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September 2016

Another Fatal Plane Crash | Jane Imholte in the News

Another air tragedy leads off the September news. For the second month running, a fatal crash has happened in Western Alaska, and once again ALO has been asked to provide legal help, this time to the family of the only passenger on board the commercial flight. This accident happened near the village of Togiak, southeast of Bethel. The aircraft, a Cessna Caravan, impacted a mountain northwest of Togiak on a return flight from Quinhagak. Little is known about the cause of the crash, but this article describes the situation.

This rash of accidents causes some to wonder if flying in this area is worth the risk. As a pilot flying here since 1984, it is clear there is a risk-reward situation that must be addressed. The freedom associated with flying a float plane in rural Alaska is immense, at least for anyone with a passion for wilderness activities. The opportunity to experience nature in a way that is rapidly disappearing, when measured against the obvious but manageable risk involved, will always prevail. This article describes an old timer who has dealt with the challenges of Alaska flying quite well. Only 29 years of flying left to match him. Sunday was the last day in the mountains for this year, and it was quite a day. Smoke from a bunch of Russian fires had blown into the region, and the widespread haze was eerie. In four or five hours of fishing, the variety of fish caught included silver salmon, grayling, lake trout, rainbow trout and dolly varden. Coincidentally, these pictures were snapped at a location quite near the crash site on the day of the crash.



Former ALO intern Jane Imholte is now a public defender in Bethel, and a good one. This article about one of her cases fails to mention that the police screwed up the case by failing to honor a request for a lawyer, which of course Jane capitalized on. She recently was planning to meet some friends for a canoe trip through the lower lakes of Wood-Tikchik state park. The friends were coming through Dillingham out of Anchorage, so it made sense for Jane to fly directly to the camp from Bethel. The camp was near the Angstman cabin so ALO Air was pressed into duty for the flight. Every reasonable float pilot flies over his potential landing site before landing to look for hazards, and when 736XM descended over the camp on Kulik Lake, it was apparent the campers were enjoying the hot sunny day in the water but it appeared they had forgotten their swim suits. Not wanting to expose Jane to anything so risque, a wide turn was made before landing to allow time for the campers to dress. It turns out they forgot more than their swim suits. Checking on the camp a couple days later to deliver some beer, it was learned that they had also forgotten toilet paper. They were able to obtain one roll from another park visitor half way through their trip, but four people can't get far on one roll during a one week trip. No wonder they were skinny dipping. Jan Napoli drew a permit for a trip into Denali Park by car and posted these shots from that trip. Jan seems to make the cut for the news frequently. There are two mandatory moose entries for this month. Take your pick, they are both from Anchorage and its hard to get tired of seeing shots of these enormous critters from around Alaska. One is a video of a bull moose dodging traffic, the other is a video of two bulls sparring through a fence. On a related note, on a recent flight to the cabin, a lucky bull moose was seen entertaining 8 cows in a clearing 5 miles from Bethel. 20 years ago almost no moose were seen around Bethel.

It was a tough month for Donald Trump. Admitting that his long held belief in Obama being a non-citizen was B.S must have been hard for him. It was fun for the comedians though. The late night discussion of Miss Universe, after a very poor debate showing, didn't help either. But claiming to be brilliant for not paying taxes takes the cake. First, who believes he prepares his own taxes anyway? Second how does a brilliant person lose that much money in the first place? Finally, does it seem that Trump has utilized any of the services that the rest of the country pays for with its taxes? Doesn't that make him some kind of taker instead of a maker. ALO makes a good profit most of the time, pays a bunch of taxes, and doesn't complain when less fortunate folks get some of those tax dollars. But Trump doesn't deserve a nickel of it.

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