Flying Wild Alaska

Is anyone else watching this new Discovery show? I like it. It is about bush flying and life in rural Alaska in general. In the last episode, they showed:

Flying a family to their home in the ANWR. They are the only people who live in the area, and the cabin is several hundred miles from the nearest road and is only accessible by air, through a 300 ft ‘runway’. It is fascinating.

A birdstrike. Thankfully (well, for the people anyway but not for the bird), it got chopped up by the prop and got its innards splashed all over the plane instead of going straight through the windscreen. And after they got home and cleaned up the aircraft, the airport dog promptly ate up a piece of the bird (which looked like the anus to me) that was cleaned off from the wing strut. :stuck_out_tongue:

Stinky Flipper, which is a delicacy made by burying seal flippers in the ground and letting them ferment for a few months. :eek:

Flying several hundred pounds of high explosives to a remote village. Normally, transporting this type of hazardous material by air is strictly prohibited. However, they got a waiver because the villagers need the explosives for whale hunting (supposedly for killing the whale quickly so it won’t suffer), which is their source of food for the winter, and time is quickly running out.

The show also didn’t completely mess up all the aviation stuff, which is always a plus.

I’ve been watching & enjoying it. I feel kind of bad for Jim Tweto - he’s a highly experienced bush pilot who also runs the day to day operations of the airline, and he’s got a complete ditz for a daughter, who hasn’t quite gotten down the meaning of “downwind” & “upwind”. Looks like she won’t be taking over the family business.

Having flown with probably two dozen Alaska bush pilots (fixed-wing and heli), yeah, I find it relatively entertaining. There’s such a dearth of roads over much of the state that it’s the only way to get people and supplies out to towns, fishing and hunting camps, cabins, recreational areas, research sites, exploration ventures, etc.

What’s cool too are the number of old aircraft that you encounter. I can’t remember how many times we landed at some remote place and saw something straight out of the 40s or 50s, beautiful old planes.

Pretty interesting mindset among many of the pilots, as you might imagine. Some real characters.

ETA: I’d probably think twice before flying with anyone that had just ingested Stinky Flipper.

No kidding, and not just because of the noxious gases. People are medivacked out of villages every year for treatment for botulism poisoning after eating fermented beaver tail and the like. I used to enjoy flying out to the coastal radar sites, particularly when it was at lower altitudes. That’s some seriously remote, end-of-the-world territory out there.

Wow, Chefguy, ever go to Spy Island? It was part of the DEW line near Prudhoe. We landed a chopper there and I went swiming with icebergs just offshore, this though because there was a ton of driftwood that had washed up from God knows which continent and a warming fire was on the ready.

Biggest surprise about the people livin’ in these remote sites; they’re hellacious basketball players.

No, but it could have been an automated site at one time. Point Lay, Point Hope, Tin City, Cape Newenham, Cape Romanzof, Barter Island, Indian Mountain. Amazing places in the middle of nowhere.

How the world was introduced to Ariel Tweto: “Where’s the pole?”.

The most impressive moment in Wipeout, followed by one of the most pitiful.

I hadn’t heard of this and now I have to watch it, as when I was growing up, an Alaskan bush pilot was what I really wanted to be.

Me too except I still do. One of my favorite books is called Flying the Alaska Wild which might have inspired the show because the title and subjects are so similar.

Oh dear, that was… ditzy.

Now I know what her mom meant when she said she wasn’t sure Ariel has what it takes to ‘follow through’ to become a pilot.

You might read Glacier Pilot (about Bob Reeve) and the book about Don Sheldon (can’t remember the name of it at the moment), if you haven’t already. I have both of them around here someplace; the Reeve book is inscribed to my dad from Bob, who was a friend of ours. I also have the two-volume first-edition set “Alaska Aviation”.

Oh my… I hadn’t made the connection. Ouch.

They guy I normally use flies a 1945 DeHaviland Otter. Beautiful plane. He has scared the crap outta me a couple times landing in rivers. He kinda dive bombs and pulls up at the last second. Now I find it a blast.

I thought she was just so nearsighted she couldn’t see the pole without her contacts in.

Wonder if she’s been kissed yet?

She handled the big balls quite well however.

They had her back on the Wipeout Allstars episode (presumably for her Big Ball performance), and she said she’s now “addicted to kissing”.