“Flying On The Bleeding Edge”…and Crosswind Landings

I have a friend who I would consider in the top 2% of programmers. But for a few changes he could have been another Steve Wozniak of Apple – having worked for Xerox about the same time as The Woz worked for HP  –   and trying to convince Xerox to make a small microprocessor-based computer. Like the Woz at HP (at the time) his efforts met with a similar fate, with the Woz and Steve Jobs going  on to found Apple.

Anyway, your truly, having refused to subscribe to a cable network for 20 years (not wanting to subsidize a bunch of little-viewed programs just to get 3-5 that I want) – finally took the first step with streaming.

And with Netflix, I have discovered a whole new universe. Not only do have the choice of some of the best series from the 50s (The Twilight Zone) to the 90s (Frazier), but I can watch the entire series starting with episode 1. I’ve told Larry that I am always on the bleeding edge of technology.

One of the series I’m hooked on is Flying Wild Alaska. The Tweto Family runs a small regional air service, flying everything from Cessna 206s toBeech 1900s.

I’ve always admired bush pilots. They don’t fly the fastest planes, or the biggest, but they are always challenged – to the extreme – by weather, weight and balance, and landing conditions.

In one episode of Flying Alaska the pilot is being chased by a gale force storm, and to maximize his payload, he left 30 minutes of fuel in the plane after the destination – accounting for the weather. Talk about pressure. The payload – whether food for villages or people, pays the costs and fuel doesn’t.

I have flown as a passenger  with these pilots in New Zealand and Alaska, and whether landing through a canyon, with trees 40′ from each side of the wings, or alongside a 4,000′ rock cliff along McKinley, their skills are – to me – razor sharp.

Since any Pilot’s Operating Handbook will – in the crosswind landing area – say “maximum demonstrated crosswind – xxx knots “- all the test pilots could find during the time of certification- I’m sure these pilots in Alaska have on a regular basis found much higher winds.

And in rural Alaska with weather there are usually no alternates.

Anyway I just saw this segment.

3 Comments

Filed under Flying

3 responses to ““Flying On The Bleeding Edge”…and Crosswind Landings

  1. cg23sailor

    Just don’t go up with Ariel as your pilot.

  2. cg23sailor

    Just proof that flying is a learned skill, not an inherited one. I wouldn’t let her near a cockpit.

    Remove the pit, and she could go anywhere she wants… Jus’ sayin’

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