Flying the Short SC.7 Skyvan, by Larry Miller
Larry D. Miller noticed a photo of this plane on my Alaska 2003 account and wrote me the following:
We operated "the Van" out of Anchorage for a couple of months in late '74, hauling barrel fuel and supplies to places like Rainy Pass lodge and a myriad of small villages in the Anchorage general vicinity. Then we got a contract with Geophysical Services Inc. (GSI) to support several of their geophysical camps on the north slope. So I packed up my bags and moved back to Fairbanks and flew two trips most everyday to the north slope and landed on frozen lakes with food, mail, dynamite, blasting caps, drill pipe, people, and everything else that they needed for the winter of '74. They had no other means to receive supplies except the Skyvan. When that contract was over in April '75, we went back to Anchorage for a month and then got a contract to fly paracargo out of Fort Wainright for the BLM during the fire season of '75( which was from the 1st of June till the 1st of September).
The little Skyvan could do things that nobody believed possible. We could comfortably operate out of a thousand feet with 50 ft. trees at both ends. We landed on sand bars, the sides of mountains, roads, trails, and anywhere else that need be. If you weren't too heavy you could get it down and stopped in 500 ft. It had two Garrett 750 hp turbines on it and it flew as much out of brute force as anything else. But it was a joy to fly.
That whole time of pre-pipeline was so interesting because of so many of the guys who had just gotten back from Viet Nam and wanted to fly. They were flocking into Fairbanks by the droves.
Before I went to Petco, I worked in Fairbanks for Fairbanks Flight Service, which was the old Fairbanks Air Service. It had been bought out by a group of entrepeneurs from Seattle and we had several of those guys working there. We had three Skyvans and five Pilatus Porters and several smaller planes, 185's, 180's, Navajo's, Aztec's, Seneca's, and various other small ones.
In Oct.2007 I received following message from David Langhoff:
Found this on http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0UBT/is_13_20/ai_n16113844:
Dave Richardson wrote me in Oct.2007 with an interesting update:
Dwayne Crow wrote me in Jan.2016:
Last updated 19.01.2016