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DMagick

Alaska Grand Tour

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Instead of popping around from place to place using the map or doing random jobs as I've done in Hawaii, I decided try out a different way to explore Alaska. I'm going to make one big, continuous tour, deciding my next destination along the way, and stopping in on random airstrips as I go. I don't plan on landing at every single dirt strip or seaplane base, obviously, but I figure that I can hit most of the major stops. Some trips I'll use VOR stations to navigate, others I'll just try to fly visually, some of those dirt strips are pretty small though, and I'll have to use the overhead view or the map.

 

Yesterday I flew around Anchorage, then up to Wasilla (does everyone have their own private airstrip there?). After that I went through the mountains to the east and ended up landing at Lake Louise on a tiny, hazardous strip along the southwest shore of the lake.

 

Today I took off from there and headed east to Gulkana, then on north to Allen AAF. Around this time was where I actually came up with this tour idea. So I decided to stop at a few airstrips on the way, while following the flight path from the Gulkana VOR station to Allen.

 

Flying north from Gulkana towards Paxson Airport, I'm above Paxson Lake here. The airstrip is just visible above my airspeed indicator.

 

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After a successful landing at Paxson.

 

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I switched to the Carbon Cub and headed northeast again. Now you can start to see some real mountains. I'm flying in the spring with the weather set to 'among the giants.' I like the low level clouds and how they stack up against the mountains.

 

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Coming in for a landing at Black Rapids airstrip, now about 30nm south of Allen AAF. I like this weather setting, but the poor Carbon doesn't seem to handle the wind very well. You can see the tiny airstrip on the right. I'm pointed about 40º left of the runway, but I'm more or less headed straight for it. And it only got worse as I came in for the landing.

 

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Luckily the Cub can take a few bounces of the ground while going almost sideways. Here I am after a successful, if harrowing landing.

 

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Now in the Stearman headed for Allen. I took Roboray's advice and flew through the pass. The river that I'm above (Delta River I think) stretches from Black Rapids all the way to Allen where it joins with another river (maybe that's the Delta, google maps isn't too helpful for rivers).

 

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Coming in to Allen as the sun is setting.

 

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And I'm down for now.

 

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Next up I think I'll head to Fairbanks, a short distance to the Northwest. From there I'm thinking I'll head all the way out to Nome, on the west coast of Alaska, stopping a few places on the way. I'll see if I can't see Russian after that. And then, who knows, I could spend weeks just making 2 or 3 hour hops all throughout Alaska.

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nice pictures mate . if time lets me ill try something similar later on .

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Very impressive, wish I had the time for that. Thanks.

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Please keep the pics of your tour coming!

 

I don't want to hop around Alaska, either... but I don't have the patience for a grand tour like that.

 

Rather, I think I'm going to pick a home base and fly mostly from it and in it's vicinity, learning the terrain, and the towns, the airfields and the best low-level routes between them, like I would if I were really operating from there. Then, gradually expanding my "territory" as I learn it like the back if my hand and range further from "home."

 

In Hawaii, I was fortunate to already be intimately familiar with the islands. Other than for the tiny dirt strips, I could fly direct to any field visually without even a glance at my sectional. I used it to play with the VORs, but didn't really need it.

 

I know I can never gain that level of familiarity with all of Alaska, but I would like to learn a chunk of it. Now I just need to pick a place.

 

Some place with grandeur.

 

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What an excellent idea. I think I'll try something similar but travel around Alaska via the Job Board and take the next job from wherever I land next.

Could be interesting.

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Well, I don't think I'll get to everywhere. I was thinking of cutting across the state in a few places, and probably down the southern areas, past Juneau. Follow a mountain range here, a coastline there, some valleys and rivers, that kind of thing.

 

I was thinking of doing the job boards too, although I want to switch around planes a lot, so I'll only be able to do big jobs when I use the Maule. But that's a good idea, especially for when I don't have any specific destination in mind. And hopefully we'll have some new cargo or passenger planes to play around with sometime soon.

 

As for Hawaii, I really like how familiar I've become with the islands. I was **uely aware of the layout of the islands before, but now, after 60 or so hours, I have a fairly good grasp on the area. There's no way I'll be able to do that with Alaska, not even with 600 hours, but I would like to get an idea for what the area is like.

 

And I could see hanging around a few areas for a while, making short trips between all those little airfields. Some places are absolutely bristling with airfields, and I'm sure I could spend a while tooling around in those areas.

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I love the idea and have started a similar thing myself but more along the lines of what Blackrat said using the job board to take me around but not allowing myself the switch airports. It's really a great way to enjoy the scenery and I like having to "work" in order to get from one place to another. I used to do the same in FSX. So far in Alaska, I started out at the southernmost airport and have now worked my way up to Junaeu. Some amazing scenery in that area! As you said DMagick, I am also hoping for some bigger passenger planes/cargo planes soon to make it more interesting.

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Flew a 1-hour trip using the map at vfrmap.com and it was amazing! Reminded me of flying in real life.

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Flew from Ketchikan to Juneau to Sitka last night. Here are a couple of shots of the Juneau to Sitka leg.

 

FlyingtoSitka.jpg

 

 

FlyingtoSitkafromJueneau.jpg

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Great topic! Please keep sharing those screenshots, especially with some nice scenery in it :-)

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A few of my first Alaska images...

 

First -- Aloha Hawaii.

 

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Tight valley, challenging landing coming through the gorge and over the trees. But be careful where you park, lest someone spawn underneath you!

 

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500+ airports to land at, and what do people do? Play "King of the Hill" on the VOR equipment, of course!

 

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... or land on top of the nearest building ...

 

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We found one REALLY strange anomaly (though I can't remember exactly where at the moment). There's a HUGE rectangular hole in the ground, maybe a quarter mile across, around 1,000 feet deep. Folks were actually flying down into it to try to land on the bottom (nobody succeeded yet).

 

2012627224330147.jpg

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Flew into Yakutat ( PAYA) from Sitka this morning in the Stearman, a 230 mile flight. On approach the runway and approach lights turned on.

 

LightsonatYakutat.jpg

 

Touchdown and roll out

 

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Parked at ramp.

 

ParkedatYakutat.jpg

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Hope you were dressed warmly in that Stearman!

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Hope you were dressed warmly in that Stearman!

 

NATOPS guidelines call for scarf, goggles and gloves... so that's all he wore!

 

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While you're flying in the Southeast, I highly recommend a trip up Tracy Arm Fjord... it's gorgeous!

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EastCoastGuy, did you not get pictures of us skiing down the glacier last night? That was a fun trip!

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Starting out the next morning, I'm in the Icon now, taking off from Allen AAF.

 

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I flew around a few of the smaller airfields in the Delta Junction area. First to Rocking T. Ranch; I'm flying over the two rather harrowing little strips below.

 

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Up north to Remington Field next. I decided to take off from the little lake nearby since this was a small strip too.

 

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After that it was off to Wingsong Estates, Delta Daves, and Artic Angel Airport, then back to Allen to pick up a job. After switching to the Maule I picked up a cargo job headed for Clear Sky Lodge to the west. Here I am leaving the Delta Junction area.

 

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I followed the 107º radial towards the Fairbanks VOR station, flying above the Tanana River. Here I'm over the river; looking to north I can see Harding Lake, then the Salcha River behind that, and the mountains of the Chena River State Rec. Area in the distance.

 

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South of Fairbanks now, I'm looking out towards the Nenana River and Denali Nat. Park way off in the distance, although you probably can't see Mt. Mckinley (also called Denali) from this far.

 

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Another treacherous landing for my overloaded Maule at the Clear Sky lodge airstrip. The bugged prop speed on the Maule doesn't help either.

 

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After a successful landing.

 

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I switched to the Cub for a passenger flight from Clear Sky Lodge back to Fairbanks. That's right 4 people in that little thing. Even with all that weight I had no problem taking off. Here I am headed back up the Nenana River; the weather has cleared up now as the sun has risen a little higher.

 

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The junction of the Nenana and Tanana rivers, over Nenana airport, headed north.

 

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Back on the Tanana, approaching Fairbanks Int.

 

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After a successful landing. I love the new 'glance' button, I can finally find the drop off point without having to just skip to the waypoint after landing.

 

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I think I'll head down towards Denali tomorrow, then out west somewhere.

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EastCoastGuy, did you not get pictures of us skiing down the glacier last night? That was a fun trip!

 

Sorry, I was too busy screaming in terror and trying to stay alive! :LMAO:

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Another day of my Alaska tour. Now I'm headed south from Fairbanks toward Denali. After flying around several of the airports near Fairbanks I picked up a passenger at LADD AAF and headed out to Cantwell airport, about 100nm to the south.

 

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Here I am after landing at Clear Creek, I'm looking back to the north. The Blair lakes are visible in the foreground; one last look at the Tanana River behind that, and a little sliver of Harding Lake again in the distance.

 

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I made an interesting discovery here. If you hit the 'glance' key while in the overhead look your view will swing out giving you an extremely high altitude look at the area. Zooming in just lowers your viewpoint.

 

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After landing at Gold King Creek I headed toward Totatlanika River. I ended up getting completely lost and overshooting the airfield by about 15nm. I eventually found Healy Creek and followed it to its junction with the Nenana River where Healy River airport is.

 

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After that I took off north again in search of Eva Creek and Totatlanika River again. This time I found a few landmarks to follow. On the left is the Nenana, and on the right is Jumbo Dome, a very prominent landmark, with Eva Creek hiding behind the rise just right of center.

 

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After an... incident, my passenger seems to have fallen out and died. Lucky for me I found my way to Eva Creek here.

 

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After flying east to Totatlanika River airstrip I headed south again toward McKinley Nat. Park airport. Here I am flying through a pass over Moody Creek with Dora Peak to the east; the weather has gotten much nastier, set at mixed now.

 

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After landing at Mckinley and Denali airports, I'm headed back toward civilization and Cantwell airport. Here I am over the Nenana again, with Cantwell in the distance.

 

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At last, down for the night at Cantwell. That's 30 airports so far.

 

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Next up I'll head down the river, then up through Denali towards Mt. Mckinley.

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Great stuff guys! Im really glad you guys are enjoying the Alaska pack!

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Back on my tour after a few days off. On this trip I'm headed south out of Cantwell, flying to Talkeetna with a few stops along the way. Here I am flying over the Middle Fork of the Chulitna River, looking down towards Honolulu, AK.

 

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After taking off again from Talkeetna, I stopped at Nugget Bench to pick up my Stearman for the trip into the mountains. Here is my ultimate destination, still hidden in the clouds, with my path up the mountains just off to my left, the Tokositna Glacier.

 

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Still struggling to get the altitude I need. I'm at about 19k here, looking at McKinley from the east.

 

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I managed to get the Stearman up there, about 21000 feet at the highest (prop set at 15% by the way, that doesn't seem right), and after approximately 97 tries I managed to land on the peak. I tried out a few weather settings, and eventually decided on 'among the giants,' coming in to land from the east with a 23kt headwind. The peak itself is very small, and it's easy to overshoot and fly off the other side. It's also tough to land on such a steeply sloped area without crashing, but it is possible.

 

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I spit on Mauna Loa and it's weak 14000 ft landings.

 

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Taking off again was surprisingly easy, I just rolled down a relatively smooth looking hill a flew off the edge.

 

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After heading down from the mountain I started north again towards the Yukon river. Here I am getting tossed around in the wind and rain in my poor Icon while flying from Art Z to American Creek, just north of the Tanana River, near its junction with the Yukon.

 

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After picking up some passengers at Ralph M Calhoun Mem. airport I headed down the Yukon. Here I am headed into the sunset; it's October now, and everything is starting to freeze over. I'm over the curly Nowitna river here, with the Yukon off to my right.

 

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At last, the lights of Pitka airport, tucked in next to the frozen Yukon river.

 

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I'm getting close to the west coast now. More to come soon.

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Back to my tour, at last. When I left off before I was at Pitka, on the Yukon River just before it turns to head south. I followed the Yukon on its southward leg, on a rather long, uneventful journey, until it turned west. At that point I continued on south with a few passengers in my trusty Maule.

 

I mentioned it in one of the other threads, but it's worth showing here; the pre-dawn hours can be a great time to fly if you are planning something more than an hour or so. In this screenshot I'm coming in for a landing at Kalskag airport, along the Kuskokwim River, just south of the Yukon. That growing glow in the southeastern sky is a fantastic effect; it's really best appreciated in the game. And flying in the winter time really draws out the effect because of the low angle that the sun is rising at.

 

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I followed the Kuskokwim river down its path landing at several of the airports, including Bethel, one of the bigger airports in the area. Here I am approaching Napakiak, just south of Bethel. The sun is just barely starting to come over the horizon now; low clouds are great for this time of day.

 

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Now I'm headed toward my destination, Nunapitchuk to the west. The sun is really starting to come up now, casting those great, long shadows.

 

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I switched to the Cub as I headed out south again, carrying cargo. This screenshot shows the pitiful December noon in southern Alaska, as I fly over the Kuskokwim Bay, toward the Ahkuln Mountains. A little sliver of Goodnews Bay, my destination, is visible just under the sun.

 

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I took a detour through the mountains so that I could line up and approach Goodnews airport from the northeast. Here I am rounding Explorer Mountain, just before turning southwest for my final approach.

 

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Success. I really like the Cub. I've found that flying in the fake cockpit works pretty well for this plane. I never cared for doing that in the P51, but this one seems more detailed and a little higher resolution than the others. I can't wait for the deluxe version to come out.

 

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To finish up the day I switched to the Icon and continued on south. Here I am headed towards Cape Newenham, with Security Cove off to the left. In the distance on the left is Bristol Bay, and on the right is the Bering Sea.

 

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I haven't flown in a couple of days. Your latest update is the inspiration I need!

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