After a cliffhanger of a plane landing in the Talkeetna Mountains earlier this month, 21-year-old Matthew "Jake" Soplanda of Anchor Point and a skiing buddy managed to climb away from Soplanda's dated, single-engine Taylorcraft as it hung perched over a 1,500-foot drop.
Embarrassed by the botched touchdown that nearly turned deadly, all Soplanda wanted was to recover the airplane from the teeth of the rocky ridge that held it so he could fly again.
Given the ubiquitous nature of digital cameras and the Internet, however, he got more.
A photo shot from another aircraft that overflew the precariously perched airplane has made Soplanda's Taylorcraft -- if not the pilot himself -- something of an Internet sensation among small plane pilots.
His mother, Jolayne, said by telephone from Anchor Point on Tuesday that her son wishes the attention would all just go away. He would have preferred to learn his lesson in private.
He is now trying to avoid talking about it, she added.
He knows how lucky he is, she said. "I know it. We know it."
On April 19, Soplanda attempted to land near 6,000 feet on an unnamed peak east of Bald Mountain in the Talkeetnas to explore ski and snowboarding opportunities on some adjacent slopes. Unfortunately, the snow atop the peak where he touched down was crustier than the young pilot expected.
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