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Delivering breakfast to runaway horses, via Super Cub aircraft

  • Author: Matt Keller
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published November 20, 2012
Blue Ice Aviation - gravel bar photo

This photo shows the only sunny day we had this fall. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

In fact, it was likely raining or blowing 40 mph within hours of this photo being taken. Alaskans received the most unbelievably horrific stretch of weather I have ever seen in Alaska. Regardless ... this was definitely a beautiful morning.

I landed on this gravel bar in order to drop off a wrangler with a saddle and a coffee can full of grain. Their horses had bolted out of moose camp the previous day, and had only stopped because they were afraid of getting wet while swimming across the river.

Fortunately I could land on the same gravel bar where the runaway horses were standing. Unfortunately, they only left me 230 feet to work with.

It was manageable, but that's the sort of landing that I earn my money on. I had to fly short final in a low turn over the river, inbetween spruce trees that were only 5 feet off my wing. Then I had to touch-down immediately over the river bank, while dodging a small log, and get stopped in less than 300 feet, before hitting the horses or running into the river.

This is a fairly standard situation for this line of work, but the sort of thing that could get ugly quick if I misjudged the landing zone. It actually all worked perfectly, and the horses just stood there as if they received a Super-Cub delivered breakfast every morning.

Matthew Keller is the owner and operator of Blue Ice Aviation. He was born and raised in Alaska and his office is the cockpit of his Super Cub. His goal is to transport everyone into Alaska's vast wilderness. See more of his videos and writing at Blue Ice Aviation.