Thursday, 4 February 2010

Open Thread - The bear and the airplane - Bonus - UPDATE!

A bear in Alaska decided to play around an airplane and destroyed it in the process. The owner of the airplane, a very resourceful guy, repaired the mangled aircraft with vast amounts of duct tape and flew home.

Only in Alaska!


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More stuff about duct tape:

Oops! Forgot something:


UPDATE (by Patrick):

I asked our contact in Alaska who originally sent us the pictures of the taped plane for more information about the incident, and luckily our great contact sent us two links to the original news story - they are HERE and HERE.

From the Mason County News in Texas:

Everyone in America, probably on Earth, uses duct tape for all sorts of jobs, but my friend Sam Hoerster recently sent me an email about a guy who put some duct tape to use in a rather unusual way. He fixed an airplane with it.

What happened was, a bush pilot flew a fellow to a spot way out in the middle of nowhere in Alaska to do some fishing. This was not an amphibious plane, as so many in Alaska are. It had wheels, so it could land on land. Which makes you wonder why they call landing on water ‘landing.’ They should call it ‘watering.’

Anyway, they inadvertently left an ice chest and some bait in the plane, which is not advisable. Bears have seriously good noses, and there are lots of bears in Alaska. A bear came along and smelled something to eat in the plane.

I don’t know a lot about planes, but I know they use a lot of Piper Super Cubs in Alaska, and the Super Cub is made of a frame covered in canvas-type material. That’s the way this plane was made, so when the bear went for the bait, it did a considerable amount of damage to the plane. From the wings back to the tail the material on the fuselage was all ripped up. The tail itself was mangled pretty badly, and both tires were blown out. This was a seriously torn up plane.

So the pilot got on the radio and called a friend, and had another pilot bring him two new tires, some plastic sheeting, and three cases of duct tape. He patched the plane up with the plastic and tape, cranked it up, and flew it home. The email doesn’t say anything about getting the plane repaired later, and considering the reputation of Alaskan bush pilots, I’m not at all sure he did.


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