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Thread: A good place

  1. #1
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    Default A good place

    I read a lot about bush flying and want to experience it from first hand.
    Where would be a good small place to rent a plane with instructor or safety pilot with a reasonable price?
    Thanks.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Are you going to visiting Alaska? Your profile indicates you're from Israel, so... Also, do you just want to take a flight-seeing tour? Arranging something with an instructor might be tricky during a visit, especially since you're not a US citizen. (Can anyone cite specific rules/regulations on this?) If you're just looking to take a flight, though, there are lots of good flight services up here.

    -Brian

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    Default Good Times

    Udi, Welcome to the forum! We are always glad to have new friends that are interested in flying, especially in Alaska.

    BM is right, do you live up here, or will you be visiting the state this summer? Are you interested in some real off airport operations, or do you just want to do some sightseeing with a glacier landing? Are you looking for some instruction you can add to your logbook?

    If you are going to be visiting, I'm sure that we can point you in the right direction to make your visit a memorable one.

    Clear skies! Adison

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    Default A good place

    Thanks for the quick response.
    I live in Israel but since I learned to fly in the US (Miami) I hold a US license too.
    I plan on visiting Alaska and do as much as I can bush flying which is the only reason I go to Alaska (it takes about 20 hours flying time just to get there one way – no wonder my wife thinks something must be wrong with me…)
    I checked several places on the net, however compare to the Israeli currency and exchange rate all the agencies that arrange such flying looks very expensive.
    Therefore, I was thinking of staying in a nice small place where I can rent an airplane and instructor/safety pilot.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by udi500
    I read a lot about bush flying and want to experience it from first hand.
    Where would be a good small place to rent a plane with instructor or safety pilot with a reasonable price?
    Thanks.
    You can walk into a flight school and pay to take a discovery flight. In that case the instructor is PIC and you're along for a ride, but you'll get the opportunity to handle the controls some. No instructor is going to let you do any technical short or soft field work, canyon flying, or other activities that define "bush" flying. Even if you're a licensed pilot, they'd never let you take their planes without a check ride, which would end up being almost the same thing.

    Most flight schools will be using 152's or 172's. There's not much "bush" capability there. The best place for you to go in the Anchorage area would be Mustang Air in Palmer. They have a Supercub that they instruct in and also conduct flightseeing in. You'd fit somewhere in the middle of those two definitions, but you could sure have a fun couple of hours flying around their back yard, which includes the Knik River and Colony Glacier areas. I'm not sure of the rates but I'd expect $150.00 per hour to be in the ballpark.

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    Default

    Here's another good option.

    http://www.youflyalaska.com/

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    Default A good place

    Before I posted my question, I searched the net and found some places like:
    Arctic Flyers C-172 $130 Taildragger $125 all dual – best price I could find.
    ACTS .LLC charges you $300 per hour in a supercub, dual.
    Aniak Air Guides – I spoke to a very nice person by the name Rob Kinkade who charges $700 a day (!), all included: accommodation, food, drinks and you can fly as much as you can with him in the supercub – just pay the avgas (about 8 gph X $5 = $40). If it would be cheaper, that would be my destination.
    I don't want to stay in a big city like Anchorage and looking for a nice rural place where I can stay for a week or so and fly everyday as much as I can.
    I wonder if anybody know about such a place ?
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Have you looked at Talkeetna? During summer most of the air services there are busy flying sightseeing tours and climbers up to Denali, but there may be someone there that would do it. Much more laid back than Anchorage. I don't have any specific business recommendations, though.

    -Brian

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default How about floats?

    One thing you might consider is Alaska Float Ratings. They run Supercubs on floats. You can rent the plane with an instructor, or take a full course to get your float rating. Just another option that would get you some interesting flying, including mountains, and you could get into some territory you otherwise might not.

    http://www.arctic.net/akfloats/

    http://www.scenicmountainair.com/akfloats/index.asp

    I got my float rating there several years ago, enjoyed it tremendously. There are probably other outfits that offer similar packages, I just don't have specific knowledge of them.

  10. #10
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    Default Good Place

    Thanks for the info.
    I looked at Talktina - they do only charters.
    I tried also Ultima Thule -but $1,000 per night is just a little too much for me....
    Arctic Flyers and SMA are looking good - but they are in the Anchorage area and I want to stay in more remote place.
    Here in Israel, near the Dead Sea (2,000 feet under sea level...) we have one man operation who rents his plane and there is a nice little place to stay near by– that what I had in mind.

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    I don't know if you've seen this list or not, but here is a list of Alaskan flight operations: http://www.flyalaska.net/directoryp.html

    How long can you stay in Alaska? One option if you really want to get your "feet wet" in the Alaskan experience, but didn't have a lot of cash to part with would be to offer work in exchange for bush flying lessons and room and board. Many operators out in the bush have a tough time finding reliable help and might jump on such an offer.

    I don't know if they have a Cub or not, but you might get ahold of Lee's Sea Air in Kiana. Just a thought........Louis

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    Default A good place

    Louis,
    I'm haven't seen this list and going to check it, thanks.
    Work in exchange for bush flying lessons and room and board is a very good idea but the longest vacation I can take is 2 weeks therefore I think it is just too short for that. Just to get from Israel to Alaska will take me about a day and a half from the time I leave my house, so it shrinks my vacation to 10 days max.
    If I want to explore around, stop in nice places – what would be better – wheels or floats ?

  13. #13
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    Default A good place

    I'm haven't= I haven't

  14. #14
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    Default float rating

    get ahold of Don Lee in Talkeetna, He's the best.

  15. #15
    New member Steve's Avatar
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    Default I would call...

    Udi,

    I would call and talk with the people at www.youflyalaska.com. I don't know them personally, but I live at the same airstrip. Being based out of this area seems like it would fulfill your needs. It's not Anchorage, but it's not the bush. We have hotels in the area or perhaps the people at www.youflyalaska.com could house you. If not there are a number of decent B&B's very close (PM me if you need specific suggestions).

    As much as your looking to fly, I would ask them if they would be willing to work with you price wise. I think $300/hr is a little high but tolerable if you only need a couple of hours. On the other hand, I think it's too high if your going to fly a lot with him. I think something more like $200/hr for pilot and plane seems reasonable.

    Of course, this is all just my opinion.

    Steve

  16. #16
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    Default A good Place

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the good advice.
    I spoke to YouflyAlalska (nice people) and understood that their high price ($300/h) is because of the off-field training.
    Also in Palmer I found Mustang Air ($158/h supercub, dual) but they do only gravel strips and no off field landing (is it good enough experience ?)
    Since my plan is to stay in one place for 1 week – 10 days and to fly as much as I can (4-8 hours daily) it seems Palmer is the place to go.
    Thanks to Google-earth I was able to locate Palmer- and it looks a very lovely place.
    How are my chances to have a good weather toward the end of September or is it better to delay my trip to the beginning of June next year ?

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