Bush flying in the High Sierra

High SierraIt seems everyone loves the idea of bush flying – and the more remote and different, the better!

Well, click this link to an excellent short video (sent to me by a UK subscriber – thank you!) which covers a group trip in the Sierra Nevada. Keep watching – there’s a great landing towards the end, by the Maule in the photo above. Be sure to click the ‘HD’ (high definition) button and view in full screen!

And here’s a write up of the video by online blog ‘Flight Club’:

“High in the plateaus of the Sierra Nevada, internal combustion engines struggle for breath in the thin mountain air. Where the landing roll is short, but take-off distance is eternal. Follow a group of modern day trailblazers on a high-flying expedition to a giant sandbox for pilots.

Remote backcountry bush flying might conjure images of tiny dirt strips carved into the dense forest of toothpick pines at the base of a snow capped Alaskan mountain. Or strapping on floats and taking a dip into an ancient glacier lake in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, but behold the pilot’s playground in the dry, arid heat of western Nevada. Just southeast of Lake Tahoe, acres upon acres of public property under the domain of the Bureau of Land Management offer various remote landing sites between 4,000 ft and 12,000 ft above sea level.

Now every year 60-70 airplanes gather in mid October to be led by local expert Kevin Quinn on a guided tour to find the last legal landing destinations in the little remaining untamed frontier. The “High Sierra” tour consists of huge roaring campfires at night and short daytime excursions. Even if you don’t have giant bushwheels there is a plethora of dry lake beds, smooth grassy meadows and finely packed sandy strips in entertain pilots of every make and model light aircraft.”

There’s even more information about the video and the people who made it  on the Backcountry Pilot Website (click here).

Maybe we should organise another trip to Lake Eyre??

Bush flying

Backcountry PilotA good website for bush flying information is Back Country Pilot. They have just released an article and YouTube video about planning and executing safe short field take-offs in rough country. Although the two aircraft they focus on are the Carbon Cub and a heavily-modified Maule – both astonishing aircraft when it comes to short take-offs – nevertheless, the lessons for all bush fliers are relevant. The good thing about the Foxbat is that the tail is already in the air, so need to lift it before take-off like a tailwheel aircraft.

I’m working on some short field take-off and landing videos specifically covering the Foxbat and these should be available later in the year.