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.
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