Posts Tagged ‘Burwash Landing’

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with entries but have a good excuse:
been tending to a health crises with my mother. Things are getting back
to normal and I am regrouping with my personal obligations activities.
So, on with the story.

To start reading from the beginning, go to May 11, 2008.

Our trip from White Horse to Haines Junction to our next stop, isolated Burwash Landing, was uneventful — except for the
scenery, of course — until we landed on the rocky dirt pine lined
runway. Burwash sits at historic Milepost 1093 in the the Yukon. It is located
on the shore of Kluane
. I wasn’t focused on our magnificent surrounds, rather my mind
was on our next challenge.

We were flying in a Cessna 170. It has the two primary tires but also a
rear tire; the plane is what I learned to call a “tail dragger“.

The landing was bumpy, to be expected, until the tail
dropped and “bang — thud!”

“What was that? It sounded serious,” I said.
“I think we hit a groundhog hole,” Donny replied in his
typical no worries tone. I appreciated his everything is fine
demeanor but I knew it didn’t cover up the facts. Everything may
eventually be fine but we both knew we had a problem on our hands even
before we exited the plane to check the damage.

Prior to Burwash Landing, I would have been happy never knowing the physical construction
and mechanics of the trail dragger parts of a Cessna 170. I would have
never noticed or cared about the layered steel spring action and the
necessity of such for a smooth controlled landing. One of the steel
spring plates had been knocked out of position. Fortunately everything
was virtually intact, though it didn’t look as perfectly aligned as it
should have. My pilot concluded that we may have a limp, but we’ll get
home just fine barring any more holes in the runways from Burwash to Golovin.

With some relief, we walked a trail through
the tall brush to a small cafe. After a hamburger we walked back through
the brush in the dark. The stars were incredible and the full moon lit
our way. With my eyes I delighted in the surrounding wilderness; with my
ears I was fully alert to sounds in the 8 foot tall brush indicating
any possibility of bears.

“We must be in bear country,” I said
trying to keep the panic out of my voice.
“Probably,” Donny said
without the slightest hint of concern.

We slept in our bags under
the plane’s wings with a night canopy unlike I’d ever seen before. No
bears that night.

(to be continued) copyright Tamara Ann Burgh, all rights reserved
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