Mathews Inc.
Renfros Plane Tradgedy
Contributors to this thread:
standswittaknife 01-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 01-Sep-16
Stekewood 01-Sep-16
Mac 01-Sep-16
iceman 01-Sep-16
PAstringking 01-Sep-16
Brotsky 01-Sep-16
OneShot 01-Sep-16
loesshillsarcher 01-Sep-16
Ultrastealth 01-Sep-16
huntmaster 01-Sep-16
Southern draw 01-Sep-16
BC 01-Sep-16
Trial153 01-Sep-16
76aggie 01-Sep-16
Kdog 04-Sep-16
Bucksnort32 04-Sep-16
Sean D. 04-Sep-16
Pat Lefemine 04-Sep-16
Zbone 04-Sep-16
Sean D. 04-Sep-16
kota-man 04-Sep-16
tradmt 04-Sep-16
Rick M 04-Sep-16
wild1 06-Sep-16
Bear Track 06-Sep-16
Mr.C 12-Sep-16
writer 15-Sep-16
MDW 15-Sep-16
deerman406 15-Sep-16
AKMathews71 22-Sep-16
kentuckbowhnter 05-Oct-16
TD 05-Oct-16
Mr.C 21-Oct-16
Bou'bound 21-Oct-16
Beendare 21-Oct-16
ben h 21-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 22-Oct-16
Royboy 23-Oct-16
Rut Nut 24-Oct-16
Mr.C 24-Oct-16
Just read a mid air collision between one of Renfros planes and another killed all five people involved. They have certainly had a hard time with their fleet but this is just overly sad..

From: Kevin Dill
I picked up on this yesterday afternoon. The Renfro plane was a Cub...most likely a pilot and hunter. I haven't seen any names yet. I once read that your chances of dying in a plane crash there are exponentially greater than going down to a grizzly.

From: Stekewood

Stekewood's Link
Terrible tragedy.

From: Mac
Troopers identified three victims aboard a Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 Caravan as pilot Harry Wrase, 48, of Wasilla; and passengers Steven Paul Andrew, 32, of Kenai, and Aaron Jay Minock, 21, of Russian Mission.

The other aircraft was a Piper PA-18 Super Cub operated through Renfro's Alaskan Adventures that took off from Bethel flying to a hunting camp with pilot Zach Justin Babat, 44, of Montana, and passenger Jeff Thomas Burruss, 40, of Haines.

From: iceman
I saw that this morning. Terrible. I just got back from AK a week or so ago. I'd be lying if I told you this kinda thing didn't cross my mind while flying around up there.

Sad stuff for sure.

From: PAstringking
Such a terrible loss.

From: Brotsky
My thoughts and prayers are with all of their families. I couldn't imagine, the chance to finally take the trip of a lifetime potentially and to have it end in such tragedy. Life is short my friends, treasure it and those you spend it with.

From: OneShot
Very sad. Prayers sent out to all involved.

Dangit. Very sad deal.

From: Ultrastealth
Bush flights scare me far more than bears.

From: huntmaster
Extremely sad deal!

Prayers for the ones left behind

From: BC
Terrible. We flew with Wade on our caribou hunt a number of years back. Seemed like a great guy. Prayers for all involved.

From: Trial153
terrible, prayers for everyone involved.

From: 76aggie
Always terrible to hear that. I'll be in a Cub out of Fairbanks on the 14th.

From: Kdog
Dang, prayers sent. Horrible.

From: Bucksnort32
Prayers to the family's left behind, no pain like unexpected deaths

From: Sean D.
With todays technology, how the heck does this happen? Surely one of the pilots had to have seen the other plane. Doesn't make sense to me.

From: Pat Lefemine

If you flew in the bush much you learn to realize that those planes are not equipped with modern technology, and even if they were it would largely be useless in that environment.

Bush flights are always a dangerous and thrilling part of a backcountry hunting adventure. But several times I have stepped off the plane, looked up and thanked Jesus. I've been on some flights where I was sure I was going to die.

From: Zbone
So sad, condolences to the families...

I've never been on a bush flight, but yeah for me the thrill and danger is part of the allure...

From: Sean D.

I get that those planes are not well equiped but cant figure out how you cant see the other plane.

From: kota-man
"I get that those planes are not well equiped but cant figure out how you cant see the other plane"...

The same way two cars collide at a rural, flat open intersection. Sh*t happens...

Horrible tragedy for all involved. God bless...

From: tradmt
Fog, clouds, sun, stuff happens. We will likely never know what really happened.

From: Rick M
Sean D, It's relative but Cubs are inherently safe. Slow flight, lots of lift and a steel cage. If I lost an engine I would want to be in a cub.

Mid air crashes are unavoidable. As much as we learn to scan for other aircraft it can be very difficult to see planes under certain circumstances. That said they are very rare.

This is why pilots are taught to communicate when they are near an airport where most of these incidents occur.

Prayers to all involved.

From: wild1
I've only been on a handful of bush flights, but they always make me nervous. My "fear" is probably statistically unreasonable, but a couple of my experiences have only exacerbated by concerns about them.

Sad news, sending prayers.

From: Bear Track
I flew bush planes in the north for 6 years. Not everybody has their "ears" on and bad things can a do happen, even when your wife is behind you when you blow the engine in a Cub... I had a few close and too many very close calls, hopping from lake to lake to lake. Airports and float bases are the worst.

From: Mr.C
its been a rough few years for Ranfro`s Alaskan Adventures,in the news for all the wrong reasons

sad story RIP fellas

From: writer
Sad for so many involved.

Agree that most bush plane landings are basically a "controlled crash."

Never had an issue. But was at a lake awaiting a float plane in BC when the outfitter the next concession over flipped his float plane and killed him and clients.

My pike fishing guide saved five lives when their Otter crashed on a lake and flipped. He'd grabbed an axe at the last second and was able to chop open a door, then swam back and forth getting others to shore.

It's still a risk I'll take from time to time, though, to access some of God's greatest country.

From: MDW
No issues here either, writer.

Made a few trips out into the Alaskan and Canadian bush without incident and cherish every one of those trips. Just hope there is at least one more in my future.

One pilot was so cautious he would not take Anna and myself in the same flight!

To the other extreme, a pilot figured his fuel so close, he ran out three times. Glided in to a strip twice, would have made all three, except electric lines across one end got him. I told him that I would spring for an extra 5 gallons and lighten my pack some.

From: deerman406
Sean, grew up around small planes. Grandparents owned an airport til I was 6 or 7 and I still live on part of that property. The airport is still going strong! Lots of ways not to see another plane, clouds, fog, sun glare, darkness, and on and on. My thoughts to the families involved! Shawn

From: AKMathews71
Weather was clear & calm that day.

i have been on three cub flights in the bush in my life and thought i was going to die on one of them. 33% ratio aint good. the look on the pilots face when we landed i will never forget.

From: TD
My dad had a poster on the wall in his "office".

"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world.... they only fly just barely fast enough to kill ya...."

From: Mr.C
Was watching some fly in moose hunt videos and came across one.. if i was puter smart i could load it for all to see ,but im not ...two fellas flying with Renfro`s state in thier video! sorry for not being home honey but we kinda crashed the plane in the marsh, its at the end of the video! and they got some dandy moose as too.... look up 2015 fly in moose hunts and see" 2 bulls in 3 days" it must happen alot we just dont here about it here in the lower 48 ...seems they really push the load limit to cut down on the amount of flights per group hence saving someone $ and risking your life for a dollar maybe someone will load it? if so thanks MikeC

From: Bou'bound
So they predicted their death on video?

From: Beendare
Bad deal.

I've had more than my fair share of close calls with these bush flights......

....but its still a toss up; Getting into a float plane....or getting on a strange horse for a long ride in.

From: ben h
terrible news. I have only been on these types of planes twice in my life. the 1st was on the plane ride in for a project on the AK peninsula and the second was on the ride out. I flew in and out with the same pilot, the way in was great; on the way out shortly after we took off the pilot said "F#$K we shouldn't have taken off ". Visibility was very low, due to an incoming storm front and they don't really have a bunch of navigational equipment.

From: Kevin Dill
I would always rather be on the ground and wishing I was flying somewhere, than just the opposite. Taking off is optional. Landing is mandatory.

From: Royboy
Have flown in the brooks in a Dehavilland beaver very cool and exciting. Sad deal praying for families.

From: Rut Nut
I have flown in float planes a few times. Last time was 2005 in Northern Quebec. Got flown to a new camp for the day to fill a caribou tag. Only had a day pack and weapon. After I filled the tag we left for our camp. About 45 min later we landed back at the camp where I shot the caribou. Pilot/outfitter could not find our camp in the weather(fog/rain). Spent a very uncomfortable night with no change of clothes and/or sleeping bag, but was VERY glad the pilot had not "pushed the envelope" to try to get us back there. While eating dinner that night the pilot/outfitter told us he was not taking any chances after "what happened last week". He would not talk about it, but we found out from the other outfitter that a pilot had crashed and died in similar conditions a few days before we got to camp. Our pilot was good friends with the deceased.

That's probably the most uncomfortable I've ever been on a hunt(very wet/cold night in tent), but I did not complain one bit- just glad our pilot had enough sense to play it safe!

From: Mr.C

Mr.C's embedded Photo
Mr.C's embedded Photo
sorry for any misunderstanding ! NO the fellas didnt die they just ditch the plane in the weeds at the end of the small lake on the second attemp to take off ! which is not on video, they obviously got out and started filming again ,,thats when they said sorry hunting we wont be home in time we crashed the plane in the marsh.....its the same pilot that I used and they same one that did this he must be part cat

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