Cky-Ber Enterprises Inc
Cycle shop in Red Lodge Montana. If you have a scooter you need to try the roads in the area, outstanding country.
SO we get this call from the USFS in Red Lodge, Montana explaining that they have a blowdown event in some of their campgrounds and leases which are near Yellowstone (Yea Teddy!). Off we go to find:
Redlodge, Montana blowdown
This Recreational forester was NOT kidding as they had 11,000 thousands acres of this problem. Contracted us to remove from the campgrounds and lease site the problem trees before the campgrounds opened in May. SO the rush was on!
Of course, it snowed and I couldn't get within the last couple miles of the site, so I hiked on in and at the end of the day walked Joey out to the truck for fuel. It was a beautiful day for a walk.
While I was cleaning up around the cabin leases, I had a HUGE discussion with one of the lease holders. He thought that the leasee should be able to remove that blowdown. Tain't so friend, and he invited me to dinner, wife is a wonderful cook, and after 5hrs of more discussion , we agreed to disagree. I did warn him that every ton of this blowdown contained at least 57 gallons of diesel fuel equivalent, his lease was in a chimney, and when it burned, not if but when, he better get out of Dodge to safe his life. Said I was overstating the situation, and nothing like that was going to occur. OK I say and go back to work the next morning.
His cabin and thinned area.
I'm working on another job near West Yellowstone when the cell phone rings, and it's this Gent that I had the discussion with. He said he wanted to thank me for clearing around his cabin at Red lodge as the canyon burned a couple of days ago. We thinned around 50 of the 52 cabins as I couldn't get to two of them. All the ones I thinned around and his are fine. The other two burned to the ground. All the campgrounds I thinned around were fine also. Furthermore, the firefighters were trapped by the fast moving fire and they stayed around his cabin as it burned over them. My predictions of that evening came true. Thank you again, he says before he hug up.  Made me feel good.
Utah job Yellowstone On  The Bear
Restoration project on a subdivision in the Unita Mountains. Removed the Dead LPP and ground it 4 inch minus for removal. We had a D7 Cat pushing and piling the grindings from this 1000Hp grinder
All of this biomass can be utilized for other products. The point of these photos is that while current infrastructure can not provide, from this biomass, a useful product at this time-there is a tremendous amount of this resource available. See the Billon Ton report.
Vegetation such as these small dead/dying trees have far more chemical value than normally produced products. We just need to find those uses on a commercial scale. 
Contracted with the American Bird C. to top a few trees on Antrim point creating snags.
This climbing the trees is very hard work. Even had visitors in the local hot air rigging close.
Tops off
DId 11 trees this day.
Finished snag with box attached
Later this tree had over 100 woodpecker holes in it. That was the most of any of our snags.
Clearing and disposal of dead P Pine on a USFS contract near Helena, Montana
Joey, our 820 Timbco Forwarder, felling and limbing dead P Pine timber.
Joey loaded
Forwarder loaded with dead P Pine at the landing.
Robert Feeding the Air curtain Burners
There was no market for the timber as it was high in defect, so we disposed of it in air curtain burners which eliminates the normal smoke.
More to burn
If this campsite had been thinned when the timber was live much of it could have been marketed. Being a campground and trailhead it is difficult to accomplish thinning like this until something drastic occurs.
No smoke
Using the forwarder in combination with the Hoe and Air curtain burners very little disturbance resulted.
28 April 2016


N13XZ.   Modified W-10  Phase 1 test in progress.  First flight 26 Feb 2016


I bought the plans, #975, from Mr. Wittman in Sept 1993 which came as W8 with W10. I dreamed, studied, researched (Clement Mods, Stanton manual, Tailwind forum, Sport Aviation, NACA, Cafe), and planned until 15 July 2013. I modified N13XZ for my mission.

Many friends helped with important contributions, parts, ideas, suggestions, encouragement THANK YOU!,! Lynnet, my beautiful wife, arranged funding and suggestions on the cowl, steps, baggage, windows, and etc.

Final mission target is 200lb pilot/passenger/gas/baggage, 200mph cruise, TO/land 700 ft at 3640 ft msl 80* day.

I targeted 24"+ prop clearance 3pt and 12"+ level, changed every tubing size, and increased the fuselage length 12" while adding one bay to strengthen the tail area. I also increased the size of both the horizontal, vertical, and the rudder is 50% larger. Horizontal trims same as a C185.

Also bought Calbie Wood wing plans. To these I increased the span 6 feet, increased the thicknesses of all parts, added nose ribs in the fuel bay areas, built 26 gal fuel tanks per wing to supplement the 20 gal header tank, doubled the ribs in control areas, repositioned the strut attach point, built Wittman tips of aluminum, moved the controls for the ailerons closer to the rear spar, which increased the cord of the ailerons about 50%, and added fowler flaps which reflex up 3 degrees and deploy to 46 degrees. These flaps reduce the stall 15 mph ias. Control fittings are beefed up also.

The doors are Plexiglas covered and hinge up which I like very much. The door lever becomes my arm rest. The windshield is 1/4" Lexan. Brakes are double puck Cleveland with 6×6 tires.

I have built retractable wheel skis which I plan to test during phase 1.

So 2403 hrs later the 1557 lbs empty weight is heavy, but it includes a IO520D turning a 58 Mac 82 inch, and 18.3% MAC is 1896 lbs- that's me, 20 gal gas, and a fire extinguisher.

14 flights later at 32S I find that she goes up good 3640msl 35 degrees F TO 20 degrees flaps 2650 rpm 25 in takes 5-6 seconds is at <60 ias climb at 80 ias gives 1000 ft elevation agl at the end of the 3800 ft rw cht 320 which is good for starters . Stall full flaps idle power is 45 ias about the same as  gps, no flpas 60 ias, WOT 151 kts gps 7500msl 35 *F. 2200 rpm full flaps cht 280* level flight 40 ias 50 gps as long as you want.

She’s Noisy, Shakes, and has a Trilling climb. Searching for more speed, but I like her.


Craig E. Thomas

EAA102643  N13XZ  N4546F  Ckye Field, Montana.


Update 23 July 2016

Added modified Sportsman cuff to wing leading edge. At 1900# low power no stall mush all flaps setting WOT reduced 3-5 mph top 2382# stall 65ias flaps 0 stall 45 ias 46 degrees left wing drops. 46 degrees flaps at 20 in 2300 rpm 0-40 ias approximately 40 kts gps I can rotate from 45 degrees bank left or right or fly in a circle maintaining 6500msl very solid feeling. Landing approach 65ias results in a landing roll less than ½ before cuff touch down approximately 50 ias. Lands easier at 2382 than 1900. TO 1900 # 2.5-4 seconds climb similar at 80 ias.

Flew into the Selway Wilderness on a nice day. Fun. 700 foot useable one way strip.

It was 15 below zero when I fell through the ice cutting brush on this Minn lake. It is difficult to get out of these ASVs when the mower and lift arms are raised as the cab door is behind the arms. Had to restart and force the mower down to get out. Very exciting! Saved the engine by getting it to a heated shop after dragging it out with a backhoe and long chain. The engine and cab was full of water when we got her out. 
Working on a pipeline right of way in Minn. We did not have enough cutters to buck the logs into shorter lenghts, so I just hauled them crossways. The machine is 11 feet 3 inches wide to give a propective of the load width. It is easy to overload the machine this way,so some care is needed. Haul logs out and matts in as a back haul.
Guess where this Pic was taken? Kanas corn field!
Looks Crazy but it works!
For several years we used a converted skidder to move our chip vans to the chipper and position them for loading. I was originally convinced that the radius of the road prism was the limiting factor in transporting chip vans into and out of the woods logging roads. We were operating year round and we quickly found that the least tractive effort was when a road was used hard during the summer when dry. The road prism turns to powder and traction is diminished. This tractive effort problem combined with tight radius turns eliminated many logging roads from use. If we controlled the road, widening the road was a small problem but if , as is common, the roads have multiple easements, reconstruction was prohibited, then the skidder was one solution.
Getting to this point consumed 3 semi tractors and eight vans. After using the skidder for these several years we developed the roll-off system pictured elsewhere.
This was in the ninemile area west of Missoula, Montana. The road had several pitches 11-15% and the turn around distance was almost five miles. The road prism was 11-15 feet wide and the skidder was driven off the road while tracking the vans tires centered on the road prism. It does require an attentive driver and an air supply is necessary on the skidder for trailer brakes. If you meet traffic they back up.

Fun But Expensive Projects$$$$$

We tried the bundler twice. Once in Florence, Montana and once on the Burnt Fork Ranch at Stevensville, Montana. This caused us to develop the roll-off bins as we felt that they could compete because the bins use no twine and the container is already loaded as a large bale. The limbs actually hold the material together without the twine.
When the large bales are unloaded they maintain their shape and feed into grinders very well. As with the baler the material is as clean as the operator is careful. The bins are very simple as there are no moving parts to break, and require only one trip across the ground  because the material is baled and loaded in one operation. The bin bales are less dense than the twine baler. We hoped to have a bale off to compare the costs but have been unable to do this test.
The bins are much faster than the twine baler and utilize 1/2 the trips over the ground. It would be interesting!

On this job we ground the twine bales with a 3680 Bandit Beast. The twine became wrapped around the teeth, and the drum looked like a big fuzz ball. We couldn't cut it off with scissors or our leatherman, so we melted it with the cutting torch and pulled it out with a 4 wheel drive pickup. Looked like a big fuzzy mat made of binder twine. Don't ask what we did with it.
Ckye, my son, and the landowner on a job in the Bitterroots. Looks like the owner is OK with the job. Ckye has the Log Max 5000 and bunks on at the operation.
The bins can be dumped, or exchanged for log bunks, or a fire tank, etc. in about 3 minutes depending upon conditions. All can be loaded on the truck in about the same amount of time. Versatile and quick!
Our latest project will be a grinder on the roll-off frame. Wait till you see that! We will be able to go from either in about 3-4 minutes. A forwarder can be many tools.
Switched all the other stuff off and put on the concrete tank to go pour more bases for Lost Trail Ski Area new ski run. The forwarder is much less expensive than a helicopter. Bill Grasser is cleaning up before the next pour.

When the tank was unloaded some concrete remained inside so we'd crawl in it and shovel the remainder out. A very messy operation. Somebody came up with the idea of using a vibrator to move the concrete out and it works great. Judy, an owner and THE BOSS, is operating the 18 hp vibrator to complete the unload. She's smiling because I'm kidding her about operating the vibrator! Glad she smiled and didn't hit me with it. HA HA.

An engineer, a salesman, and two owners looking at the wear on the experimental blower on an experimental Vemeer 6000 prototype #1. My idea.
Finally quit looking at it, and started grinding some fuel for the Darby Fuels for School Project into a smaller live bottom.
More to Come!
Keep Checking.

Smile.  It'll keep'em wondering..