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Cliff's Big Adventure - Big Trees & Big Tires - Clip B


New Gloucester, Maine
Cliff’s Big Adventure – Big Trees & Big Tires – Clip B

See Link below for video

I have had my fill of landing on Pavement with small wheels. I bought the big bush wheels and thought that might make me the Bush Pilot I dream of becoming. However after seeing those Big Rocks and Long Props videos I thought geez I am no bush pilot. There is only one way to become a bush pilot – get out there and land in the bush!

My friends have been hunting in Northern Maine all week on Lake Chesuncook. It’s a 4 hour drive north – or one and a half hours by super cub. I used Google Earth to explore the camp roads in the area and it looked landable – so early Saturday morning I stuffed all my hunting gear into the super cub and headed north.

I found my friends camp – then headed about a mile east where the nearest landable camp road was located. I soon recognized my friend’s truck and not long after I saw him and three others come out of the woods. My friend said when he first heard the airplane he thought it was a ranger but then when he realized it was 12 inches above the trees tops he said - that must be Cliff!!

It was difficult to control myself – I really wanted to just pop down and celebrate a successful trip – however I had a lot of planning to do – for one I had no idea which way the wind was blowing. It would really not be a good idea to be landing downwind 10 mph faster than needed on a bumpy camp road. I used my GPS and just headed in one direction and observed my ground speed – then headed in the other direction and soon I had the wind direction figured out. My instructor once showed me another way – just pick a point and fly a 20 degree circle around it – if you hold a 20 degree turn and the wind is blowing – you will find you have drifted away from the point – so where the point is when you are finished is where the wind is blowing from.

The camp road was long – so I needed to pick a particular point which looked like the beginning of the best stretch – it’s critical that you not hit a tree with the wings – even a small soft pine branch hitting your wing out 18 feet from the center of gravity has HUGE leverage to spin you sideways.

In my opinion a good bush pilot MUST know how to slip the heck out of his airplane – drop it like a rock. You MUST hit that touchdown zone. With a narrow camp road a slip can be tricky. If there is a small wide open area – that is where you want to get the heck down – you sure don’t want to be hitting any branches up high – getting spun sideways 10 foot off the ground while bleeding off speed would be a lot more survivable than at 40 feet while making a long approach into a camp road like this one. I wonder if shutting off the master switch would be a good idea – since that might minimize the potential for fire if you did have a mishap?

You might see a deer run out at the last minute – if you have the airspeed you might pop over him and then suddenly find you have a really short track left & no option of aborting – if you can slip fast – you might it.

I used a large dead tree on the right side of the road as the marker for the beginning of the good spot. Soon I was down.

Once again I forgot that flying an airplane does not stop until you shut the engine off. I had to taxi about a half mile to where my friends were parked - I taxied slow but completely forgot to pay attention to the trees on either side. The road narrowed and I ran into a small pine tree towards the end – no damage but I felt a little foolish.

I hunted during the day on Saturday. That evening I showed my friends the video and geeze I had nightmares all that night wondering what I had in store for getting out of there. Fortunately the departure was uneventful & due to the amazing capabilities of the Super Cub I was soon way above the trees.

After landing on this camp road – landing at my place sure seemed like a breeze!!

I’ve been videotaping with a Sony Handycam which burns right to a mini DVD disc – I mount it with a RAM mount. Landings are easy – since the engine does not vibrate. The big bush tires definitely help. In cruise – often the video fails due to the vibrations - however if I hold it in my hands – it works great. It’s really nice to be able to go back and relive the flight. So now you know what to get your spouse for a Christmas present!

Cliff in Maine
Would like to have your videos is mpg or avi format.

Nice landings, but I cannot save from YouTube.
I have never flown a cub with a stall horn.
I want a couple of my students to watch this so they can hear it burp when a little bank is added here and there. Maybe it will help them remember something about banks and stall speeds...

I think you should call it "Cliff's Big Cahones"...

Nice job Cliff. Next time try landing there on one wheel Then gently let the other wheel down. :D Just kidding. Make sure you check for big pot holes were you're planning on landing. I once hit a woodchuck hole with an ultralite and ripped one wheel clean off. :cry:


Also I would not upgrade to the extended wings.... :eek:

YIKES!! :eek: :lol:

Good thing you had that new FAA/NTSB approved VIDEO DCVR/DFDR running in case something untoward happened!

And to think I scratch my head wondering if I could land on the interstate! I guess since there were no cars it was a no brainer. :crazyeyes:

John Scott
WOW !!!!!! 986 landings at N.H. and now this !!!! Looked alot worse than it probably really was, but it did sure look narrow .

Doesn't look as intimidating from this perspective now does it ?? Piece of cake if you ask me . Could have been problems, but that can happen on runways that are thousands of feet long and as wide as a football field.