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Cirrus Landings - C-GDET, Cirrus SR-20, takes off from a Sand bar on the Thelo

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On August 12th. a Cirrus SR-20 (C-GDET, serial 1180, the first imported into Canada) was taking part in the 2007 Great Klondike tour, flying 6000 miles from Toronto to the Yukon and back. Half way between BakerLake and Yellowknife, 220 miles from the nearest settlement /landing strip, it was forced to make an emergency landing out on the barrens. The Pilots, Eric and Tim Harpell did a brilliant job, landing it on a mile long Sand bar on the Thelon River in Canada's North West Territories. The exact location was N 63-46-91, W 104-15-45 which is 220 nm from CYBL and 282nm from CYZF. As part owner/pilot of C-GOPX, serial 1188, the second Cirrus imported into Canada, I and seven other planes were flying as a group with GDET when the emergency landing took place. As you can imagine we have been keenly following the recover effort for the last month. Initially, with the engine oil issue fixed, the soft sand would not allow for a take off. We have flown the cirrus SR-20 from gravel runways and grass, but a sand bar? A variety of ideas were suggested, ranging from putting on oversized tires ( even tundra tires), to using toboggans as skids. On Sept 11, 2007, with the engine oil issue resolved, and the soft sand frozen solid with an early frost, Bob Ambrose flew it out. No modifications were required. Just goes to show you timing is everything. Still pictures of GDET on the sand bar, and other pictures of our amazing journey into Canada's booming North can be found here: bfc...

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