About the big tire pilot

Welcome to my blog and training site.  I am a flying freak…seriously. Its about all I think about. DOING IT SAFE IS WHATS MOST IMPORTANT!

Between flying airplanes, running our heli ski operation in Alaska (PNH) and of course Crossfit, the fitness in my life, aviation means a lot to me.

I am now 48 years old and have been flying since I was a young kid with my pops while growing up in Alaska. About 47 years in all (if the time spent in the back seat of his airplanes count).

I have a FAA Commercial Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate ticket with an Instrument rating and a Glider add on.

Sharing my passion with others is something that I look forward to daily. I fly just about anything I can get my hands on. Airplane, Helicopter, Glider (sailplane) Paraglider, Skydive, Speed wing, you name it. I have been fortunate to fly a number of different aircraft including  Helio Couriers, Super Cubs, Cessnas – 152, 172, 170, 180, 182, 185, 206, Beaver, Maule, Just Aircraft – Highlander and the new Stretch SuperStol. I’ve also have a few hours of dual time in a Pilatus PC12 flying it to Alaska with a buddy but Im more about the smaller planes with the backcountry access. Additionally, I have a number of hours dual in an A Star Helicopter with well over 1000 hours as a passenger given the nature of my business in Alaska.

My business is aviation. My wife and I own and operate the largest heli ski operation in the United States, Points North Heli-Adventures Inc., in Cordova Alaska for the past 19 years. Check out – www.alaskaheliski.com. I am also the current President of the United States Heli Ski Association (7 years now running).

In 2015 I was invited to be a part of a select group of pilots representing STOL at the worlds largest fly-in, Oshkosh. Being a part of the Oshkosh STOL demo team is a true honor.

Saftey and all that goes into that is my primary responsibility in life. I’m a father of two children (2&6) and married to a beautiful lady (together now almost 20 years) that lets me do all of this with full support.

Currently I own an 1953 Cessna 180, a Backcountry Supercub Rev 2 and a Just Aircraft Highlander.

I’m aktahoe on the various backcountry flying forums. www.backcountrypilot.org, www.supercub.org or the Skywagon forum.

If you have not yet attended our High Sierra Fly-in, now in its 8th year, I can only encourage you to come join us in the desert. Its just another endeavor that I created that offers like minded pilots the opportunity to gather and enjoy one another while flying in the remote regions of Nevada. Checkout our Stoldrag.com site for more info on what really happens at the HSF.

Welcome to my flying blog and thanks for your time here! I look forward to flying with you!

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33 comments

  • Great blog Kevin! Look forward to some Sierra adventures!

  • This looks like a great place for some flying freaks to hang out.

    Great site Kevin, I’ll check it often.

  • Found BCP several weeks ago. Now this. You guys on the golf course tour are killing me-especially the plans for next weekend. My main ranch and the cattle summer range are in your north circuit. You are having way too much fun. I will be looking up.
    PM when you get time

  • Hey Kevin, I hope to make it down your way before you head north. Engine out of the Maule till I get back from Africa October 15th.

    Cheers…Rob

  • You have a real talent in that bird you fly. I enjoyed flying with you an learned a lot. Already looking forward to doing it again. Nothing like our Skywagons huh??

  • I too learned a lot from you already just watching you fly from inside and outside the plane. Admire the way you handle that 180!! Thanks for sharing your experience and hard work.

    Wanna be bush pilot….Harry V

  • Kevin,
    I’m getting a little training in a 53 C180 but am a low time pilot and its not consistent, so i’m not developing the skills. Want to get out in the backcountry and wondering what you think about Stinsons and Pacers. Those are aircraft a guy can afford and make some sense.
    I’m in the industry financing aircraft for a living and have been for over 20 years. Worked as a lineman in highschool and have been addicted to airplanes ever since but still don’t have much time. wanting to get a plane that makes sense and get into the backcountry either here in colorado, utah.

    Whats your suggestion for the lower cost aircraft that a guy can get into and not break the bank, that makes sense.
    thanks for your input!
    Garz25

  • The Stinson is an excellent aircraft! My dad had one for years. Pacer is a neat aircraft as well, just don’t know a whole lot about them. I personally think I would go with a Cessna 170 and try to find one with a 165h engine. Most come with the 145 and thats a good plane as well. Where is home for you and at what elevation is your home airport? That would also be a factor. For an extra $20K (over the $35K for a Stinson or Pacer) you can get yourself into a pretty nice 180 for around $60K. All of this is just my 2c of course. Ask 10 different people and you will get 10 different answers….most of them however dont fly everyday. Would love to meet you. Thanks for your post here!
    Kevin

  • I need a fix Kevin….time for a new post!!

  • YOu are correct Harry! Looks like your having a good time back east! Great video you put together on the BCP site! Stay in touch my friend!

    Kevin

  • Wow, such a small world. I stumble across the blog and find out that the guy who owns Points North, and who’s added some the best helicopter and skiing footage (via Warren Miller ski films – which I’ve been attending and watching since I was a child), also owns a Cessna 180 and is crazy passionate about his own flying.

    Hopefully you got that CFII rating done, if not… Get on it!

    I am a proud co-owner of a 1975 Cessna 182P with Robertson STOL and am carrying around my new Temporary Airman Certificate that now includes the words, “Instrument Airplane”, and am as crazy about flying as you.

    Maybe we will meet someday on an airstrip or a good ski hill. Safe flying and tailwinds.

    Nate
    a.k.a. DenverPilot

  • Thanks for your good words nate! I hope to see you in the air one day! Best to you…Kevin

  • Love your website. I’m a new owner of a 1961 C-185, N9803X, 3rd one built. Having a blast with it.

  • Great to hear from you Jay! We need to do some flying sometime for certain. Have fun with that 185. Where is your home airport?

  • Kevin:

    I have a 185 with a Sportsman cuff, WingX extentions and VG’s. Send me a PM if you want to talk about flight characteristics.

    Nice website and passion for flying.

  • Hey Kevin. Awesome site. I’m a flat lander duster pilot down here in south Texas. Had a 56 180 that I tore up a few years ago and have been dyin to get another. Bout to pull the trigger on one w the wingx mod you have and heard lots of stuff both ways on it. I like to fly like you and wondering your brief opinion of real usage with it. I fly a rare 2 seat turbine thrush if your ever down this way and wanna try your hand at crop dusting. Thanks for the awesome site. Take care. Jason

  • Jason-

    I can tell you the the WingX is outstanding! Truly. That with the Sportsman is a great set up. I am going to play with the VG’s to see if I like them on the set up so we will see. I would love to do some crop dusting. Please stay in touch! If your ever out this way I have an empty seat for ya!

    Kevin

  • Hey Kevin,
    Back with my 55! Man I’m stoked. Wing x,sportsman, vg’s and other mods. Two questions for ya. I’m also on bcp now to. New member. Ok 2 things. I had a 56 before and my 55 has 185 legs, which I thought I was excited about. Now I know u have the titaniums; which I want; but my legs seem way to stiff from what I’m use to. Seems like a lot of undue beating on the girl.. The 180 gear seems to take the roughness better. Now granted I have 7’s and panties on it right now. I have 29’s going on soon. Just seems to me if its enough to need 185 gear, you’d rip te gear boxes out before the legs would break.
    2nd. I noticed you went to newer style cowl and exhaust. Was curious why because I love my dual lees. Just curious. Thanks man. Love your site. Hope this is ok here?

  • Great to hear from you Jason! Always ok to post here! Post more often..:)

    Sounds like you have a great aircraft. I have a 57 cowling on mine. Always had the single exhaust with no temp problems. You like your VG’s? Who are you on BCP? You must be who I have been talking to. TI gear is the only way to go! Have already shared my other OPINIONS with you on the gear stuff. Keep posting…Send me some photos of your bird and I will put them here.

    Best

    Kevin

  • Ya man, that’s me. 55wagon. I like the vg’s fine but can’t compare without them. They were there when I got it. I think I pmd you about the wingx. I like it a lot. Very very stable and solid. I had just the sportsman on my 56. The only downside I’ve seen w wingx is I feel it took some of my snappy roll rate out. Felt like i could whip her around a little more. But like I said. It’s all a give and take. And I haven’t gotten welded to her yet either. Looking for a pod now. I like to haul to much when I go hunting. Nice to keep the cg right. She’s pretty tho. Love the dual lees exhaust. Sounds awesome to. She’s got the pponk boxes,sportsman,wingx,firewall batt,flat xbAggage,atlees,xp 10″. Lot of little goodies to. Even electric seats! Haha. Be pulling those. Still thinkin I don’t like the 185 gear cause of the weight at least. I was a weight freak on my 56. Stripped. Had her right at 1500. Really. I know. No interior or anything. Wich I got a warning for for not being airworthy!! Another story. Gotta put my monarchs on, bubbles, and thick windshield. Switch to my 6 bolts and mount my 29’z. Can’t wait for that!! Oh and put my old motor in. Got a sick 470. Thanks for your help and suggestions man. Hope to meet and fly with ya soon.

  • Epic winter flying shots. My son Ben is the CubCrafters dealer for CA, and he and his customers are always looking for flying adventures. Your mountain flying on skis certainly qualifies for that! You mention that some of the high Sierra lakes are open to floats. Where do we get info on that? The CubCrafters Carbon Cub is an incredible high altitude performer, and would be a blast on floats on high mountain lakes.

  • Thats a very long reply but please feel free to send me your number and I will give you a call. Headed back to Alaska this week. Will be back in May. Thanks for your post. My other email is 53skywagon@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

  • Hey man, I’m the commercial pilot that you met who’s working at the Starbucks at Squaw Valley for the winter. It was a couple of months ago now, but your business card fell behind a piece of furniture that I recently moved and there it was! Hoorah! I couldn’t find that thing to save my life, lol. Anyway your blog is great, and unfortunately I see that you’re heading back to Alaska soon so I probably won’t be able to get together with you before that. I was hoping to talk to you about some of your adventures and some of the glider towing that you said you do up here. I’ve been doing Aerobatics out at Stead this winter and damn is it fun! I hope to hear from you next time you’re in town!

    Cheers!

    P.S. I keep hearing those commercials on 101.5 for your company! I will be very jealous of whoever wins that thing, it sounds awesome!

  • Hey Connor-

    Good to hear from you! Please stay in touch. Will get you flying this spring when we return!

  • Kevin,
    I’m in shock. I enjoyed spending time with your Dad at “three shotgun shells” last Fall. I know when my Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer, flying alone helped me clear my mind.
    I’ll keep you both in my thoughts, John ( Chance)

  • Hey Kevin, I’m the guy with the straight tail 182A next to you at Caveman. I see what happened to your stab… Sucks, sorry to see that. Are u going to get it fixed in time for Johnson Creek? It was good to meet you bro.
    Wally

  • No JC for me Wally! Bummer but plane is almost fixed. Should be back in the air next week. It took awhile to get my new stab here. Thanks for reaching out!

  • Owner of a 1956 Skywagon 180. Live in Missoula Montana, interested in talking flying/Skywagon. Any fly ins planned for MT or ID?

  • Hey Mike- You should come down to our High Sierra Fly-innext week! Weather is looking to be fantastic!

    Thanks for your words! I look forward to meeting you.

    Kevin

  • Hey hey!
    Great blog and awesome pictures and footage!
    I moved to Alpine Meadows a couple months back and I am wanting to start working on my private cert. again… Do you have any suggestions for local CFI’s or schools?
    Many thanks!
    Ryan

  • Hey Kevin, does your blog have a feed? I’d love to list you on http://www.browsetheramp.com/feeds

  • Currently I don’t own an aircraft but I am obsessed with 180’s, always have been. I would love to own one but think maybe I’ll start with a 170 (a little more affordable). I’m 36 and been flying for 25 years now just a crusty military pilot, retiring from that in 9 years, can’t wait! I just need to get smart and start my own business making flying an integral part of it. Easy right!! Hope to meet you some day…I do fly into Truckee and surrounding I’ll keep my eye out for that incredible 180.

    Kel

  • Nice site Kevin; you are definitely a “Well Rounded Flyer”!!!!
    Great to chat today!
    Be Safe!

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