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Fun-O-Meter
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had the day off and so did my buddy Eddie, so we hit some trails just outside Rainier National Park.

The weather was perfect for the climb: we started in the 50's for our 5-mile slog up Ranger Creek trail. I love riding through those thick forests, especially when you are going up and have time to admire them!

We reached the top and turned onto the Palisades trail. Once we reached the first overlook, we stopped to eat lunch.

You can see the rustic Ranger Creek airstrip from the viewpoint. As we were eating, I spotted an airplane taking off. I pointed it out to Eddie, and said "Looks like the pilot is having trouble" because he was rocking back and forth (probably from the winds). He reached the end of the strip and wasn't very high off the ground. I said, "I hope he doesn't crash!" The pilot banked right to avoid some trees at the end of the runway. It looked like the pilot was suddenly trying to land. He touched down, bounced, then caught the nose on the ground and flipped over.

Eddie and I were stunned. We couldn't tell if anyone got out of the plane, because we were 3'000 above it. I called 911 from Eddie's cell phone and explained the situation to the operator, who got me in contact with the nearest fire department.

Anyway, we eventually continued on our ride. Palisades trail skirts the edge of the cliffs overlooking the White River valley. The views are incredible. Eventually we turned down and started cruising through the forests.

We returned to the car happy but tired! We went to the airstrip and took a picture of the empty airplane. We spoke with some campers who were there. They said the couple in the airplane was alright, mostly just extremely shocked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, it dug up a pretty good crater and furrow about 40' long. Pieces of the airplane were all over the place.

The part I remember most was after it impacted and flipped, it started moving backwards slowly. I imagine the engine was still on and it was pulling the plane back towards the runway for probably 45-60 seconds before the pilot killed the engine.
 

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squish is good
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Gorgeous ride, sucks for the private plane guys, I'm a crewmember on a military transport and I've often thought of what it would be like to be involved in a major mishap. We get briefings about every bigtime commercial and military crash or near incident and it's always formost on the mind. I'm very glad those folks are okay and their plane looks like it is salvageable, a new prop and a little work on the wing and they should be good to go, way to be heads up and alert somebody. It's always nice to know there's somebody looking out above you, expecially fellow mountain bikers!
 

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Sweet sweet photos, cool to see an extroidinary thing, well you know what I mean. Glad the pilot and passenger were ok. That would have puckered up the chocolate starfish for sure....

Great place to ride too.................

Is it just me, we seem to be getting some mind blowing photographs of late on here, always good ones, but this threads pictures and the Whistler and Loam thread, my goodness fantastic shots. Wherewolf would be impressed...LOL
 

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Just roll it......
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Whafe said:
Great place to ride too.................
Is it just me, we seem to be getting some mind blowing photographs of late on here, always good ones, but this threads pictures and the Whistler and Loam thread, my goodness fantastic shots. Wherewolf would be impressed...LOL
Sweet writeup Rich! Wow, I rarely see a plane using that airstrip these days. Glad to hear they were ok.

Massive kudos to Art and Brian who climbed up Ranger and down Palisades a couple of weeks ago with a BOB trailer and saw/gas and cleared 30-40 big blowdown from the trails. A HUGE effort from those guys since the Forest Service isn't exactly doing much trailwork any longer. :rolleyes:

Whafe, this is one of the "local" rides that FM was planning if the Titus guys weren't dropping like flies from the Seattle/Whistler trip. I haven't seen so many people not be interested in a local guiding them to the goods in whistler. :confused: That pic with the plane upside down shows the "palisades" which are the cliffs in the background. The trail juts out to the cliffs several times during the ride with those spectacular viewpoints of Rainier.

Cheers,
EB
 
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