Badlands, Cut-Over Lands, Forests, and Frozen Wastes


These conditions are spotty. In general, only forests occupy very large areas and they present their particular hazards to the novice pilot. Perhaps you have flown along and contemplated the fluffy green carpet of a forest beneath you, thinking it ought to be a soft and safe place to land. If it were all leaves, it would be; but there are limbs and tree trunks in that mattress, and tree landings must be listed as dangerous and expensive. In all but a few such areas there are small open fields in which an emergency landing can be made. Before flying over all the others, the novice pilot should seek the advice of an experienced pilot and listen to him very attentively.

Badlands, excepting perhaps those of South Dakota, are rather limited in area and can be avoided. There is no reason, in fact, for flying directly over the middle of any very bad stretch of country. You can always go around – it may stretch your flights, but it also will stretch your span of life. 

Frozen pilot huddles under wing of snowy airplane

Cut-over ground is bad for airplanes. It’s as easy to run between the rain drops as it is to land between stumps. You might walk away from a stump-field landing, but your airplane will probably be a washout. There seems to be a lot of this kind of terrain, but actually there are few spots where the area is very great certainly not too great to fly around when safety dictates the course. 

“Frozen wastes” sounds bad, doesn’t it? But we have them in varying sizes in this big United States. Only very hardy and experienced pilots who cannot postpone their flights should attempt to fly such areas, You can be just as much alone and lost in the country-sized wheat fields to North Dakota and Minnesota as an Alaskan “bush”  pilot forced down between Galena and Nome. A forced landing is not too difficult, even in deep snow; but freeing to death at the same spot is still easier. 

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