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  • Writer's pictureMyron

September 2007

September news is a bit late, but it was quite a month. Since this is supposed to be a law office website, the legal news should come first, but not this month.

After 3,000 hours and 24 years of flying 758TG, the Cessna 172 XP owned by ALO, Myron crashed on landing with Sarah and Ben on board 44 miles northwest of Bethel September 27th. All three walked away from the crash, Sarah with both bones in her lower right arm broken, to spend a night in a makeshift camp in the brush awaiting rescue. It was a little after 8 pm when the satellite call went out to Sue in Bethel, with about an hour of daylight remaining. No rescue was possible that night. LJ Davis and Mike Reardon made the rescue the next day in two float planes. The night in camp was reasonably tolerable. Sarah couldn't lay down so sat in an airplane seat removed from the wreck. A tent was set up in a marginal spot on the bank. Camping gear and emergency gear made things better than they could have been. A $5 emergency candle in a can was worth way more as the night wore on with no sleep. There were even a few chuckles, as lists were made of people who we would not want to be stuck with in a similar situation. Sarah's broken arm was painful of course, but nary a whimper. Ben was stellar as the most able bodied in camp, (Myron had a back spasm from the crash) Sarah required surgery, and is on the mend.

The accident happened as a result of pilot error. The landing was to take place on a decent sized slough off the Yukon River. It was long, straight and wide enough-(200-300 feet) An unanticipated cross wind as the plane turned final normally would not have been a problem, but this time the plane was blown off line over trees on the bank. With insufficient altitude to assure a safe go around, a sharp turn was made to put the plane back over the water. With little altitude remaining, the plane was leveled and ready to land when the right wing tip caught a small (two to three inch) branch sticking straight out from the bank about 8-10 feet. That swung the plane into the bank. It is not comforting to be moving at 50 mph and to see a river bank directly in front of the windshield of an airplane. The floats absorbed most of the energy, and the plane swung clockwise, with the left wing taking the last hit. There was plenty of good and bad fortune involved. The bull moose with six cows in the meadow near where we spent the night experienced some of the good fortune.

758TG has provided an immense amount of enjoyment to a large number of people. Family, friends, and clients have experienced countless trips into Western Alaska's incredible wilderness. Most understood there was some risk. Most have also made it clear they are ready to go again. This website has existed for a few months and already it is filled with references to the role aviation plays in the day to day business of ALO. That part of life in Alaska would be hard to live without.

This picture shows Bethel resident Pete Kaiser with a large Dolly Varden caught on one of the last trips made to the mountains in 758TG.

We had only about 45 minutes to fish at this spot, and Pete had hooked and lost a couple of nice sized fish earlier. It was time to go, and "last cast" was announced. Andy was gathering the gear, and Pete took several last casts, catching this fish on the final one.

Meanwhile, the business continues. A handful of injury cases were settled, including four Anchorage cases that settled for less than $10,000 each. Our recent trial experience there contributed to the decision to accept modest settlements. A woman from Tuntutuliak settled her claim against the local school for $150,000, for injuries suffered in a fall at the school gym. Matt secured a dismissal of a drunk driving charge in Bethel court. The case involved a boating incident on the Kuskokwim river.

Myron and Sue are at Long Pond Elk Farm for a few weeks. and webmaster Rich Gannon arrives there for a visit with his family in mid October. Fall colors are grand, so expect more pictures in the next few days.


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