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    • Regarding successful landings....

      Have you ever landed on tundra in Greenland?

      You ever chase cows off the runway before take off? Or land just 50 yards beyond a herd of zebra 40 minutes after sunset, in the dark?

      In the summer of 2015 I went on a cruise/workshop with Muench Workshops to Scoresby Sound, and we were to fly from Reykjavik Iceland to Constable Point Greenland along the inlet to Scoresby Sound where we were to pick up the sailboat that would take us on throughout Scoresby for a week. But the inlet was packed with ice, so that the boat could not meet us at the airport, but about 15 minutes away across the peninsula by air. So after we landed at Costable Point airport, we immediately boarded a twin engine turbo prop plane built for tundra landings.

      Shortly after take off, the pilot keyed the mike to the passenger compartment, and said " You probably have not landed this way before on tundra - it is not remotely like landing on tarmac - NOT TO WORRY -- we do this all the time, but be aware, we may/ almost certainly WILL, bounce a couple times!!"

      And we did, smooth glide down to earth, and then bounce up airborne a couple times before finally coming to rest quite safely on soft, spongy wet tundra..... Quite an experience.

      At least there was no wrecked aircraft at the end of the runway like there was in Costa Rica at a small strip along the coast , many years ago when I went there to go SCUBA diving.

      Here we are unloading - notice the rifles.

      I am STILL waiting for the next episode in "The Last Motorcycle on Earth" - Not sure why there is a delay, or if more episodes will ever appear now... ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

    • Never landed on tundra in the arctic, but I have landed with "tundra tires" on many soft jungle airstrips in Peru. And made low passes before landing to chase livestock, chickens and children out of the way. Occasionally a chicken would dart back at the last second and end up in the cooking pot. One strip had three levels, starting out with a little flat area and the edge of a creek, then climbing a little ramp up to cross a soccer field, then a final narrow ascending section that served as main street for the village. On one landing even the large balloon tundra tires proved insufficient to cushion the jolt of crossing a ledge at the beginning of the soccer field, and the elastic cord shock absorbers on the Piper Super Cub broke on one side, allowing that wing to droop nearly to the ground.

      I was stuck with no radio or other means to call for help and facing a 2 or 3 day trek across two steep ridges and three big rivers to get home. I did have a small tool bag and had recently obained a minimalist survival kit which included a roll of paracord. Villagers supported the wing while I removed the fairing and busted shock cords and replaced them with many wraps of paracord. It didn't absorb much shock but it did keep the wing up, and the light Super Cub jumped into the air after a short take off run.

      Deer, dogs, foxes, coyotes, and turtles are some of the runway hazards I've encountered, but the most alarming was a jogger. I was concentrating on landing a Cessna Citation on the centerline of a fairly short, narrow runway at dusk when a shadow swept by in the periphery of my vision. A junior college professor was jogging on a public airport and did not hear the jet approaching behind him. Had I been just a foot off center the wing tip would have ended his career.

    • Wow, that must have been frightening. In that vein....

      My sister in law is a very good pilot, and the only one I know who has actually killed a deer, in flight, while almost 6 feet above a runway on final approach in a single engine aircraft - the deer did make a mess of her propeller, but she did land safely and get stopped, but only after killing bambi. Ths occurred at a small short private strip in western Pennsylvania.

      I have been aboard several Apaches that made a low run over the air strip in Costa Rica before landing to remind the kids and dogs to depart the runway for a landing aircraft.

      In the Florida Keys my wife and booked a light ROW from a small private office for a tourist flight around Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. But after three tries to take off running down the bay, at the tree line in front of us, before finally aborting , the large 6'4" 260 pound pilot returned to the office and found a smaller 5'8" 145 pound pilot who succeeded in getting us and their load of freight in the Cessna ROW airborn for a successful flight. True story ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      I watched a Beaver pilot open the door to our aircraft, in flight, to reach outside the cockpit, to perform some minor maintenance in northern Canada. As a passenger, I didn't know whether to be alarmed, or reassured, about our pilot's competence.

      I don't know what it is about runners - I had two of them, dressed totally in black, running on a county highway in the dark about 10 pm last night; with tiny headlights, and a tiny LED on their waist in the back that I am certain they thought was much brighter than it actually was. They were just ghosts in my pick up's LED headlights - almost invisible until I was within 30 yards of them. Fortunately I was alert, observant, and not speeding - only driving about 40 mph on the county highway. I know they had the right of way, and that was perfectly fine with me. But one can easily get killed while having the legal right of way too. If one is running in the dark, one really needs to make an effort to be seen by drivers. Black sweats in not an ideal garment for running safely at night.

      When I was working I used to commute about 15 miles to and from work about 9 months of the year by bicycle - which meant even in early December I was riding home in the traffic after 5pm in total darkness - bright headlights and tail lights and neon jerseys were the order of the day. Most of my ride was not in real lighted urban traffic, but dark, tree covered county highways.

      I have searched and searched for episode 2 of "The Last Motorcycle on Earth" without success. I am not the only one looking as episode 2 is a search choice Google offers me, so many others are looking as well. The first episode was originally supposed to be crowd sourced but apparently that wasn't very successful, and they ended up self financing.....