Bush Checkout (Off field Training)

Our bush training starts with the mental preparation for wilderness flying. It is a commitment to know your gear, dress to camp out, and leave your ego at home. The environment we fly demands fundamental differences in the way we approach flying both in the air and on the ground because Alaskan terrain and weather can be fickle and brutal. Surviving in Alaska and protecting aircraft can boil down to simple bowline knots, prop starts, or field repairs and we as pilots not only make the call but must do the work. The details matter. Before one commits to an Alaskan flying vacation we strongly recommend reading "survival flying".

Old Alaskan Adage:

"Fly an hour,

Walk a Week!"


We start on huge gravel bars and stress precise aircraft control with low speed, spot landings. As your confidence grows we start into aerial site selection training where you pick your own landing surface and evaluate its length and condition from the air. This is your decision based on your own proficiency and we rarely intervene. Making those first precise off field landings on uncharted ground is part of the confidence building process and the foundation for follow-on mountain landings.

Bush Flying Rule # 1:

"Always have a Plan B"

Because we operate lower and slower than most aircraft, we strongly emphasize engine out landings and emergency procedures. Because of the sturdy gear and huge tundra tires on the Cub, you actually land out of most simulated engine failure situations. By the end of the bush program you will be able to do spot landings with or without an engine. We spend plenty of time walking back to measure landing and T/O distances so we can further refine our off field technique.

Oh no, not:

E k =1/2 MV 2