New Perspective On Going Hunting

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, March 27, 2011

There is something special about soaring through the sky whiletoggling the controls of an aircraft hundreds of feet above thetreetops, peaking through windows to experience the world from newangles.

However, maneuvering a self-built plane to remote destinationsto capture and hunt game puts a whole new perspective onthings.

Pilot Randy Goza made a quick stop at an old friend’s houseFriday in Lincoln County. Goza lowered his plane from the clearafternoon sky onto Charles Dixon’s grass landing strip just offHighway 84 before heading toward Lakeland, Fla. for the Sun’n Funinternational fly-in exposition.

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“This plane was built for two reasons: to go hunting and to landat Dad’s house,” said Goza.

The SQ-2 bush plane that Goza flew in on Friday was built in twoyears. He built the aircraft under the direction of fellow flyerand friend Wayne Mackey.

The plane has a wingspan of 39 feet and weighs a total of 1,200lbs. The SQ-2 can reach speeds in excess of 105 miles per hour andhas the ability to haul 1,000 lbs.

“Everything we’ve learned from bending, breaking and buildingother airplanes is incorporated,” said Goza.

However, it is the plane’s ability to take off and land within100 feet, its 35-inch rubber wheels, sturdy landing gear andslatted wings that make the aircraft perfect for ascending anddescending from harsh areas while searching for game.

“This allows you to land where you almost can’t walk,” Goza saidof the plane’s massive rubber tires. “I sure am proud of thatplane.”

A basic kit can be ordered to construct the plane for about$54,000. Goza said there are roughly 10 SQ-2s chasing the cloudsand there are about 18 being built.

“It’s not a common thing around here,” said Dixon.

Goza, raised in Copiah County, is no stranger to touching theclouds. When he is not visiting his dad west of Hazlehurst ortalking planes with Dixon, Goza is based in Alaska flying a Boeing747-400 for UPS.

Goza attended Wesson High School and said his love for flyingtook off during his days as a Cobra. He has been working with UPSfor 10 years.

When Goza is done showing off his wings, he hopes to use hisplane to haul away some caribou and moose from 200 miles above theArtic Circle in September. He has been hunting above Kotzebue,Alaska, for 10 years.

“I live to hunt and fish,” said Goza.

The Alaskan pilot has circled the globe, but Goza said he stillexperiences an adrenaline rush every time his wheels leave theground.

“I love looking down at God’s green earth,” he said. “It’s abeautiful thing.”