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Do You Remember Your First Off Airport Landing?PleaseShare

Does a polo field count? It shouldn't. It was way too smooth and flat as a pancake.
 
FIRST OFF FIEL LANDING

AFTER SOME VARIOUS SERIOUS PREPORATION I WAS GOING TO LAND ON A GRAVEL BAR IN ALASKA. I HAD A TCRATE F 19 WITH THE O 200 IN IT AND KNEW IT WOULD BE AN EASY TASK . OFF I WENT AND PURCHASSED SOME OF THOSE 26 INCH GOOD YEAR TIRES FOR THE OCCASION . I MOUTED THEM AND SOON FOUND OUT IT SLOWED AN ALREADY SLOW PLANE 10 MPH SLOWER . WELL FLYING FROM FLINT MICHIGAN IS A LONG TRIP SO I THOUGH SHIPPING THOS NICE TIRES OFF TO A FRIEND IN KOTZEBUE AND I WOULD CHANGE THEM WHEN I GOT THERE . I WENT TO THE POSTAL DEPARTMENT AND THEY PROMISED ME THE TIRES WOULD BE THERE WAITING FOR ME IN TWO WEEKS . I HAD INSTALLED 3 EXPENSIVE VIDEO CAMERAS AND THIS WAS TO BE A REAL EVENT IN MY LIFE VIDEOING MY FIRST OFF AIRPORT LANDING . WELL , EVERY MORNING I WOULD GO TO THE POST OFFICE AND NO TIRES , WHAT A LET DOWN . ALL OF THE LOCAL FELLOWS HAD GONE UP ON THE KELLY RIVER TO FISH ARCTIC CHAR AND I AM IN KOTZEBUE WAITING IT OUT . THEN I DECIDED I SHOULD GO UP AND LOOK OVER MY NEW LANDING SITE WITH THE 8:50 X 6 TIRES I HAD ON . THERE WAS 6 PLANES THERE ON THE GRAVEL BAR BUT WITH THESE TIRES I DECIDED NOT TO LAND . THEN I WENT ON DOWN TO THE NOATAK BELOW WHERE THE KELLY DUMPS IN AND LANDED ON A HALF MILE LONG GRAVEL BAR . SOUNDED LIKE THE PLANE WAS COMMING UNGLUED (FORGOT TO LET SOME OF THE AIR OUT OF THE 8:50'S ) SO I AM LEARNING . AFTER TWO MONTH MY TIRES FINALLY CAME IN . I ASK THE ESKIMO LADY CLERK IF I OWED HER ANY MONEY AND WITH A PUZZLED LOOK SHE SAID " DIDN'T YOU PAY WHEN YOU SHIPPED THEM ?" I SAID YES BUT YOU HAVE HAD THEM TWO MONTHS AND I THOUGH YOU WERE GOING TO CHARGE ME STORAGE . WELL WITH A NOT TOO FRIENDLY A GESTURE SHE TOLD ME WHERE TO GO WHILE EVERYONE LAUGHED AS SHE WAVED THAT FINGER IN THE AIR . I THINK SHE WAS TIRED OF SEEING ME EVERY DAY .
WOW , I HAVE THE TIRES ON AND I AM HEADED FOR THE KELLY TO SHOW THE BOYS I COULD LAND ON GRAVEL BARS . UP THE KELLY TO THE FAVORITE FISHING HOLE / GRAVEL BAR AND NOT A SOLE THERE . THEY HAD ALL GONE HOME WITH PLEANTY OF FISH IN THEIR POKES . THAT WEEKEND I DID GET TO GO UP WITH THE LOCALS AND HAD A FINE TIME FISHING AT THE WRENCH CREEK BAR ON THE KELLY RIVER.
CUBNUT1000
 
A J-3 landing on an island in the Mississippi River. Due to about 17 years of search and rescue flying, I still have more landings and takeoffs off airport than on. My wife (then my girlfriend) used to pack a picnic lunch and we'd go land on one of the river islands and picnic under the wing while watching the towboats go by. 'Twas fun....
JimC
 
I guess I should chime in here, in a negative (reverse) sort'a way...

I've never yet done an ON airport landing. Took my instruction last year on my floats, and switched to skiis in fall. The phrase "most fun you can have w/clothes on" is very accurate (s'pecially @ my age, I'm a '47 model) :) My tires are in a dark/cool cupboard in the shop.

My first solo landing was on glassy water, and after listening/reading/visualizing lots, I actually greased it on. Used up lots of lake on approach, mind you, but it was a good'un. I'm finding hard snow/ice to be waaay less forgiving, usually performing a soft bounce or two. Landed on about 5" of new snow the other day & could only HEAR it touch on.

It feels like my butt is gonna drag any moment tho (after only being used to float struts). Taking off is fun, flyin' around is entertaining, but LANDING is (still) the real rush for me. The concentration, coordination, anticipation, and that heartfelt "ahhh, good'un" is what blows my skirt up.
 
I guess I should chime in here, in a negative (reverse) sort'a way...

I've never yet done an ON airport landing. Took my instruction last year on my floats, and switched to skiis in fall. The phrase "most fun you can have w/clothes on" is very accurate (s'pecially @ my age, I'm a '47 model) :) My tires are in a dark/cool cupboard in the shop.

My first solo landing was on glassy water, and after listening/reading/visualizing lots, I actually greased it on. Used up lots of lake on approach, mind you, but it was a good'un. I'm finding hard snow/ice to be waaay less forgiving, usually performing a soft bounce or two. Landed on about 5" of new snow the other day & could only HEAR it touch on.

It feels like my butt is gonna drag any moment tho (after only being used to float struts). Taking off is fun, flyin' around is entertaining, but LANDING is (still) the real rush for me. The concentration, coordination, anticipation, and that heartfelt "ahhh, good'un" is what blows my skirt up.
 
On an old railroad grade (I think) in Noxon Montana. There's a windsock mounted atop the adjacent tavern. Yee-haw!

Rooster
 
Off airport Landing

About 1957 in our Farm House I found my dad sitting in a chair with half a broom handle in his hand, practicing take offs and landing ect. He was starting his first lesson at Kenmore Air Harbor. He said the float plane was available for $1,500. and he would like to buy it. This is my earlyest memory of airplanes.
Years later, I got out of the service and knew I wanted to get married, but wanted to get my pilot Licence before I tied the knot, might not be able to afford it afterwards. That was 1972 and in 2003 I remember cleaning out my room and came accross that pilot licence and log book. Never flew since 1972. Out of lifes disappointments, I through it all in the garbage can and my dream died right there.
Two weeks later, I was working in Seattle and parked in my truck near a lake called Lake Union eating my sack lunch. Thats when my eyes focused on a Blue and White SuperCub on floats made by CubCrafters on floats, it was new and beautiful. Love at first sight !
I searched the garbage can ten times and the whole room. It was all gone. Sent for a lost pilot licence and got a new one. Started training again, Then Bought a supercub project and held the first Supercub flyin in Snohomish. Thats when Lonnie H. of Big Rocks and Long Props took me for a ride and we landed on the river banks and played with that cub for a hour or longer. This was my new goal, my dream to do this.
A year later I bought a 170B so I could fly it while rebuilding my cub, Then I sold everything I owned in the way of land and bought 5 acers on a airport with a hanger. My plan, is to build a cub like David J. has thats Green and white on floats, this will complete my dream my dad had that never got off the ground.
Then the 31" BushWheels will go on as well that Gunny won at Johnson Creek and gave to me for putting on the SuperCub Flyin's Along with several other cub friends.
So I can say honestly, I have yet to make my own solo landing off airport. But when I do, I hope its at a high lake somewhere on floats. Im going to taxi up to the beach and turn the plane around and give thanks to my Dad and all my SuperCub friends who helped me see this dream come true.
 
Good luck with your rebuild Bill.

It was good to meet you at Graham.

Lance
 
Well as it is I have two firsts, the first ride in a light plane was in a Pacer and 15 min into the flight I was hooked and then it was in to the Hells canyon and Doug Bar in November!! WOW is pretty much all I can remember thinking.

Well 9 years later I am soloed and plan for the day is to land on the dirt next to 33 here at Joseph as my first "off feild" (not asphalt) landing. When low and behold Bill and Shawn decide that they are going to go check cows and horses so I figured I would tag along. The livestock was all there thank goodness and the word was Doug Bar so off we went to see how the Bar was, after a few seconds I asked "What about me" and the answer was " Well you can either land or stay up here and circle around while we relax" so in I went Doug bar or bust!!! well hopefully not Bust.. All went went well and got in and out with out a glitch. That one will deffinitly be filed in the memory banks for years to come. :D
 
Off Airport Landing

The one float landing I remember the most was in 1983. Had our first Cub for a short time and still a little rough around the edges when it came to docking etc. Wife and I went to a small lake on the West Coast of Vancouver Island that had lots of overhanging limbs branches and steep banks making it difficult to fit in a suitable spot. Had chopped the power and with everything shut down she got out on the float to help with the "arrival". Things still weren't going well and while not actually meaning it I said "jump in". Next thing I heard was a loud splash and there she was over her waist in the water holding on to the float and a rope. Think her main concern was maintaining the investment. Now there's a keeper!! Can't remember but probably hadn't figured out what paddles were for.
 
My first off field landing was in a glider, as were the next 11. Then I started flying the Supercub. First off field landing in the cub was a river gravel bar. After the gravel bars for a while, then onto an alpine meadow. The meadow was very remote, and I could not check it out except from the air. Everything was ok with the meadow. Then onto floats and skis. Nowadays most of my landings are off field, except when I return to the airport. I have not been back to the meadow or the gravel bars as it's either floats or skis now, and the big tires just sit in the back of the hanger gathering dust.

M1
 
Alaska statute 02.15.260(5): "airport" means an area of land or water that is used or intended for use for the landing and take-off of aircraft....
Everyplace i have landed I intended to do so (so far), therefore I have never landed off airport in Alaska.
;-)
Regards,
Flapman
 
landing

Kink river gravel bar by pioner pk.
In 1974 I just finished building my first cub. I had back seat time but had
never taken off or landed a plane. the cub was assembled at what is now
hill top strip about three miles from birchwood Ak. at that time it was 1200'
with trees all around it. Early in the morning with nobody around I was taxing around trying to get the feel of the tail wheel. Well that was going
good so I started giving it some blasts of power. Well that got out of control and ended up in the air with trees and parked cubs to close to try
and stop. So now I was flying and afraid to try and land so headed up
the river and find a biggggg bar to land. After about 30 take offs and
landings i got up enough nerve to go home and land.
So my big thrill was to land back at home. Then it was off to see the instructor.
 
My first off-airport landing also was near the Knik Glacier, Alaska in 1980, I think. It was in my first airplane, a 7ACA Champ with my mother in the back seat. The motor let go just as we got to the glacier. Luckily, I had enough room to turn back out and ended up on one of several enormous gravel bars at the bottom. Might have been one of my better landings even with my mom pounding me on the back yelling, "Land it! Land it! Oh, please land it!!!" She passed two years ago, but I remember it just like it was yesterday. Nowadays off-airport landings are just another aspect of flying little taildraggers and I don't think much about 'em. But my mom never flew with me again. Good story that made it to Flying's "I learned about flying from that" feature.
 
I don't remember the first off airport landing but I do remember one of my last off field airport landings. I was lucky to retrieve the plane after I stopped and looked at what was needed for a takeoff I thought I was there until the river dried up.
WranglesSt_Elies_Wilderness_125.jpg
 
Tame by most people's standards, but this is in farm about 1200', some good rolls and I only have 8.5's on.

It was a great experience though and I'm looking forward to the next one!

Wilburs_field_small.JPG
 
It was 1971 and I had 2 or 3 hours in my "new" 1946 Aerona Champ 7AC with large, smooth tires and an 85 hp engine (N3005E). I was a newly licensed pilot, and it was just before hunting season so my best friend, Jim Hansen, and I wanted to scout the Totatlinika Trail for moose and access. I loaded my rifle, a funnel, and 5 gal of 80/87 into the Champ and we were off! My previous flying experience was a pilot's license at 40 hours in a Cherokee 140 at Jeffco Airport in Colorado.

The airplane had a 13 gallon tank, and I was told it burned about 5 GPH. I watched our time as we flew from Fairbanks, and announced to Jim we had to return in order to have enough fuel reserve. Of course we had a headwind, and despite having enough fuel (in my calculations) to reach Fairbanks, my fuel indicator started to roll to "E" which made me very nervous. I kept staring at the guage and refiguring my fuel, and I knew I should be O.K.

Except, could the quick drain be leaking? Could the fuel line be leaking? Could the tank be dented and not actually hold 13 gallons? Could the engine be using 8 GPH instead of 5? All of the questions were flying through my mind, and I'd look down on the swamps which meant a major crash landing with no hope of recovering the airplane with a high probability of injury.

I told Jim everything, and we immediately headed for the Tanana River and looked for a silt bar to land on. We found a silt bar, probably as long as Fairbanks International, but it still looked dangerous with sticks and willows and logs everywhere. After the second pass I pulled the power and announced that was it, we would take whatever came. We successfully came to a stop, both jumped out and whooped it up. After relieving myself in the bushes (I was really scared after all) I put the 5 gallons in and we took off.

Turns out the gauge was not calibrated correctly, and I had had plenty of fuel.

The lessons were 1) I didn't know my airplane and its peculiar characteristics 2) I had done the right thing by landing with power before my engine stopped 3) Having extra fuel and funnel with chamois was a good thing 4) and it was possible to land on a silt bar and still live.

I can still see my final approach picture in my mind, the dry silt, willows and logs and silty river to my left. Sadly my best friend died in a PA-12 snowstorm crash in Windy Pass with another friend Gary Montgomery in winter 1974-75. Jim was a great friend, loads of fun, and although he got me into a lot of trouble I chuckle about the experiences now and am glad to have those precious memories.

That first off-airport landing will always be one of my brightest memories!
 
redrooster said:
On an old railroad grade (I think) in Noxon Montana. There's a windsock mounted atop the adjacent tavern. Yee-haw!

Rooster

Unfortunately Pacific Power & Light owns that property that the railroad grade is on and they decided to subdivide the property along the river downstream and closed that unofficial landing strip. They did so by pushing up big berms in several places - like speed bumps but bigger.

Image0024.jpg


Here it is about year 2000 and without speed bumps.
 
Once again I'm reading a post and thinking "cool..but I'd have nothing to add" and once again a memory bubbles up from the 172 straight tail days. By the way they were not very long. I couldn't really afford ownership and MAINTENANCE but they sure were fun. Anyway must have been early eighties (they all were) and I saw an add for some "cheap" property (40 acres 5000$??)in eastern Washington somewhere north of Spokane. I called and the guy said "oh yeah, theres a runway, I''ll have the neighbor mow it for you this weekend". Further questioning revealed it was really just a farmers field on the side of a river canyon but someone had landed there "once". "Just follow the river north and when you see the field on the side of the canyon ,land". Well early one morning soon I and a friend I talked into going with me headed out to the airport. As I was doing my pre-flight I stopped in the middle to fill the oil to the top. After adding a couple of quarts I took the cans back to the trash and then continued the pre-flight. About three hours later we arrived at the "strip" which was on the side of the canyon (prolly 12-1500'). I did a nice short field landing and shut down. Exiting the plane I was greeted with an oily mess all over the bottom and side. Arggh. I had left the filler cap off (anytime I interupted a pre-flight after that I always started over from the beginning). No houses to be seen and here we were on the side of this steep canyon. A quick look see at the property and then begin the trip home. Pre-flight-inside-latch doors and hit "start" Nothing. No power at all. Damn. "must be oil on the contactor" No tools. No place to tie the plane down and no help. OK "heres how you run the switch, hold the brakes like so.. heres what I'll say" etc. I prop a plane "succesfully" for the first time in my life. All goes well, I hold it on the ground till we fly off the cliff and we head for Wenatchee about 1.5 hours away for fuel. I land and pull up by the terminal and a bunch of people start clapping, smiling and waving..?? It was just a normal landing?? huh? After shutting down I get out and wrapped all over the stabilizer and elevator and gear was this neatly combed very long grass covering the empenage. I guess it looked like I had been flying very low over the fields. dave

spinner2 said:
redrooster said:
On an old railroad grade (I think) in Noxon Montana. There's a windsock mounted atop the adjacent tavern. Yee-haw!

Rooster

Unfortunately Pacific Power & Light owns that property that the railroad grade is on and they decided to subdivide the property along the river downstream and closed that unofficial landing strip. They did so by pushing up big berms in several places - like speed bumps but bigger.

Image0024.jpg


Here it is about year 2000 and without speed bumps.
 
My BIL asked me, some years back, to take him out to his mechanic's shop ", near Palmer" since I had a newly acquired PA-12. Sure, sounds good, glad to help out, ASSUMING, that we'd walk from the Palmer airport to the shop.

Lo and behold, as we're about 5 miles shy of Palmer and I'm getting ready to call the FSS, my BIL calls out "that's the place, right down there"

...OK, well, I've never landed off-airport, but the 12 has biggish tires, I've learned to slip it pretty good, and the (mowed) hay field looks pretty good. So I get all setup and then my BIL jumps in again: "The reason that it's not mowed on the far end is that there's a ditch and a fence there." Well, wasn't planning to get anywhere near the far end, but now I can't stop thinking about it.

Anyway, landing is uneventful (if longer than I would have liked) and very tame compared to what the real cub jockeys do, but it was the first one. Really liked the absence of asphalt grab on the tires.
 
My first landing was my first off airport landing. 26" wheels on a frozen lake, in a snowstorm. I did did all my PPT on ski's, aside from this first flight.
FirstFlight112.jpg
 
My first was with Pierce and Tom Ford on the way to JC 2015.

Nokai Dome. A two track at 6500 msl.

My knees were shaking when I got out.

Beautiful there, though.








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The "runway".
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Roger the shaky knees! My first was frozen Windfall Lake near Juneau in my T-Craft, 1975. 8.00 X 6.00 tires.
 
Owyhee Reservoir lakebed, New Years Eve, 2010. I was playing around at the nearby airstrip, and thought, why not? Surface was frozen, like concrete. I did roll over a couple of rocks with the new (used) 29" Bushwheels, didn't even feel them.
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Not the first but a little league baseball field surrounded with a 8' chainlink fence and picked up a skydiver to fly out in my C90 pa11. Don't let friends pressure you into doing stupid things.

Glenn
 
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