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Old 08-26-2016, 08:42 AM
RV fan RV fan is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austria
Posts: 45
Default Trips...

What a great Continent, Pictuers, Planes, and Pilots....... incredible

greatings from Big Austria

RV9A Builder in Austria
Flying since Nov. 2015
and happy
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:20 PM
Steve Melton's Avatar
Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 3,531

Was it just me or did anyone else dream they were flying Alaska last night.
Steve Melton
Cincinnati, OH
RV-9A, Tip-up, Superior O-320, roller lifters, 160HP, WW 200RV, dual impulse slick mags, oil pressure = 65 psi, EGT = 1300F, flight hours = 900+ for all

Simplicity is the art in design.
I was born an airplane nut. I have no explanation for it.
My Artwork is freely given and published and cannot be patented.
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:45 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,443
Talking Afternoon of Day 6. Frozen.

A radio comes alive a bushy Cessna in opposite direction. Hi guys how it looks up there? Bad we couldn't make it through the pass they said. What are you up to? I am an experimental trying to make it to Galbraith Lake. Don't even try I doubt you can even make the shelf... unless you go IFR... Hmmm the shelf? what shelf?

Then it clicked. Chandalar Shelf Airport 5CD.

Dalton Highway started steep climb and I hopped over a higher terrain with it. The ceiling suddenly dropped but the airport was already under me. Let me relax a bit. I land on the Shelf 5CD and tuck my airplane in the corner. An idling truck was sitting at the parking spot the guy was sleeping. I moved my airplane a bit in case he wakes up and starts backing off in this heavy snow. The airstrip has so little real estate you have to be careful where you park.

I don my raingear and deplane to explore the vicinities. It was a surprise to see such a snow storm early August. Three days ago I was sweating in Montana lets appreciate a little chill. In one week I will be tracking the Wall in California in sweltering heat. It's good to have some snow once in a while.

A company was digging to lay a fiber optics duct. Them guys were talkers. They said the storm is a regular thing here. In couple hours there might be blue skies then snowfall again. Good to hear.

In case I am stuck they said there is a DOT employees' quarters half a mile from here you are guaranteed a roof. Then I saw those trucks.

It took them three hours to get here from Coldfoot. The truckers smiled when they saw me.

They all had Iridium sat phones and called their buddies to ask how weather looks like along the highway. They definitely had better equipment then my airplane. Sit and wait was the sentence.

In two hours the ceiling lifted a bit I took off and flew to Atigun Pass. Nope, still unpassable. Another hour or so browsing on foot. At least the snowfall stopped.

In an hour a large hole opened up in the skies right over the airport. Keeping that in mind I am taking off and approaching the Pass again. A helicopter was going southbound how is it? We literally crawled over the road the pilot lady said. What are the tops? 41 hundred.

Decision made I go on top and between the layers first layer tops at 4,000' and bases of second layer are in the flight levels. Carb heat on I retreated couple miles south where the hole in the sky was and set the power for a slow steady climb to 11,500 feet not penetrating any clouds. Turned the oxygen on and thought of how good a flying life is almost fell asleep so nice I felt. Set course to Barter Island PABA staying over Dalton Highway as long as I could.

Civilian pros could skip the following paragraph, amateur flyers and military keep reading.

At 11.5 I give a touch of trim to return to level flight. Another touch what the heck never needed that much. A third one... trim indicator moves... but I am still climbing. Airspeed is looking good. I push the stick forward it doesn't move! It's stuck in climb. Shoot my elevators are iced up! All that moisture from melted snow! I should have known... The two brain cells I have bombarded the scull. Sure the pitot is frozen. But very little ice on the wings nearly clear windshield I had more. I won't reduce the power for now I need enough heat to keep my carburetor happy. Spin ready, a good shake is applied to the stick, then another more violent one and it's loose... Pitot is inop it's not the heated kind (future builders please note). My heartbeat was at the rate I experienced some 30 years ago. A close call? Yes it was, but you would be surprised how fast we forget things.
Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 08-26-2016 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:52 PM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 1,984

Vlad I'm pretty new to this forum and I have almost instantly picked up the fact that you are one ballsy dude! lol
Jereme Carne
RV-7A Flying as of 03/2021
Exempt but gladly paying!
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:29 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,443
Talking Polar Bears of Barter Island

The cloud layer thinned by the time I approached the Arctic Ocean.

Ceilings were in 1,200 feet range. Cloud layer is only 300 - 500 feet but to slice through it with ability to see you need a windshield defrost. I don't have one so I descended a little more and warmer ambient air took care of hard water.

I was rewarded with fantastic view of Arctic shoreline.

There was a scheduled flight out of Barter Island airport PABA and it took a while for him to taxi and take off. I didn't complain I was very glad I can tour famous Kaktovik.

How many polar bears you see on this packed ice? I counted at least 4.

Three more were feeding on whale bone pile.

Another one was wondering around along a beach behind the big hangar. I land long and taxi to the end of the rocky runway. It's kind of symbolic for me to land on a beach of Arctic Ocean, the wheels of my aircraft already touched Atlantic and Pacific coasts. By the time I taxi back to the ramp two vehicles arrived. A local cop who is also a teacher and an older Inupiat gentleman which appeared to be the famous polar bear guide Robert Thompson. Robert is also a bush pilot and he quickly recognized Vans aircraft.

We talked local subjects for a while then Robert said let's go see my bears. We drove closer to the bone pile and I took couple pictures. Splay-footed beasts didn't care they were peacefully chewing whale jerky and swimming.

On my way out I met another in-toed who absolutely didn't like me flying over. How do I know? The way he stands. As Mark Bishop would say it's not the right beach to land on.

Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 08-27-2016 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:38 AM
jsharkey's Avatar
jsharkey jsharkey is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bennington, Vermont USA
Posts: 1,302

......wonderful travelogue Vlad - I can see a publishing deal
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:55 AM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,443
Talking End of Polar Day 6.

I spend a good hour in Kaktovik said goodbye to my wonderful guide Robert Thompson and departed westbound toward Prudhoe Bay Deadhorse airport. Winds were calm and I decided to track Beaufort Sea shoreline just below the cloud deck.

It was a very nice sightseeing run. I saw a polar bear and some seal like creatures but I wasn't able to catch them on camera. Passed Brownlow Point there was the end of Arctic National Refuge and I didn't spot any wildlife. But the scale and amount of oil infrastructure stunned me. The rigs and associated pipelines, the monstrous private paved airstrips with all the required illumination, the uncharted paved roads it was very surprising to see.

I arrived at Deadhorse airport PASC around 10 pm. Very happy and a little tired. Around the clock polar day makes strange feelings.

There is a new FBO on the field and it's a top notch one. Collville Inc. has avgas for $7.69 and an excellent little terminal. Stocked with free snacks plus a room with a full size bed. Not a soul around.

I called the best hotel in town and was lucky to book a room. The Aurora sent a shuttle to pick me up. A pretty young lady originally from Anchorage gave a little tour of the working town. She works hotel front desk on a two weeks rotation basis. Every passenger she transports to/from the hotel is obligated to wear safety glasses while riding the shuttle. That's the law.

For only $150 a night I had a 100+ sq feet cubicle with shared bath high speed internet and all meals included. They do cook a good steak there.

Every visitor to the hotel is required to wear the booties.

Nobody lives permanently in Prudhoe Bay and there are no shops. It's also a dry town I was told if I bootleg something I better keep it quiet. Amazing place full of amazing people. Go visit. From New York City you can get there in six days.

Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 08-27-2016 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:40 PM
Captain_John's Avatar
Captain_John Captain_John is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KPYM
Posts: 2,695

Russki... you are a madman!

I go with you next year!

Nice report!

RV-7 Flying - 1,400 Hours
TMX-IO-360, G3i ignition & G3X with VP-X
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:23 PM
NYTOM NYTOM is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 1,189

Wow. Yea, I guess I'll go ahead and take that place off my bucket list.
Tom Norwood
Classic "Short Tail 6A N822PM
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:33 AM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,443
Default Day 7. The Top of The World

I checked out of Deadhorse late. The front desk asked if I had a breakfast. Sure thanks. Go and pack your lunch you already paid for it. Let me tell you the Aurora hotel has a really good buffet I packed a ton of meat in that little container. Weather looked good as it usually is this time of the year. My next destination was Barrow PABR the place a lot of pilots are trying to reach including myself.

I flew along countless oil rigs for a while then intercepted Beufort Sea shoreline and followed it. My trusty old Lycoming was happily singing its song digesting thick and tasty arctic air.

Barrow was reporting low visibility and freezing fog but it's not that bad as it sounds. A layer of broken clouds with tops at 1,000 feet was sitting above 70th parallel for days. No precip no ice light winds nothing to worry about. When I get closer I ask Barrow Radio for an SVFR clearance they were happy to issue.

Hey Triple Six how you making out? I have Alaska Airline coming in 10 minutes. Yessir already on short final zero seven.

Clear the active. Baby it's cold outside. High twenties. Airport firefighters let me use their restroom, I hung Van's hat for a "been here" shot and got out of that frozen place.

Now I can brag I've been above 71st parallel can I get a free beer?
Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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