Tuesday passion & something I never expected to see- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tuesday passion & something I never expected to see

    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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    Last edited by rich.grandzol; 06-26-2007 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    In the last picture, we were on top of the cliffs when we observed the crash.
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  3. #3
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    Wow, that's unbelievable! Just when you think you've seen it all on the trail- Nice pics by the way.
    Ever been to Mountain Bike Tales Digital Magazine? Now if only the print rags would catch on!

  4. #4
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    Turns out Eddie's camera captured the airplane from the cliffs:
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  5. #5
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    Looks like a great ride. I dream of riding with that kind of exposure (no big cliffs where I live).

  6. #6
    The Turtle
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    That's definitely something most of us will never see in our lifetime!! (Course, that's probably a good thing!!)

    Those are some amazing trail shots. The trail itself looks like a blast with tons of overlooks to keep you interested in all aspects of the ride! Thanks for the story/pics!

  7. #7
    Rolling
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    Wow....Did you see the impact point? Should be behind were you were standing when taking the shot. The classic nose dive and flip crash landing of a top wing plane.
    Last edited by lidarman; 06-26-2007 at 09:35 PM.

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    No worries that will buff right out !

    nice pics !

  10. #10
    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!

  11. #11

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    I remember another thread about strangest things people have seen on a ride. You win, hands down.

    Those trails look simply amazing. Thanks for the pics!

  12. #12
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    This has done nothing for my thorough dislike of flying! Got a flight coming up soon (Serbia to England) and am NOT looking forward to it. I'd rather have both wheels on the ground (well, you know what I mean, NEAR the ground at least!)
    SPD shoes, pedals, cleats and the experience of going clipless. (a work in progress - let me know if I missed something!)

  13. #13
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    Very cool write up, awesome pictures and glad you guys were able to help out.

  14. #14
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    That looks like an awesome place to ride! Nuts plane crash too.

  15. #15
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    Great pictures. Looks like an awesome place to ride, even without the local pilots performing tricks for you during lunch.

  16. #16
    "Its All Good"
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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
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  17. #17
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    wow, you defintely don't see that every day.

    your pictures turned out great. good job
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  18. #18
    Just roll it......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    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.

    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. 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
    Last edited by ebxtreme; 06-27-2007 at 07:18 AM.

  19. #19
    Yay! Bikes !
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    that looks like a GREAT place to ride.
    thanks for posting.

  20. #20

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    crazy story with the plane! glad no one was hurt.

    those trails look ridiculously sweet!

  21. #21
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Way cool.
    Less isn't MOAR

  22. #22
    I'm on fire.
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    Awesome. I was lucky enough to do that ride last summer. Climbing up the Ranger Creek switchbacks is brutal, but the view from the top and the descent down Palisades is sweet.
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  23. #23
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    Wow, thanks for posting!

    We've ridden other trails in that area (even around the plane strip) but not up Ranger Creek/Palisades. We'll have to ride that one next time we are down there.

  24. #24
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    Wow, that's a great looking trail. You are lucky, indeed.

  25. #25
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    Craig,

    I'd say Palisades is the best of the trails I've ridden in the White River valley. Suntop was awesome, too; but Palisades is more challenging. I highly recommend the loop up to Noble Knob and down Palisades, although we didn't do that yesterday because there is probably still snow up there.

    EBX: Is that Art T that cleared the trail? I barely made it up Ranger Creek myself. I can't imagine towing a trailer with a chainsaw.

  26. #26
    Just roll it......
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich.grandzol
    EBX: Is that Art T that cleared the trail? I barely made it up Ranger Creek myself. I can't imagine towing a trailer with a chainsaw.
    Yep, Art and a guy named John (not sure which John it was) did it about 2 weeks ago. John apparently climbed up Ranger with it. Word is they cleared between 30-40 trees in a day on Palisades (Ranger was already cleared). I don't have all the details, but that goes down as a major effort in my books!!

    Anyway, I think I misspoke on my last post when I said Brian J.

    EB

  27. #27
    "Its All Good"
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    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.

    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. 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
    Thanks ebx, knew it was up your way, but didnt realise that was a spot FM was going to take us. That first picture is the ducks nuts, it is like New Zealand, but is impressive for sure, love to ride there.....

    Yes, a whole other topic re getting Titus riders together, always hard to try ones hardest to get something organised, people are always keen, then when it comes to making the tough call of committing, they as you say, drop like flies.............When in fact they should be like bees around a honeypot, or like geolover around caribou.

    Not at all knocking anyone in a personal way. It is a fantastic thing meeting people from MTBR from other countries etc. A real good buzz...........Oh well never know, a few hours driving is nothing for me, so may get that way......

    For me anyway, will meet some great peeps in Whistler area, so am happy with that...........

    Anyways, dont want to hijak a thread of awesome pictures.........
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  28. #28
    Look at the time!
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    fyi:
    pilot and pax got out with minor injuries according to the prelim. FAA report:

    Code:
    IDENTIFICATION
      Regis#: 733XW        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
      Date: 06/26/2007     Time: 1903
    
      Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
      Damage: Unknown
    
    LOCATION
      City: SEATTLE   State: WA   Country: US
    
    DESCRIPTION
      AIRCRAFT CRASHED ATTEMPTING DEPARTURE, RANGER CREEK, WA
    
    INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                     # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                     # Pass:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:    
                     # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
    
    WEATHER: UNK
    
    OTHER DATA
      Activity: Training      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER
    
    
      FAA FSDO: SEATTLE, WA  (NM01)                   Entry date: 06/27/2007
    taken from www.faa.gov
    wanted: Cannondale Lefty w/ V-brake studs

  29. #29
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    I am an old pilot....

    As an old hand once said to me, "no one ever gets hurt in the air, it's when you get near the ground that poses the problem."
    The reason dogs have so many friends is that they wag their tail instead of their tongues.

  30. #30
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    http://www.befa.org/images/733XW/index.htm

    Heres the plane in better days...

  31. #31
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    Yep, Art T, and John L did the clearing of those trails -- John lugged the bob trailer up with saw & gas.

    Great write up guys and wise choice not heading all the way up to Noble Knob just yet. For those looking to do this loop, hit in another week or so, start at the airstrip and ride White River Trail to Corral Pass Road and climb, climb, climb, then ride along Dalles Ridge past Noble Knob, down to the shelter Rich & Eddie climbed to and continue on Palisades from there. 27 miles and guaranteed to work you!

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