Plane stopped on edge of 1,500-foot drop off.
On April 19, Soplanda attempted to land near 6,000 feet on an unnamed peak east of Bald Mountain in the Talkeetnas to explore ski and snowboarding opportunities on some adjacent slopes. Unfortunately, the snow atop the peak where he touched down was crustier than the young pilot expected.
So he kept sliding until….
The skis on the airplane, instead of grabbing soft snow, went sliding across hard snow. With cliffs ahead, Soplanda tried to steer the aircraft to the left to stay on top of the peak.
It almost worked.
21-year-old Matthew “Jake” Soplanda of Anchor Point and a skiing buddy managed to climb away from Soplanda’s dated, single-engine Taylorcraft as it hung perched over a 1,500-foot drop.
I suppose he could have given it more power and used remaining altitude to give it another go after pitching down the drop off. Less risky than egress out of a plane on a cliffs edge. Much better story though. Now he’s famous.