Eli’s Planes

My first plane, a Cessna 140, 2 place. 90HP engine. Traded a stainless steel milk tank to a rancher friend for it. He was going to use the 500 gallon milk tank, which could be cut in 2 and make 2 stock tanks. I got the tank for free  to haul away from my neighbor’s dairy. Plane’s engine was run out. I overhauled the engine in my garage and flew it many hours many before selling it and buying the Cessna 170A  at the right.

My last plane. A 1962 Cessna 180. Had a 230 HP Continental with constant speed prop. Anything you could get in the plane, it would handle it. When you tried to take off with a heavy load, you pushed the yoke forward and if the tail came up, it would fly. Only one time it would not fly and this was in Alaska with a load of Salmon. Had to abort and return and unload part of the fish. I first saw the plane after seized by the Mexicans for smuggling Levis into Mexico. I used to see it at Nogales Airport when I was flying my 170 down there. Bought it from the mortgage company at a public auction, as is where is. I tore the wheel flaring off up in Alaska when I hit a soft spot in the sand bar I had landed on. Replaced the smaller tires with Cleveland wheels and brakes and oversize tires. Slowed me down a bit, but the bigger tires and better brakes made off-field landings a lot safer.   

My 2 Kerry Blue terriers loved to fly with me. I would fly out to some flat spot in the Arizona desert and land, let them out. I would hunt jackrabbits. They loved to chase them but never caught any that I had not shot. The Only drawback they claimed was could not stick their heads out the window in the slip stream like in the car.  

I bought these “droop tips” and installed them. Do not know if they did anything like they claimed but they looked good.

After flying it a couple of years I overhauled it myself and had a friend in the Arizona National Guard who was a A&P sign it off as airworthy.

Here  I am sitting on the  Article Circle at Great Bear Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Idaho wilderness strip. Only way into it is by plane.

This is how I often was loaded on my trips to Alaska. Had a Avon inflatable and 25 HP Evinrude  and the gas can located here. The 3rd guy would sit on the gas can all the way to Alaska. 

Text Box: The green bag is the inflatable.

And the reason I flew like this way was to catch Steelhead trout and King Salmon up in British Columbia, Canada

Dean liked to ride his motorcycle at full speed out in the desert. Had a crash and broke his collar bone. We flew down to Mexico for some bass fishing while he was healing and we caught a lot. 

Salmon50.JPG (32215 bytes)

Another Spring Salmon that has been in the fresh water of the river for a time and has entered the spawning cycle. You can tell by the hooked nose and is not bright silver. Another Steel Head below from the same river. The Steel Head is a rainbow trout that goes to sea and returns to spawn. Does not die like a salmon, but returns to the sea to return once again a few year later to spawn again. They are always bright silver. These fish were caught in Bella Coola, British Columbia

steelhead.jpg (54289 bytes)

Here is the reason I loved having the Cessna 180. This is a Steelhead trout on the rightI caught up on the Dean River in British Columbia. Only way to get to this river is by plane.

I could fly down to Mexico in the morning on a hot summer day. Land on the beach and do some skin diving returning later that afternoon. In those days, before all the drug smuggling, did not have to worry about flight plans going into Mexico and returning to the US. Would go direct and just check in with Customs on the way back at Nogales. I always filed a flight plan with the US but would tell them not to forwarded to the Mexicans. That way would be safe if got busted by the Mexican Army. This policy did not last when drugs became a problem. This policy was OK with the US. Flight plans would take days to ever get to the Mexicans, even if you had them forwarded immediately. US would never tell them you instructed not to have plan forwarded.

One of the planes I rented flew a lot of hours in was a retractable gear Mooney 21. Flew fast and was lots of fun but I wanted to fly to isolated places in Mexico, Alaska, Northwest Territories, and British Columbia. Could not land this tricycle gear just anyplace like you can a tail dragger. Only had a few hours and I guess lucky to survive.

My 2nd plane. A Cessna 170A.  140 HP 4 place. The A model had almost useless small flaps and in the hot Arizona summer weather was barely capable of carrying 4 people and could barely climb or take off in hot weather if I had a large load.

 I sold the 180 while in Hawaii. New owner removed the droop tips and repainted it.