With its massive radial engines, powerful stance, and seemingly indestructible aesthetic, the Grumman G-21 Goose is an aircraft that evokes more than an air of folklore.
A relic of World War II brute force engineering and design, the seaplane’s wide-ranging performance envelope and service capacity continues to be unique among airplanes today. Indeed, with only an estimated 30 still flying, there is something almost mythical about its hulking presence. Rare it is, to see one flying — rarer yet, the chance to actually fly one.
Yet, at the gates of the Alaskan Wilderness, on Lake Hood, the opportunity exists.
All one needs is a guide. Not only to help navigate the surrounding network of unoccupied waterways and mountains, but also to instruct on how to handle the characteristics of an airplane that, nearly a century on, is still hard pressed to find an equal.
That guide is Burke Mees. [Read more…]