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Jerry_K_Thorne

Alaska trip in a Cessna 182.

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Have any of you been looking at my web site lately? My friend Wendell sold his Cessna 182 and delivered it to the new owner in Anchorage, Alaska. The trip from the Chattanooga, Tennessee area to Anchorage took five days in July. I have posted most of the photos from the trip on my web site. There are still a few pages yet to be published. If you want to "ride along" on the trip, you can go to my web site at this page to get to the Alaska menu. http://www.n2prise.org/wakmenu.htmJerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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I have not been there in quite a while due to lack of free time, although I always wonder what Jerry is up to with his airplane.(With my slow modem connection, those pictures take a long time to get!)Please, Jerry, keep us up to date on your adventures.Best regards.Luis

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Hi, Jerry - I lasted looked here and your site about 10 days ago. I didn't notice the Alaska link, but I was looking quickly. Those shots with the mountains to either side of them are fantastic. I felt I learned something about mtn flying just from looking at them.I'm glad Wendell found a home for the 182. I'm trying to justify the cost of a plane like his, vs renting. If I flew 5 hrs/mo, in 12 years (age 65) that would be 720 hrs. At $120/hr (which will only go up, but so will fuel costs), that's $86,400. If I owned, those same hours at just 8 gals/hr, at $4/gal is $23,000 - plus monthly payments for an $86,400 plane, plus insurance, plus inspections, monthly parking, hmmm.... but it would be my plane. I'd fly more, but that means more fuel costs. I don't know how re-sellable a 20-yr old plane I get today would be in 15 years. But it would be my plane, and I could fly whenever. Alas, I can't afford 5 hrs/month either way, except for one flight to Florida a couple of weeks ago.Which brings me to an interesting "license to learn" trip from FFC to DTS, Destin ,FL on 11-12 Aug. Our daughter-in-law (now residing in Ft Walton) drove up here for a friend's wedding (I initially typed "weeding"), and my wife rode with her back to FL to babysit for the next week. This looked like a great opportunity to fly there and pick her up at the end of the week. 2 hours of flying 1-way beats driving 5 hrs. And you're flying!They only live 5 miles from Eglin AFB (VPS), but I found out, even though it is a joint civilian airport, only commercial flights can land there, unless you fill out a few forms and happen to be a 20+ yr military retiree - then you can land there, just like Terry did at Elmendorf AFB.Well, Destin is just a short hop across the bay, and Linda and Son/wife/kids were going to be boating not far from Destin anyway that afternoon.I used PP99 and Google Earth to check out the area. VERY helpful. As you near the area, crossing over into FL, you cannot avoid MOA's, and then there are 2 restricted areas either side of the "North-South Eglin Corridor" that you MUST get permission to fly into. As it is, you don't really need to go into them if you just stay in the corrodor - you MUST talk to Eglin Approach to even be allowed in the corridor. 3500 is the preferred altitude.That was easy enough, though. It's just like flying into a class C airport, where you need to contact approach before getting into class C. No tower at DTS, though! Considering all the traffic they get, I don't know why. There's potential for lots of traffic between VPS and DTS. You fly to a point called White Point, NE of DTS, tell VPS you have DTS in sight (pretty murky that day, though), switch to CTAF, make announcements, then head for DTS to either overfly the 14/32 field at 1500 to get to the west side, turn clockwise and descend to 1000 to get on a left mid-field downwind for 32, or, fly to the field descending to 1000 to get on the east side, left mid-field downwind to 14. I did 32, at at the end of the downwind, heading 140, there was a banner-towing plane around 800, flying westbound over the base-leg area. Never heard him on CTAF. I overflew him, did base, final, landed. 2 hours, 200nm, mostly at 8500 and 120 kts. I knew thunderstorms were going to be a problem going back after just 1 1/2 hours on the ground, as the area behaved badly all week. I saw a few 9000-11000 buildups in southern AL I had to deviate a little for, and knew they were going to be taller than that when I returned.They were indeed there, so we never left that day. The tstms parked themselves over the northern part of that corridor for several hours.I didn't have my nighttime landing current. I also hadn't flown at night since getting my license. The weather at DTS looked good enough the whole time, but radar showed another picture. Get-home-itis is very real. Fortunately, any tstms along my path is an easy no-go.However, leaving just after sunrise the next day, Sunday, lots of scattered 1300, clear at 5500, clouds below until Dothan, AL, then clear until the last 15 miles. The home field was clear when we took off, but some low stratus came in from the east shortly thereafter. The TAF didn't forecast it, and the visible satellite pix were too dark at 11Z to show them. And IR pix don't show low clouds well at all. We overflew the airports at 5500 to see that the clouds extended pretty far east and north, turned back south a few miles to where it was clear, descended, got under the clouds, stayed under, legally of course, and with the GPS's help easliy found FFC and landed.Here the get-home-itis really appeared. In the air, only 12 miles from home base, low clouds but not low enough to keep one away flying VFR. I wouldn't have wanted to do that much more than 15-20 miles, though. Visibility was acceptable, but could have been better. This is not a "never again" story, but I learned:1) Check more airports' surface observations before takeoff - all directions. The low stratus coming into the ATL area from SC usually doesn't occur in the summer, but it did that day.2) Beware get-home-itis! Don't be afraid to go and land at an airport 30 miles from home whose weather is good, to wait it out. My problem was, I knew it wasn't going to improve anytime soon once the stratus arrived. The plane was due back at a certain time, but they understand if weather detains you. We were only 12 miles away where the clouds started.3) Check all tallest points along your route! I knew the terrain - I thought. However, I found out later there was a tall tower somewhat near where we descended (in clear air, of course), that I hadn't noticed before. I had always flown over that area at 4500 MSL or higher, and erroneously thought I'd never need to know about anything under 2000 AGL. Wrong! I thought the tallest towers to the north of where we were going were the only tall ones over 1000 AGL. I later drove to it - the map says 1600 AGL unconfirmed, but it doesn't look quite that tall. But it's at least 1000 AGL.So, 4.5 flying hours later, at $148 /hr in a real nice Diamond DA40 (plenty of HP for the HOT weather in GA and FL and two people and full fuel, plus 21 lb suitcase), the admission was worth the price. It'll be awhile before I can afford a long trip again, though.Dave H.Fayetteville, GA

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Dave,Your weather story and the tall tower incident reminds me of the day trip I made to Fort Pierce, Florida and back to Chattanooga on May 12, 2007. The weather caught us that day south of Atlanta. You probably saw the same tall tower I mentioned in my report on this web page: http://www.n2prise.org/rv9a238.htmhttp://www.n2prise.org/Photo4/divertATL.jpgLook at the blue GPS ground track line crossing Interstate 85. The tall tower was just past US 29 and I-85 off to the left of my flight path that afternoon.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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That's the one! Just NW of Greenville. My son-in-law's parents live about 10 miles NE of Greenville. On Google earth adjacent to the north of the tower, I saw what looks like a BMX / go-cart / 4-wheeler dirt track. We went there on Sunday, and that tower's cables connect at ten different places vertically. I'm guessing that's every 100 ft, making it 1000 ft. It has strobes only - no red lights.And there is indeed several dirt tracks by the tower. For $10 per motorbike, $15 per 4-wheeler, you can ride around three different track areas all day long.The tower does not look tall enough to be 1600 AGL, as indicated on the sectional, but it does say UC, which can mean "not verified" as well as "under construction". It appears to be completed. I'd guess it's close to 1000 ft. I'm basing my eyeball guess on my recollection of 3 TV towers put up in the 60's on the north side of Omaha, NE that are almost 1400 ft, including the antennae, which my memory tells me look a little taller than the Greenville tower.In fact, I just found this.The first link shows a graphic of the "newer" KETV Omaha tower, verifying my recollection that the 3 towers are about 1400 ft tall. http://www.ketv.com/station/3726517/detail.htmlThis link is an FAQ about their newer tower. http://www.ketv.com/station/3687852/detail.htmlAfter the Greenville tower, the next tallest towers in that same lat/lon grid section are just to the north of Newnan, a couple of miles from where my Army son used to live. Those could be just as nasty, at around 1050 AGL. I flew over his house once with an instructor, but we stayed 1000 ft above those towers (that would be 3050 MSL). Add to that the ATL Class B's floor is 5000 MSL at the towers, and just a couple of miles to the north it's only 4000 MSL - not much vertical room to play with there at all. It's best to just steer clear, where a couple of miles west the floor is way up to 8000 MSL, of which I'm sure you're very familiar.And finally, there are two others, 1000 and 1100 AGL by Warm Springs and Manchester. Together, these three towers are the reasons the MEF's in those areas are 2-6. FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW, but I bet most flight simmer's do, on the sectional flying charts there are 30x30 degree lat/long squares. In each square is a very noticeable three to two-digit number, with the right-most one smaller. A 26 would be 2,600 ft - 124 would be 12,400 ft. This Maximum Elevation Figure (MEF) is an MSL height of the tallest object in the square, rounded up to the nearest 100 ft, plus 100 for towers and 300 for hilltops/mountaintops to obtain the MEF. Therefore, flying at an MEF is supposed to ensure you will not hit anything attached to the ground, as long as your altimeter is not off by 101 ft or more in the wrong direction. A tower at 2399 ft MSL is rounded to 2400, plus 100 gives 2500 ft MSL. That only leaves room for an altimeter error of 101 ft. Yikes!Cheers, Dave HFayetteville, GA

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"FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW, but I bet most flight simmer's do, on the sectional flying charts there are 30x30 degree lat/long squares."Dave, That is 30 minutes of ONE Degree per block, not 30 degrees of latitutude or longitude. Thirty degrees of LATITUDE is the difference from Saint Augustine, FLORIDA and the south coast of ALASKA - or 1/3 the distance from the equator to the north or south pole of our little planet (1,800 nautical miles = 30 degrees of latitude).Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Hi Jerry,Thanks for the photos! It looks like it was quite an adventure :-)Regards,Den Foulk, a long ago PP flyer...

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Well, really, it was completed way back when, but I have finally posted all the photos and came up with 50 pages at the final count.http://www.n2prise.org/wakmenu.htmI am heading over to Mississippi tomorrow and on to Texas on Thursday. I will be in the Dallas area Thursday evening and Friday morning. Round Rock will be my weekend hangout, then back to the DFW area on Monday next, etc. I should be back home by the following Friday, August 14th.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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I haven't went through all the photos yet, but also find them very interesting! Thanks for going to all the work to get them on line.L.Adamson

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Oops. I knew that. Honest.Further, again for those that might not know, 1 "minute" of a latitude degree is equal to 1 nautical mile (1 nm), and regardless of longitude. Therefore, if you want to get a quick estimate of the distance between points, you can use "latitude minutes" for a nautical miles ruler. These minutes are always the same distance apart from each other, 1 nm, regardless of map location. This is NOT true for "longitude minutes", whose length changes from north to south. One longitude minute at the equator is much longer than one at the US/Canada border. One minute just a few inches from the north pole would be much smaller than an inch . In fact, one of your own feet would be stepping on 90 degrees of longitude quite easily!Cheers, DH

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