Nine Lives of an Alaskan Bush Pilot was written by legendary rescue pilot Ken Eichner, "9 Lives" explores the life and adventures of one of the first helicopter bush pilots in Alaska. Explore the early days of helicopters as Ken tells of his adventures as a pilot from the second world war through the present day.
If you have an interest in aviation, search and rescue, or in Alaska's pioneer spirit, Eichner's memoir is for you. Aimed at bush pilots and their fans, Eichner's tale spans 53 years in the air over Southeast Alaska. In it he re-tells his experiences at the Granduc Avalanche, the crash of Alaska Airlines flight 63, the search for famed arctic pilot Howard Gillam, and dozens upon dozens of other real-life rescues that made Eichner a legend in Southeast.
While Eichner made his name flying helicopters, about half of the book deals with the bush planes that are so much a part of life in Southeast. Much of Eichner's business involved mineral exploration, chasing gold, copper, and uranium deposits from the seat of a Piper PA-12.
Illustrated with some 120 pictures and four maps, Eichner's memoir is surprisingly visual. A member in good standing of the Kodak generation, Eichner carried a camera with him to some truly striking vistas, ranging from Glacier Bay, to the Brooks Range north of the Arctic Circle, to Savoonga, a windswept community on an island not far from the Russia/Alaska border.
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