Jill Tallman

Floatplanes, horses, Alaska: “R5Sons” just might have it all

February 23, 2010 by Jill W. Tallman, Associate Editor

Many of you are going crazy over “Ice Pilots NWT,” a new series on Canada’s History Channel. I haven’t been able to tune in because 1. I don’t get the Canada History Channel and 2. They keep yanking the videos off YouTube. So I’ll have to take your word for it that it’s awesome.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered “R5Sons, Alaska” on RFD-TV. “R5Sons” follows the adventures of the Perrinses: Steve Sr., Denise, their five sons, and various members of the extended family. The Perrinses own and operate Rainy Pass Lodge, 125 nm north of Anchorage, and each episode is a day-to-day peek at life in the wilderness. See the Season 2 trailer here. 

Aviation is at the cener of nearly every episode. In a recent installment, the Perrinses must transport horses from Anchorage to the lodge. A behemoth Shorts SkyVan is enlisted, and it has to land on a short dirt strip. There’s a lot of tension involving the ever-changing weather, the pilot’s experience with dirt runways, and whether the landing will throw the horses through the plywood barrier that separates them from the cockpit.

My only complaint is that at one hour long, “R5Sons” feels a little, well, padded. But I’m really loving the beautiful videography, the airplanes, and the obvious affection that these hard-working folks have for each other. (Gotta love a dad who tells his adult sons, “Love you, bye” at the end of each phone call.) 

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3 Responses to “Floatplanes, horses, Alaska: “R5Sons” just might have it all”

  1. J Ritchie Says:

    I’ve been watching this show; there is always a seaplane landing/takeoff on every show. Beavers, Otters, Cessnas, even a Grumman Widgeon (?).

    There is another episode from Season 1 where one of the sons (Clay?) learns how to fly and they purchase a somewhat ragged-out Aeronca Sedan for use at the family’s airstrip. After a few flights (with an oil leak, no less) they find the elevator tubing is rusted through and they recover the controls with the help of an A&P friend in Anchorage.
    But after that, there was no mention of any more flying or of the Aeronca; I wonder what happened? Anybody know?

  2. Shirley Browne Says:

    Awesome Show better then the Palin’s.

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