Lake Hood, Anchorage hot spot for floatplanes, will get three new hangars

Lake Hood, Anchorage hot spot for floatplanes, will get three new hangars

from ADN.

   A $15 million project underway to build new hangars at the Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage aims to alleviate the pent-up demand for housing smaller aircraft there.

A company called Lake Hood Hangars broke ground earlier this year on the first of three hangars. The other two are set to be built next year.

Steve Zelener, company owner, said there’s huge demand for more hangar space in Alaska’s largest city. Proximity to the lake itself also comes at a premium, and the new hangars will have nearby access to the water.

The project also involves doubling the number of floatplane slips Zelener owns on Lake Hood from nine to 18.

Lake Hood Hangars developer Steve Zelener, center, confers with Remote Alaska Solutions construction company president Seth Kroenke, left, broker and project manager Stormy Jarvis, near right, and construction manager Igor Sapelnik, right, during a visit to the construction site of their first building on Tuesday.  (Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News)

Lake Hood Hangars developer Steve Zelener, center, confers with Remote Alaska Solutions construction company president Seth Kroenke, left, broker and project manager Stormy Jarvis, near right, and construction manager Igor Sapelnik, right, during a visit to the construction site of their first building on Tuesday.  (Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News)

The hangars, located on Aircraft Drive near a taxiway, will be about 24,000 square feet each. Taking up a bit more than 3 acres, the first massive building is still under construction, rising about 28 feet high and still without doors.

The rest of the land where the next two buildings will be located is still just dirt.

The hangar space will be both leased and sold, running from about $845,000 to $985,000 to buy and starting at about $1.35 per square foot per month to rent.

There were nearly 8,000 registered aircraft in Alaska and around 3,300 of those were registered in Anchorage as of the end of July, said Stormy Jarvis, manager of the hangar project. Most of those in Anchorage are small planes, she said, and that’s likely the case for the whole state.

“We see a need, and there’s also this waiting list for float slips at the lake,” she said. “There’s a hangar shortage. That’s a resounding message.”

One of six units in the first hangar building currently under construction faces the terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday. (Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News)

One of six units in the first hangar building currently under construction faces the terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday. (Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News)

Tim Coons, manager at the Lake Hood base, said the waitlist for slips is about 10-11 years old. The base, part of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, has long claimed to be the busiest seaplane base in the world, he said. About 750 people at any given time have permits to park their planes there, he said.
“Most of the area around the lake has already been developed. This was one area that was still open,” Coons said. “Alaska has always presented a harsh environment. Just like anybody who would like to have the ability to keep a nice asset inside, airplane owners are no different.”
Even smaller planes can cost anywhere from $50,000 for something used, to a few million dollars for something new, said Zelener. Snow, cold and ice, as well as vandalism and other damage, are some of the reasons people want to keep their aircraft indoors.
“Outside elements are going to contribute to wear and tear of an aircraft before it has to be rebuilt,” said Seth Kroenke, president of Remote Alaska Solutions, the contractor on the project.
Integrated concrete form technology is being used for the Lake Hood Hangars buildings. The ICF blocks snap together and are then reinforced with horizontal and vertical steel bars before concrete is poured into the eight-inch gap. The technique provides strong, insulated walls with fire protection while also creating a strong sound barrier between units, said developer Steve Zelener. (Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News)

Integrated concrete form technology is being used for the Lake Hood Hangars buildings. The ICF blocks snap together and are then reinforced with horizontal and vertical steel bars before concrete is poured into the eight-inch gap. The technique provides strong, insulated walls with fire protection while also creating a strong sound barrier between units, said developer Steve Zelener. (Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News)

The hangars are designed with energy efficiency in mind, he said, and they use concrete insulated with foam to handle wide-ranging fluctuations in temperature.
The project has been an idea since 2010, Zelener said. He’s also the owner of Zelener Group, which has commercial real estate in Anchorage, Nome and Dutch Harbor.

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!

The glacier search for servicemen lost in a 1952 plane crash continues. But time is running out.

The glacier search for servicemen lost in a 1952 plane crash continues. But time is running out.

from ADN.

Belinda Davis’ uncle died more than half a century ago on a remote Alaska mountaintop. His body was never recovered. But five years ago, a new possibility emerged that her family may find some closure.

Edmond W. “Eddie” Mize was one of 52 people who died on Nov. 22, 1952, when a C-124 Globemaster airplane traveling from Washington state to Elmendorf Air Force Base crashed into Mount Gannett in the Chugach range, about 50 miles east of Anchorage.

The wreckage was quickly lost beneath snowfall in the ice field above Colony Glacier. No bodies were recovered for decades.

“It’s like waiting for a funeral for 60 years,” Davis said.

(more…)

Smoke from lightning-caused Kenai Peninsula fire hangs over Anchorage

Smoke from lightning-caused Kenai Peninsula fire hangs over Anchorage

from ADN.

Smoke from a fast-growing wildfire on the Kenai Peninsula descended on Anchorage overnight Saturday and triggered a spate of concerned calls to 911.

The East Fork Fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ignited with a lightning strike Thursday evening, officials said. The blaze has grown to more than 800 acres, said Celeste Prescott, fire information officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry.

(more…)