I just told a friend just recently , that in order to really live you must also must nearly die! I just read a sad story about four rodeo cowboys crashing their plane and all perishing. This happened in 1979 and I can remember it clearly . I think it took 6 months to find them As my mind tends to do it started me thinking about chance and all it entails. I go back to 1998 Thanksgiving day. We had filled most of our hunters out with elk and the hell roaring hunters were on their way out to see if we could get the last few elk they needed. I had talked to Jamie Bell on radio .Yes technology hit hellroaring . No cell phones though .Although we had an old car bag phone in camp. He said he had lost 5 horses and thought they had gone out the upper hellroaring trail. They never showed up here so I hired Bill Chapman to fly me into that country to see if we could locate them and radio Jamie there location.. I got to the airport around two in the afternoon. He said super cub wasn’t running right and we needed to take Satabri (sorry on spelling) It was an acrobatic plane. This is where chance plays into your lives. We took off and the weather was fine . Id flown over 350 hours with Bill and my brother Clarence had a Cessna 172 that I flew some myself. We flew the spot on crevice creek where the two trails meet and saw Jamie . I absently thought if we crash at least he will find us. Im not sure why I thought this but I did. There were a few hillsides in pine creek I wanted to look at . I was worried about my horses because most of the time they wont come out if snowed in . They paw snow and work uphill then become so weak they cant get out. I found 23dead horses in the mountains in one place. Winter killed. Well as we dropped over into pine creek we hit a windsheer . The plane just fell out of the sky . Then I started feeling the tops of trees hitting the plane . It literally filled the cab with pine needles ! Then the pounding stopped and I heard Bill say “fly you sonofabitch fly!!!!”I was in the backseat and the planes locate beeper went off and was beeping so loud it was creating all sorts of distress , as if we didn’t have enough to deal with. We had taken the tops out of 45 trees. There were limbs hanging off the wings. The side of Pine mountain was coming up fast and I said to myself its over so go out with dignity and take it in silence . Which is not hard for me as Im not known to waste words.Then somehow Bill turned it with inches to spare and Im not exaggerating . He said turn that BLANKING beeper off . As I was trying to figure out the kill button I heard him say we must have really hit hard for that to go off . You think Bill ? I thought to myself.. I could see a big dent in wing . It was sputtering and coughing . Now Bill is the best pilot around and he asked me are you scared . My reply . Are you ? He says no . I say then Im not either but I think we better get home. He said look for a place to land we may not make it. We sputtered until we got above Jardine and I heard him call his wife Loretta and calmly say get fire truck and ambulance to airport we are coming in for a crash landing . We hit trees and plane cant turn right. . I said what can I do . Tighten your seat belt and if you have any favors coming from the man up above Call them in now! I grab my radio called the house Aimee answered I said is Sue and Jeremiah there Sue is was her reply . I said get her over by radio and listen ! I said we hit some trees and were going to airport and just wanted to call and say I love you and tell Jeremiah ok. You never know how these things are going to work out. Ill omit the rest of that but I turned my radio off as Bill needed to concentrate. We were losing altitude fast and we missed Gardiner bridge by maybe 20 feet . I can remember looking into the terrified eyes of a motorist . He probably said the same thing..Bill said wind is wrong if we fly straight in we will end up in river . I cant turn right but maybe if I bank hard to the right the wind will turn us enough to land . Saw fire truck headed to airport out my window. .He said hold on Warren you are the calmest passenger Ive ever been with . Its been fun. You to Bill, but land this Im ready. Sure enough he was right and it turned and we hit the runway a sliding and skidding. Took out 7 orange pylons bounced off runway bounced back on and once more off and back on sliding sideways . When it stopped I unbuckled my seatbelt opened door stepped out and grabbed tree limb as souvenir ! If we had taken super cub the wings would of been torn off and my mules would of packed what was left out of the mountains. The flying inspectors told Bill he did everything right and 99 percent of the pilots wouldn’t have flown it out of there !This is what I meant . I love riding horses and a few bucking horses . Anything can get you so don’t be afraid to live because you might die!
– Respectfully Warren