This flight is fairly straightforward, starting out in Juneau,
out the Gastineau Channel,
Flying south along Stephens Passage
into Frederick Sound,
Humpback whales bubble net feeding in the waters off Pinta Point, Frederick Sound, Inside Passage, Southeast Alaska
then turning southeast past Farragut Bay,
then flying south past Petersburg,
then following Mitkof Island
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!
Juneau International Airport
Juneau International Airport (IATA: JNU, ICAO: PAJN, FAA LID: JNU) is a city owned, public use airport and seaplane base located seven nautical miles (8 mi, 13 km) northwest of the central business district of Juneau, a city and borough in the U.S. state of Alaska which has no direct road access to the outside world. The airport serves as a regional hub for all air travel, from bush carriers to a major U.S. air carrier, Alaska Airlines. Another major air carrier, Delta Air Lines, also operates flights with mainline jet aircraft from the airport although this service is seasonal in nature. (more…)
This is the first tour of many! This tour takes us from Anchorage and flies around the edges of Alaska, finishing where we started. There are 17 flights in total, with a variety of distances between hops.