2017 marks Aggipah’s 40th year guiding folks through Idaho’s Salmon River country. Along the way, we’ve picked up a story or two. Here’s today’s-it’s a shortie- by Bill Bernt.
Going through the old photos the other day I came across this photo of a plane in the river at the bottom of Haystack Rapid on the Middle Fork in the late ‘80s. A fellow was coming in to land at the Flying B strip, but neglected to turn his fuel switch to both tanks–and ran dry on final approach. The plane went in the river. He wasn’t hurt, walked up to the B, supposedly offered to sell the plane where it was for $5000.
We had a small trip in September starting from the B when a crew came in to recover the plane. We had to wait until they had the rapid clear of ropes to continue down the river. One of the rescue crew later contacted me and booked a trip, so I got to hear details. Using inner tubes, little yellow life rafts, ropes and muscle, they got the plane out of the river and up onto the bench above, which is at the end of the Bernard airstrip. They looked it over, changed the oil, replaced the prop, and flew it out. The group apparently had done a number of recoveries of this type, I think as a recreation more than a business.