CRAZEDpilot.com co-founders had a chance recently to sit down with Greg Miller and learn more about this quiet yet highly experienced bush pilot. He's the owner of Bushwacker, an extreme bush plane known worldwide for it's (and Greg's) flying skills in and out of serious off-airport conditions. Please enjoy the question/answer session we had with Greg - there's no nicer bush pilot out there!
Greg, when did you first start flying? Year/age?
1994 (30 years old)
Who was your first instructor, friend, family?
I got my private from a company that is out of business, they were in Troutdale, OR. and my instructor was a great guy by the name of Richard Baily. He really let a person learn to fly by allowing them to make mistakes.
did your parents/grandparents/family fly?
No, I am the first in my family
why did you get into flying?
I spent some time living in Anchorage Alaska when I was in my early 20's and did some fly out hunting trips. I thought to myself at the time, if I could afford to I would like to get my pilot certificate someday.
how/why did you get into filming your adventures?
It was at the Airmen's show in Anchorage that I realized we (Loni and myself) had the potential to put together something that no one else had really done to the extent we were. I had a booth in 2004 showing off a few items I was thinking about marketing (extended gear for Maule, brake pads, 35"" bushwheels). Loni filmed me landing in some crazy places to show how well these items worked but people were more interested in watching the 7 minutes of video then anything else around the show. I had a guy that did flight tours in a helicopter around Denali tell me that I should make a full length DVD and sell it at the next show. It got me thinking and when I got home Loni and I went to work for a couple weeks filming each other do what we did all the time for fun. My cousin did the editing and BRLP Vol. 1 was born
Anything else you can think of that’s a neat fact about you and your flying or your plane or your DVD videos?
Bushwacker is just a lot of Maule parts put together with my idea of what a Maule should really be: super light, with a big wing, big prop, big tires, high hp out of a 4 cylinder, big flaps, no frills. It is a lot like a 4 place Supercub.
Bushwacker has around 1500 hours now since being built in 2004, it is heavier then when I finished (1247 with 31"" abw and 84"" propeller) now it weighs 1325 with 35"" abw, 90"" propeller and double slotted flaps.
I crashed an M5-235c Maule in 1999 while scouting for hunting season with my uncle, we both survived with small cuts but the airplane was totaled by the insurance co. It took me a year to put it back together after I bought it back from the insurance co. and 60K but I had a new airplane when I was done. It could have very easily ended differently but God was looking out for us that day.