Last week I was asked to help recover a Maule airplane that had landed on a sandbar on the Cimarron River near Cashion, Oklahoma. A couple of guys I knew were landing along the river and ended up nosing the airplane over in the deep sand, resulting in a prop strike. Luckily the only thing seriously damaged was the propeller. The aircraft mechanic who works on my Maule had taken care of the repairs, replacing the prop blades and doing a runout check on the engine crank. After obtaining an FAA ferry permit, we all flew up there in a Robinson R44 Raven helicopter to see if we could get the airplane to wet hardpack ground and then fly it out. Luckily a Oklahoma Department of Agriculture guy just happened by on his 4-wheeler and helped us drag the airplane to the wet hardpack sand. From there it was a simple matter for me to fly it out and back to Wiley Post Airport. I was asked to fly the airplane because of my fairly extensive bush flying background. The flight out ended up being a piece of cake and 15 minutes later we touched down at PWA safe and sound. I didn’t get a chance to shoot many pics or video, most of the video was shot on my camera by someone else, but still pretty cool.
About James Pratt
I am an Oklahoma based writer, commercial photographer, editorial photographer and adventurer based in Oklahoma City. I love telling stories about people. A motorcycle is my preferred means of travel, and I have over 5,000 hours piloting small airplanes. My editorial photography has been published in hundreds of magazines and my commercial photography has been used by dozens of companies worldwide.