Barnes & Noble.com
An adventure story based in the northwest part of Alaska. Follow the bush pilots, fishing guides, hunting guides, and other characters as they partake of the magnificence of the Last Frontier. Witness narrow rescues from a murderer, and from a wounded brown bear. Survive a plane crash in the winter, and find how the characters made it through.
October came and the lodge was nearing completion. The Maule was finished, and Gary borrowed Janet to go to Anchorage in the loaned 206 with him and fly the Maule back. On the return trip, at 8,500 feet, over the Alaska Range, the prop deicers failed, and it quickly iced up. The closest place to set down was Alder Pass, and Gary knew that Luke was in Anchorage. He was losing altitude rapidly now that the wing deicers also failed. Basically he was flying a snowball!
With the airstrip under more than a foot of snow, Gary spotted a windswept part of Alder Pass Lake next to the lodge, and hoping that the ice would hold the plane, he set the plane down… HARD! Gary saw the ice cracking and unbuckled his seat harness and opened the door and rolled out in one motion as the left landing gear broke through the ice, followed by the other two.
Gary crawled on his belly as fast as he could and heard a loud “bang!”
Looking towards the plane, he saw the cabin punch through the ice, and sink up to the windows. Another minute and he could have been trapped inside and frozen to death. With the skis on the Maule, Janet landed on shore and was tying a stick to a piece of parachute cord that Gary kept for emergencies. The ice beneath Gary was beginning to crack. In October the ice isn’t very thick yet even in the mountains of Alaska.