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Thread: Flying through Lake Clark Pass pointers.

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    Member faithnhim's Avatar
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    Default Flying through Lake Clark Pass pointers.

    Weather permitting, I am planning to fly to port Alsworth this coming weekend and I have never been through Lake Clark pass yet. If you have any pointers, I would love to hear them. With the recent near miss, I wondered if there are observed elevations for North to South travel going through these passes. I would assume that you would keep to the right as much as you can but I hear there are some narrow sections. What frequency do I monitor and are there typical reporting areas that I should be aware of? I have been looking for a "how to guide" for some general rules but have not found anything.
    Thanks

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    Lake Clark Pass RCO West 121.2
    Lake Clark Pass RCO East 121.1
    Kenai FSS121.5 122.65 121.3 243.0
    Also check the cameras.
    http://akweathercams.faa.gov/viewsit...kmark=6YWBYTCH

    122.9 for the local traffic

    127.75 for Lake Clark Air who will probably be in there someplace...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Member faithnhim's Avatar
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    Thanks FP! Been watching the cams and it sounds like the weather might be good enough for the trip. Thanks for the info!

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    Announce position and altitude at Big River Lakes, entering the pass, and at the narrows. Keep your lights on and your eyes open. Lake Clark Pass is an easy one. The higher the ceiling the wider it is. Don't fret too much over it. Enjoy the ride.

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    A number of years ago, I spent a lot of time in the Idaho mtns, common practice was to broadcast position reports as frequently as one would change drainages, ridges, etc. Include landmark (If you've got one) altitude, direction and side of canyon. A friend of mine would always struggle with direction it seemed so would point out "Upstream or downstream" no mistaking that I guess. Anyway, still do it and it helps alot. Tail numbers don't mean squat either, call make and color if you want to, gives a guy something to focus for.
    You'd be surprised how effective it is.

    Have a good trip, It never fails to awe me flying through Lake Clark pass.

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    Blackwatch,

    In'79 I left Alaska for six months to fly 207s for Salmon Air Taxi. Flew most of those back-country strips and learned a bunch of reporting points coming and going out of Salmon sometimes as far as Boise, Hailey or Missoula, occasionally into Utah and once all the way to Oakland California. It was interesting, but lots of pukers climbing out 4000 feet on hot bumpy days hauling river rafters to locations along the middle fork of the Salmon River. I returned to float flying in Alaska, much more interesting, far flung, challenging, rewarding and rarely any pukers.

    I think Mt. McKinley has more reporting points per square mile than Idaho back country. Flying volcano tours on the island of Hawaii is another reporting point-intensive area due to the constant stream of tour helicopters and a few fixed wings coming and going from Hilo, Waikoloa and a few other Big Island locations. Your advice regarding color and type is right on.

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    Member faithnhim's Avatar
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    Thanks all! Went out on Thursday night and had an amazing weekend at our friends lodge! Got back Monday night.
    The pass was as amazing as I had always thought it was and in good weather, pretty easy to navigate. I can see the potential danger with poor weather conditions so I have great respect for the pass. Realy enjoyed it and I apreciate all your comments.

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    Were you in a maule at 6000'? I talked to someone Thursday who sounded new to the pass while I was coming home after fishing down there.

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    Member faithnhim's Avatar
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    That was me!!!! Small world! Thanks for the friendly pointers out there! My wife was a little nervous and after talking with you she seemed to relax and have more fun. Also helped to know the conditions around the corner so there were no surprises. I still need to learn the common reporting areas and terms but I now have one to add to the notes thanks to you. The moose pasture right? 1:45 minutes there and back almost to the minute from Palmer. We had a nice tailwind coming home too!
    Thanks again for the pointers.

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    Disregard duplicate.
    Last edited by picker; 07-31-2011 at 05:19. Reason: duplicate

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    It is fascinating to read about modern flights through that famous pass. Even with the new aids to air navigation, it is still a lonely and dangerous trip. I flew it several times in a J4 Piper and a Cessna 140, back in 1951, no radio, no experience and very little common sense. I wrote about it in my book, Cheechako On Wings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by picker View Post
    It is fascinating to read about modern flights through that famous pass. Even with the new aids to air navigation, it is still a lonely and dangerous trip. I flew it several times in a J4 Piper and a Cessna 140, back in 1951, no radio, no experience and very little common sense. I wrote about it in my book, Cheechako On Wings.
    Hi Picker,

    Haven't read your book yet, but will get it right away, if I can find a copy. I think my first book, Flying the Alaska Wild, told of my first trip through that pass. I didin't think it was all that bad, really. Pretty hard to get lost in there, once you find the door that lets you in. Over the next many years, I came to think of Lake Clark Pass as one of the really easy ones. Guess I just didn't pay much attention . . .

    Anybody familiar with Shellabarger Pass? Even in good weather, that one may sober you up . . . . . Mystic, too.


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    rainy pass in low ceiling and rain is a trip also. Found out that the Garman program base has it in there. The Iditerod trail is the route thru. Had my 196 quit when leaving McGrath but had a 295 that came w/ the airplane on board, thank god as it was my first time thru from the west and had only gone thru going to McGrath, aren't passes fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    rainy pass in low ceiling and rain is a trip also. Found out that the Garman program base has it in there. The Iditerod trail is the route thru. Had my 196 quit when leaving McGrath but had a 295 that came w/ the airplane on board, thank god as it was my first time thru from the west and had only gone thru going to McGrath, aren't passes fun.
    Indeed they are . . . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    Hi Picker,

    Haven't read your book yet, but will get it right away, if I can find a copy. I think my first book, Flying the Alaska Wild, told of my first trip through that pass. I didin't think it was all that bad, really. Pretty hard to get lost in there, once you find the door that lets you in. Over the next many years, I came to think of Lake Clark Pass as one of the really easy ones. Guess I just didn't pay much attention . . .

    Anybody familiar with Shellabarger Pass? Even in good weather, that one may sober you up . . . . . Mystic, too.

    Hi, Grizzly2,

    Noticed that your temp address is Fl. I spent 23 winters in Eustis, but old age keeps me in vt now. I'm going to check into your book.

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    been thru shellabarger a few times myself, that one is sobering, need some ALT to get thru that one. and that one has some wind in it as well. I saw a GNDSPD of 170kts headed west once in the 185.

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