Valdez Fly-In and Anniversary Celebration!

Valdez Fly-In and Anniversary Celebration!

Hello from all of us at Alaskair!

We are excited to get the events rolling over in Valdez for our Birthday and first year hosting this Fly-In.

But it is quite a bit more than that this year. A Fly-In signifies that one flies their favourite aircraft from ‘home’ to the show, ties it down with all the other aircraft in a display area, and then sits back and enjoys other events.

Our Valdez includes a static AKV fleet display. It is also an Air Show, in which you are a part of the action. STOL work on tundra tires, float flying, taking tourists on a sightseeing trip and helicopter challenges are all a part of the fun this year. But that’s not all. We have also included a small road rally course for vehicles in X-Plane.

The Challenges

 

STOL on Runway

No mystery here. Takeoff and landings in STOL configuration is the challenge. The “tape” shown is measured out in meters. It is noteworthy that when you have Runways Follow Terrain Contours set to “ON”, the “tape” object does not sit perfectly flat, although it does not affect your ability to view the results in Replay mode. Check your POH for the aircraft that you are choosing to fly and see what the STOL capabilities are. Then try to replicate them.

STOL Tug (Harbour)

1½ miles (2.4 km.) bearing 250°M from the 06 end of the runway at PAVD is the STOL Challenge. It consists of 2 barges, each 100 feet (30.5 m.) long (Thank you propsman). They are pushed up against each other, end to end, with a small yet significant gap between them. This is your STOL landing area! Surrounding the barges is the support scene, meant to entertain and add visual confusion as you are attempting your landing(s). There is low light and night lighting available in the scene for added enjoyment.
Your “job” is to land on the barge. The word ‘barge’ is used singularly, as any attempt to use both for your landing and rollout will result in your wheels catching the lip between the barges and you crashing. But you can, if needed, “hop” the gap as you are getting the aircraft settled to stop – just make sure the wheels are airborne as they cross the gap.

Precision Helicopter (Land)

Precision with a helicopter requires practice. There are several precision challenges in the helicopter land area, here at Valdez. Starting with the high stand and a fairly large landing zone you can progress to smaller surfaces until you are on the real tough ones

Precision Helicopter (Harbour)

Fortunately, the yacht is not moving, making the job considerably easier. But easier doesn’t mean easy. Check the legend map at the start of this section to see where this is located in the harbour. There are two landing spots on this small ship, one on the bow and one on the stern. The bow affords a little more leeway when getting in to position but the stern is the challenge

Float Plane Harbour

Short Takeoff and Landing operations with a floatplane don’t seem all that challenging when you have a huge protected harbour. But how about when there are buoys kept very close together that you must stay within? The idea is that you need to pull up to the floating dock (seen on the legend map) and align yourself with the sealane. But wait – it turns right up ahead. Yes, the idea is that you must takeoff within the buoys which probably means you will have to turn while gaining speed, then up on one float then liftoff. Try not to hit the oil storage tanks on Ammunition Island.

Float Plane Precision STOL

A circular water track has been carved into the ground and filled with water. This track is not all that long but long enough for sure. It is not very wide either. Be very careful of the psychological effects of landing here – so many things going on, so many obstacles, runway on one side and taxiway on the other, and all of it hard as only land, concrete and asphalt can be.

Sightseeing Tourist Trip

While this is an ‘event’, it is also a wonderful opportunity to fly the entire recommended route for the tourist flight.

Rally Race Course

Kick up a little bit of dust on this almost 5 mile (8 km.) gravel road as you attempt to set a new record for speed. Wind it out on the straight stretches but be very careful on the corners. Hitting the default ground, off road, can cause you to bounce so hard you could end up crashing your vehicle.

Off-Airport Road STOL

The idea here is that you will land on the gravel track that is used for the road rally. There are a couple of long straight stretches, so it isn’t a huge challenge, but it is interesting nonetheless to keep your craft stable, straight on the road and get it down and stopped before you hit a corner

Ground School: STOL or “Get your shorts on”

Ground School: STOL or “Get your shorts on”

A short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft is an aircraft with short runway requirements for takeoff and landing.

A list of STOL capable aircraft may be found here.

Many fixed-wing STOL aircraft are bush planes, though some, like the De Havilland Canada Dash-7, are designed for use on prepared airstrips; likewise, many STOL aircraft are taildraggers, though there are exceptions like the PAC P-750 XSTOL, Quest Kodiak, de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and the Peterson 260SE. Autogyros also have STOL capability, needing a short ground roll to get airborne, but capable of a near-zero ground roll when landing.

Runway length requirement is a function of the square of the minimum flying speed (stall speed), and most design effort is spent on reducing this number. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag help the plane to accelerate for flight. The landing run is minimized by strong brakes, low landing speed, thrust reversers or spoilers (less common). Overall STOL performance is set by the length of runway needed to land or take off, whichever is longer.

Of equal importance to short ground run is the ability to clear obstacles, such as hills, on both take off and landing. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag result in a high rate of climb required to clear obstacles. For landing, high drag allows the aeroplane to descend steeply to the runway without building excess speed resulting in a longer ground run. Drag is increased by use of flaps (devices on the wings) and by a forward slip (causing the aeroplane to fly somewhat sideways through the air to increase drag).

Normally, a STOL aircraft will have a large wing for its weight. These wings often use aerodynamic devices like flaps, slots, slats, and vortex generators.[1] Typically, designing an aircraft for excellent STOL performance reduces maximum speed, but does not reduce payload lifting ability. The payload is critical, because many small, isolated communities rely on STOL aircraft as their only transportation link to the outside world for passengers or cargo; examples include many communities in the Canadian north and Alaska.

Most STOL aircraft can land either on- or off-airport. Typical off-airport landing areas include snow or ice (using skis), fields or gravel riverbanks (often using special fat, low-pressure tundra tires), and water (using floats): these areas are often extremely short and obstructed by tall trees or hills. Wheel skis and amphibious floats combine wheels with skis or floats, allowing the choice of landing on snow/water or a prepared runway.

 

Backcountry Avaiation shares a series on STOL techniques and tips:

 

Here are some good free X-Plane STOL planes:

Rans S7 Courier:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/28345-rans-s7-courier/

Piper J-3 Cub:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/34878-piper-j-3-cub/

KitFox:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/37004-kitfox-3/

Pilatus PC-6:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/37534-pilatus-pc6-103/

Piper PA-18 Super Cub:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35002-piper-pa-18-super-cub/

Alaskair Virtual Airlines is having  a Birthday!

Hello Alaskair! We are excited to get the events rolling over in Valdez and looking forward to having all of our pilots join us in our Anniversary Fly-In.

Our Valdez includes a static fleet display, it is also an Air Show, in which you are a part of the action. STOL work on tundra tires, float flying, taking tourists on a slight seeing trip, aerobatics and helicopter challenges are all a part of the birthday fun.

What follows are some previews of what you should be looking forward to, and practicing.

Welcome to Valdez.

Valdez /vælˈdiːz/,/vəlˈdɛz/ (Alutiiq: Suacit) is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976. The city was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A former Gold Rush town, it is located at the head of a fjord on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. The port did not flourish until after the road link to Fairbanks was constructed in 1899. It suffered huge damage during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, and is located near the site of the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill. Today it is one of the most important ports in Alaska, a commercial fishing port as well as a freight terminal.

Takeoff and landings in STOL configuration is the challenge. The “tape” shown is measured out in meters. It is noteworthy that when you have Runways Follow Terrain Contours set to “ON”, the “tape” object does not sit perfectly flat, although it does not affect your ability to view the results in Replay mode. Check your POH for the aircraft that you are choosing to fly and see what the STOL capabilities are. Then try to replicate them.

Okay, so it’s time to see how good you and your chosen aircraft are at Short Takeoff and Landing. So many STOL challenges deal with how short you can actually takeoff, but we focus on how short you can land. If not short enough, we look at how well you can swim.

1½ miles (2.4 km.) bearing 250°M from the 06 end of the runway at PAVD is the STOL Challenge.

It consists of 2 barges, each 100 feet (30.5 m.) long (Thank you propsman). They are pushed up against each other, end to end, with a small yet significant gap between them. This is your STOL landing area! Surrounding the barges is the support scene, meant to entertain and add visual confusion as you are attempting your landing(s).

Short Takeoff and Landing operations with a floatplane don’t seem all that challenging when you have a huge protected harbour. But how about when there are buoys kept very close together? The idea is that you need to pull up to the floating dock and align yourself with the sealane. But wait – it turns right up ahead. Yes, the idea is that you must takeoff within the buoys which means you will have to turn while gaining speed, then up on one float, then liftoff. Try not to hit the oil storage tanks on Ammunition Island.

Carrying on the tradition of STOL operations on floats, we take you from a wide open harbor that has only buoys to mow down if you lose directional control, to the infield of PAVD Valdez. A circular water track has been carved into the ground and filled with water. This track is not all that long but long enough for sure. It is not very wide either. Be very careful of the psychological effects of landing here – so many things going on, so many obstacles, runway on one side and taxiway on the other, and all of it hard as only land, concrete and asphalt can be.

More event previews to come in the following days, get practicing AKV!

New AKV FBO opening in FSE.

New AKV FBO opening in FSE.

Welcome to Alaska Flight Services first breath of air. We have been a VirtualAirline for almost one year now and have recently expanded our services to FSEconomy.
An Airport Layout Plan Update Project funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division has been completed.
Which has brought Alaska Flight Services to build there FBO in Othello, WA at Taggares Field (6WA4). (more…)