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Alaska Flying

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Rey Mad

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Some website visitors have asked me what it is like to fly in Alaska so I'll bore you with the details:

 

Alaska is a big state and it is broken up into various sections that are called varying names: North Slope, Central Interior, Western Interior, Aleutians, South Central, Yukon, Southeast...

 

I work mostly in Southeast Alaska (Yakutat to Ketchikan; sometimes called the Panhandle) with some trips for relief in the Interior and South Central.

 

Southeast Alaska is heavily wooded, mostly coastal with small and large islands that the ships refer to as the Inside Passage due to the waterways being protected by the islands. The area is a temperate rain forest with a capital "R" in RAIN! Rainfall is measured in feet so flying here involves a lot of wet weather slinging and having gortex written somewhere on every item of clothing you own.

 

We do helicopter external loads. Bubble doors are used unless the pilot prefers no door for slinging. We also fly glacier tours and the scenery is breathtaking. Seasonal pilots are hired for the tour flying and most are very happy to have such a beautiful place to fly. The problem is the weather is usually not too cooperative with letting everyone see the landscape but when there are clear days, the miles and miles of glaciers and mountain ranges is pleasing to one's eyes.

 

Flying utility in Southeast can be a challenge due to the large trees. A 150 foot tall Spruce tree is not uncommon. Hover holes require a steady hand and good rotor clearance calibrated eyeballs. The landing pads are creative. Some are toe-ins on to logs while some are log cabin construction looking helipads with planks. The quality of the heli-pads vary so shutting down on a pad is not always possible.

 

Log Pad

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Dahl Creek, Something ate this caribou

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My kids on top of the Juneau Ice Field

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"The area is a temperate rain forest with a capital "R" in RAIN! Rainfall is measured in feet so flying here involves a lot of wet weather slinging and having gortex written somewhere on every item of clothing you own."

 

Well, at least Rey can sympathizes with me, Oregon is no better!!!!

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"The area is a temperate rain forest with a capital "R" in RAIN! Rainfall is measured in feet so flying here involves a lot of wet weather slinging and having gortex written somewhere on every item of clothing you own."

 

Well, at least Rey can sympathizes with me, Oregon is no better!!!!

 

I grew up in Oregon and Southeast Alaska makes the Willamette Valley look like a desert.

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I grew up in Oregon and Southeast Alaska makes the Willamette Valley look like a desert.

 

Hey, I remembered you grew up in Oregon and how much rain are ya talkin' about Rey? 2 ft. ? (just a shot in the dark).

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I grew up in Oregon and Southeast Alaska makes the Willamette Valley look like a desert.

 

Hey, I remembered you grew up in Oregon and how much rain are ya talkin' about Rey? 2 ft. ? (just a shot in the dark).

 

Ketchikan: Average annual rainfall is 152 inches

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