up and thanks for sharing. I am sure your recap will help others down the road, so that is a great way to pay it forward.

    As others have said, you will rebuild and make it better.

    The fact that no one (barring a broken rib) was hurt is the most important thing.

  20. #20

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    That is a classic story for " I learned about flying from that. In the old FLYING MAGAZINES. Happy you could talk about it. You and Bill Rusk could give seminars everywhere!
    If you get lost while flying, don't try hail a cop. Pick up the first railroad you find and hug it until you get somewhere.

  21. #21

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    Thank you so much for sharing. I had a pretty scary moment on a similar ridge this past fall, and I’m still processing what went wrong and what I should have done differently. You sharing this account will help in ways you will never know. It is entirely possible that this story will save other people in the future. Sincerely, thank you for sharing.

  22. #22
    aktango58's Avatar
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    This is not what I wanted to see... until I got to the 'we are safe' part.

    Bottom line, tough couple days, and some extra work. Doing what you are doing, with the limited support network, you should rejoice in the accomplishments you have made! Another lesson. They get more expensive as you get better- most of us have had them!

    People safe. That is the goal every day.

    Thank you for sharing. It seems to me the Doc that was with you deserves his own hat also.

    Keep the faith in the mission, and forge ahead, you now know what plane you need next- build it!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  23. #23
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Your humility in emphasizing decision making impressed me.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO

  24. #24
    DJ's Avatar
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    You guys are very kind. I expected some to say I had no business landing strips like that. They would probably be right. Much of what I have done has been higher risk than I was admitting to myself. In hindsight, good training is cheap. I didn't prioritize it properly.

    I've been reviewing the feeling I have on final approach to each of my strips. On that strip it was always very, very tense. Too close to my limit.

    In the first few hours after the accident I wanted to leave the plane right there and quit. I had to decide not to be that guy.
    I've been around pilots who refuse to discuss near-fatal accidents and analyze their mistakes. That didn't help me respect them more or fly safer.

    The culture here makes sharing mistakes okay. On this forum there is an understanding of the risks and rewards, plus a desire to improve and be safer.

    Many very good pilots have shared their mistakes here for our benefit. Steve Pierce, Bill Rusk, Paul Claus, Greg Miller, Mike Vivian to name a few. I am very grateful for those stories. They stick.

    The reflex to add power during the rollout was from a PC-6 pilot in Indonesia who slid off a steep strip and shared his lessons. His words came back to me in the moment. I may owe my life to that guy.

    The ministry was already planning a move in March to a low altitude, jungle region with lots of riverbar landing zones. Rebuilding with the Airframes 4 place fuselage is really tempting.

    How much extra work it would be?

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    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  25. #25
    aktango58's Avatar
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    The ability to put the flight into perspective, analyze where you made decisions that maybe should have told you not to continue, and the fact you had the skill to actually overcome many really big issues should show you that you have the ability to continue doing great things down there. Most pilots that fly remote have had some really scary moments, they taught us lessons, some expensive. After enough times of sweat and fear, you learn that the ability to control the plane can override the odds of success... which is when the judgement becomes the main factor in go/no go decisions- and you say no to flights that your ability can succeed, but the percentage for success is not acceptable.


    I still remember a winter boating safety meeting, rescue procedures in bad weather came up. The instructor, a very well respected guy, emphasized that the most important piece is to not add to the victim count.

    In the Medivac world some companies don't tell pilots anything about the patient, only pickup and destination. The reason is that the life in current danger is not worth multiple lives/equipment loss; often it isn't life and death for the patient anyway. Bottom line, is risking your and a doctor's life really going to help long term for your mission?

    The internal struggle to help collides with the need to preserve your passenger and your own life. Sometimes the decision has no right answer. My old boss would say: It only takes one oops to go from hero to zero. Keeping risk low for flights is acceptable, and should never be scoffed at. NO needs to be easy for pilots.

    Webb says it best: Life is tough, wear a cup.

    The 4 place cub might be a bonus for your mission. I can not imagine it would take much more time to build than a standard cub, pretty much the same parts and pieces. Keep the faith, step forward one step at a time until you can run forward again.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  26. #26

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    We learn from our mistakes. No shame in that.

  27. #27
    Mauleguy's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear this DJ. Only someone who has lost an airplane knows how hard we are on ourselves dissecting the event over and over again in our heads. Waking up after a lot of bad nights of sleep still thinking maybe it was only a dream in our half awake state of being... Glad you let go and are here to share the story. That is a tough spot to land in good conditions for sure. Take care of yourself Brother it will slowly become a bad memory.

    All the best,

    Greg

  28. #28
    CenterHillAg's Avatar
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    The bad dream feeling is a weird one while you’re standing there looking at a pile of metal that was a beautiful machine moments before. Don’t beat yourself up, but take an honest assessment of what went wrong and what to do differently next time. I get pushing your mental limits in the name of completing a mission, I destroyed an ag plane hitting a wire. It was the same model I had a couple thousand hours in, only it had a turbine instead of a radial, and I let my guard down and ignored the mental limits in my head. Similarly to you having a personal connection, I was rushing to finish in order to make it to a friends visitation, who was killed while trying to push through fog while spraying. The memory and sounds never will go away, but the guilt will subside after a while.

    There’s no hero pay, so no reason to be one.
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  29. #29

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    Sorry you had to go through this. But thank you for posting.

    Very glad that both humans are OK.

    Please don't forget to post that recovery story. It looks like a giant undertaking and honestly a story worth reading. I've helped with some recoveries, but never from a remote gully high in the Andes. Had to be a huge challenge.

    But most importantly glad to still have you on the list.
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  30. #30
    SJ's Avatar
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    DJ, very glad you are ok, thanks for sharing your story.

    sj

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    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  31. #31
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    I am proud of you for posting the story. I have a full video of a screw up I made in Idaho last fall. No metal got bent, but my ego was bruised for a long time! Short story, I had to make a go around at a NO go around spot. I aborted a bit late and only a turbo charged engine saved me from my poor decision making. I learned a LOT that day!

    I was not as brave as you to post about it. I am only recently starting to talk about it.

  32. #32
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    I would not have risked a passenger on that flight, especially where there is a road.

    Sorry to be the lone ass. Thanks for telling your story.
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  33. #33
    Scouter's Avatar
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    I think that was a Dan Dufault cub N118AK? He worked a lot of magic in that bird. One of the best flying Cubs ever
    jim
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  34. #34
    DJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
    I think that was a Dan Dufault cub N118AK? He worked a lot of magic in that bird. One of the best flying Cubs ever
    jim
    Yes...good performer and pretty light. It was 1120 on 31s before we bought it. With a pod and 35s it was 1160. With the lead times on everything else a quicker option is Univair's 10 ft tail section and build it back how it was.



    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  35. #35
    DJ's Avatar
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    The rest of the story.

    Day 1 was a 14 hour drive in with 4 vehicles. Our friends from International Tribal Ministries and Mano a Mano Foundation loaned two 4x4s and 5 mechanics. The recovery would have been almost impossible without their help. A trailer was not an option due to road conditions. I had a doctor and a dentist along to give medical and dental care to the community members while the mechanics were working. The last couple hours going in we used the 4-wheel drive, but no one got stuck and no landslides blocked the road (very common this time of year). We were blessed with good weather three of the four days.

    Day 2 we hiked the 3 hours to the plane. The mechanics had the Cub apart in 5-6 hours. A contingent of about 25 locals waited patiently while we worked, fed us a meal of roast lamb and potatoes and did most of the hauling. We packed cylinders, instruments and all the small parts in 5 gal buckets with lids for transport on mules. One mechanic had 100 yards of bubble wrap and a roll of stretch wrap. He was busy packing as the others disassembled. That night we split up and stayed with the nearest neighbors in their thatched huts.

    Day 3 the mechanics hiked out with the tools while the locals shuttled parts to the cars. The wings went out on people's backs, the engine on some poles. We turned a gear leg inside out, braced it with the upside-down cabane and lashed it in place. That allowed the fuselage to go rolling on one tire. By the end of the second day all the pieces were on the vehicles.

    Day 4 we got an early start and 4-wheeled the 3 hours back to dry roads. About halfway home we rounded a narrow bend on the mountainside and saw a group of vehicles blocking the next intersection. As we approached, ten police in fatigues with weapons drawn, dismounted and ran up the road towards us. There was a lot of shouting and chaos. They demanded all cell phones and radios and warned us not to make a call. A couple of our guys got handcuffed, the rest were made to sit on the ground. I thought it was pretty extreme for a routine road checkpoint. I was right, it wasn't routine, they were looking for me!

    The major who started interviewing me almost fell over when I told him I was the pilot and in charge of the team. He thought he was talking to a ghost because on social media I was dead and buried hastily by the wreckage. Turns out some local youth had visited the plane, taken a number of photos and posted them. We were told the comments ran pretty wild. The police had been "looking" for us for 3 days.

    We were able to quickly and effectively prove our innocence. The day of the accident I had passed the routine narcotics check with K-9 presence, before takeoff, and had evidence of this. We had notified the Civil Aviation authority the same day of the accident and I submitted a full report the following week with all the details of our plans to recover the airplane, including dates and locations. I had also invited Civil Aviation inspectors to accompany our expedition. They ended up deciding it didn't quality as an air accident and declined to investigate.

    With this info, our doctor’s credentials, and the fact we were recovering the plane and not trying to hide anything, the officers relaxed. Our name was clear. But, they still had a problem. If they let us go, it would be admitting a pretty costly mistake on their part. A 1-minute phone call to Civil Aviation, or their own officers at the airport who had signed my flight plan, would have saved launching 3 squads and 2 helicopters on a 3-day goose chase. Needless to say, we got a police escort the rest of the way home. Then they detained and questioned the whole team till 2am at the police headquarters.

    I got pretty tired of them trumping things up and saying we had been "denounced" so I risked more trouble and challenged the Coronel on that. Was a social media post an accusation? Did it have more weight than the documents and evidence I had already shared with him? What right did they have to detain us, especially the doctors? He admitted they had no evidence against us and that we were voluntarily being taken for questioning. I responded that I would at least send the docs home, to which he countered with a threat to arrest us if we tried....sigh. He also informed me that the fuselage would be subject to a microscopic vacuum inspection in the morning and then released if the test was negative.

    Bottom line, we survived the night. I crashed for 30 mins before I had to be up chasing documents for our 8am inspection back at headquarters. Thankfully I got in touch with a lawyer that I trust and he agreed to drop everything and come.


    The fuselage passed the test. You might think "of course." But it wasn't that simple. The plane had been on the mountain for 10 days with no guard. People had been there touching it and taking pictures. Someone could have easily planted something on it in that time, or during the night at headquarters. There was a real chance I would go straight to jail.


    That was February 17, and even though the judge said we could collect our goods after 5pm if the test was negative, we still don't have the fuselage. I've been back trying to get permission to inspect for damage but that was not allowed.

    I believe God turns all these things for good, so that is the way I’m choosing to look at the situation. Will we get our parts back? Yeah, I’m pretty sure we will, but it may take a while. Meanwhile, since our paths have crossed, we will be praying for the officer’s salvation. Please join us. The value of one soul is infinitely beyond estimation.
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  36. #36
    DJ's Avatar
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    Very thankful for great help, good roads, and the fact that a Cub might be the most repairable plane on earth.

    Only got one picture of our escort.

    30 hours of dirt roads took its toll on the 'ol FJ40. Lots of screws missing and bolts sheared on the natural gas controller from the vibrations.

    Very thankful the crankshaft wasn't bent!Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  37. #37
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Hang in there DJ. God Bless you and the entire team. Thanks for the post.

    Bill
    Very Blessed. "It's not an obsession, it's a passion"
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  38. #38
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    Well high time for an update.

    We finally did get the fuselage back from the police on March 18. Rebuildable, but maybe a big job without a jig. We decided to seize the opportunity to build a four place Cub.

    Most of that decision is prompted by a move from Cochabamba at 8350 ft msl to Rurrenabaque at 650 ft msl to work a more need-saturated area. 80-90% of the flying will be relatively low altitude jungle ops where the bigger frame and higher gross could be a benefit. With the stock fuselage I would hit 1950 lbs, aft CG limit and bulk out with two slim docs and their gear. 1950 lbs was my limit to have any performance above 14K. That shouldn't be as much of an issue at low DAs.

    A big hurdle was finding some 2300 lb gross wings to take advantage of the extra volume of the four place. I really wanted Javron wings as we need to keep this Cub as light as possible to still have altitude capability. I had given up and was ready to scrap the four place idea when someone told me to call Bill Rusk. Turns out he still has a set of round tip Javron wings and was willing to part with them to help us out. Thanks Bill!

    Airframes is promising July 28 or sooner for delivery. I'm hoping to do most of the work in Georgia starting in August and ship to Bolivia as complete as possible for final assembly.

    So here is how its shaping up...

    I'm reusing the Engine, Accessories, Gear, Tires, Shocks, Instruments, Radios, Seat, Pedals, Torque Tube, Trim, pulleys etc.

    Working on finding nose bowl, tanks, struts, and tail feathers with oversized elevators.

    I can get by with stock flaps and tanks (have so far) but it is tempting to try Carbon Concepts new 23 gal tanks that drop in the 18 gal wing bay, and PSTOL flaps would be nice but I don't "need" them. Kirk says the four place comes in flatter than a stock Cub. The fuselage must have something to do with that. He says the round tip wing will not come in quite as slow when heavy but unless you are really "squeaking it" the round tip will work fine.

    Other items to decide: Fabric system, floorboards, baggage door, interior...

    Suggestions welcome

    DJ
    Last edited by DJ; 04-21-2022 at 10:37 AM.
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1

  39. #39
    SJ's Avatar
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    DJ, I finally had time this morning to catch up on this post. Man you live an exciting life! Keep up the great work you are doing and thanks for sharing all of this with us!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  40. #40
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    DJ


    2x 18 gallon tanks come with those wings.

    Bill
    Very Blessed. "It's not an obsession, it's a passion"
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