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1959 Piper Pacer, PA22/20-160

January 4, 2017

My wife and I were on our way to Alaska following the AK Hwy in our newly acquired 1959 Piper Pacer, PA22/20-160. After refueling at Ft. Nelson, BC we continued out for T/O. It was 90° and we had 60 gals of gas, and bags. After a run up off we went, everything was normal until 300' when the rpm started dropping off. There were tall pole pines in front of us I started a turn away from them hoping to have enough energy to make it back at least to the mowed area of the airport, no good so I picked the lowest trees in front of us and prepared for a forced landing. I was carrying 50mph and the plane felt solid and I was able to stay in control as we went thru the tree tops and into the muskeg on the other side of a thin tree line. The prop was stopped at this time, when I felt the brush hitting the belly I flared to full aft elevator. This is where the VG's shined, I was able to slow wings level , the tail wheel touched and ran thru the moss for 15-20' , then the mains touched and tore off with the wing struts and we slid to a stop in control. I believe the VG' s enabled me to fly to the ground in complete control, slow and do a gentle landing and we lived with a few bumps when the plane came to a stop and flipped over. Without VG's I shutter to think what could have happened. My Husky and my StarDuster both have VG, they are cheap insurance. Thank you for a great product.