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Thread: Soldotna area or Palmer/Wasilla area?

  1. #1
    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Default Soldotna area or Palmer/Wasilla area?

    The family and I are planning on making the move to Alaska in December. I have narrowed it down to the Soldotna area or the Wasilla/Palmer area. I have narrowed it down to these 2 areas because my wife wants to finish her teaching degree and these 2 areas have college campuses. I work out of the country 1 month on and 1 month off, so I can live wherever I need to.

    I, however, am thinking of other things of course. I want to finish my PPL which I've been working on for dang near 12 years now. I have 55 hours and everything that the FFA requires for a PPL. All I need is to be prepped for a checkride. I have had to worst luck with instructors. They were either are too old and lost their medicals or too young and got a real job. Where I am living in Arkansas now, there ain't an instructor for 125 miles.

    If we decide Soldotna, can someone tell me an instructor that can finish me out? And the same for the Wasilla/Palmer area.

    Thank you all.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Beisdes instructors, there are a few other things to think about.

    The "VALLEY" has become a bedroom community for Anchorage, thus the crime and assorted dirt-bags that come with Anchorage have seeded themselves into the valley. It is a very populated area. While you may be out of the country for half the year, your family will have to live there full time. I lived between Palmer and Wasilla for 8 years and it steadily became worse every year. I worked for the State and made my living arresting the dregs of society. Between Anchorage and the Valley business was too good. Lots of old time valley families have moved out. Their farms being sub-divided into housing tracts. BUT... If you had to work in Anchorage, it is a viable option.

    Soldotna / Kenai / Sterling/ Kasiloff on the other hand,, are not as populated and Anchorage is much further away via road. But only a 20 minute flight over Turnagain Arm. The prices are a little higher, but there is less chance that your kids or wife will run into meth dealers on a daily basis. There are more than a few independent CFIs in the Kenai / Soldotna area. Plus a few of us spread south down the Sterling Hwy 65 miles towards Homer.
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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Palmer wasilla use Jamie Haistings at 306-7024. He flies for PenAir. Go guy nice wife 4 cute urchins. Busy but good guy,

    rick

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Thanks float for that information. That's the stuff I need to know. You are right I will have to leave my family behind and I want them in a good place.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Missionary Air Repair Center in Soldotna used to do primary training. But I know there are others in the Soldotna / Kenai area.
    I used to drive up there for CFI meetings every month and there were always 15-20 folks attending.
    35 miles south of Soldotna is Frank Miller in Ninilchik.
    Dean Eichholz who is the local Soldotna / Kenai (well really the whole Kenai Penn) DPE knows who they all are.... deichholz@falconinsurance.com
    He is also the Falcon Insurance guy these days.

    By the way,,,, December is the worst possible time to move to Alaska. The shortest days, dark, cold snowy.... Your wife will kill you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post

    By the way,,,, December is the worst possible time to move to Alaska. The shortest days, dark, cold snowy.... Your wife will kill you...
    But it only gets better from there. Make it through a couple of months and all of a sudden it's March.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    His wife is used to the weather in Arkansas...... At least they need to do a housing recon run during the summer or fall. That way some realtor won't point to a snow covered bog and tell them it is a nice little lake.
    We did not have summer here on the Kenai until last week.
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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Hey, that's what she wanted to do. I said OK, if you can make it through December-May, you can make it the rest of the year. We are going to move during the kid's Christmas break. I'm going to drive the 5000 mile trip and then fly them up when I get the apartment squared away. We are coming up there the last week of July to do alot of looking around and do some fishing with my buddy in Kasilof. This will be my 5th year in a row to come up there, and her 3rd. I used to work on the slope.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I would make sure that the Kenai area college can offer what she wants.


    Kenai Peninsula College

    Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) has locations throughout the Kenai Peninsula and in Anchorage. KPC is comprised of four sites: Kenai River Campus in Soldotna; Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer; Resurrection Bay Extension Site in Seward; and the Anchorage Extension Site at the University Center.
    KPC offers two-year associate of arts and associates of applied science degrees, as well as providing career and technical education and programs directed at meeting Alaska’s workforce development needs. KPC also provides programs leading to baccalaureate degrees that can usually be obtained entirely at KPC, and a number of other four-year degree programs are available at KPC via distance delivery through other University of Alaska campuses.
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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Yes sir they offer degrees in elementary education which is what she is going for. She is in the process of seeing if they accept credits from the college she has been going to. She talked to a person last year while we were on vacation up there that told her that Alaska colleges are bad about NOT taking credits from schools in the lower 48. Plus, she is not going to school the first 6 months we are there. I want her to get used to the area and used to driving up there. She is a LPN nurse, so she can always fall back on that if she has too.

    We are going to have a "driving in snow/ice training" class when she gets there. I am going to drive my 4wd Toyota Tacoma up there and then fly them up there when I get everything squared away. We are renting a fully furnished apartment so we only have to pretty much bring some clothes and some of the kids games and stuff. I've been wanting to move up there my whole life, so she is finally let me live out my dream. We are not making a TOTAL move yet. I'm keeping my house in Arkansas regardless of what happens. She loves the outdoors so I hope that she can handle the cold/darkness. I'm not worried when I'm there because I can keep us busy with stuff to do. I'm worried for when I leave for 30 days and leave them there without knowing anybody.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    LPN's do not have any problems finding work up here.
    One of our daughters (BA from U of Hawaii) did her teaching practicum and masters via UAA after she came back from Iraq. She went back to her old job as a State inspector after being exposed to all the liberals in the anchorage school system. But now she is thinking about it again since she is a mom now.
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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Yeah I want her to keep being a nurse and she wants to teach. I guess she is going to teach..haha

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    I was gonna say Dean Eichholz also. I think is a CFI also.

    Don;t know abt FPs criminal activities in the valley but it is the fastest growing community in Ak and one of the fastest in the USA.

    The spanking brand new prison is hiring 175 guards by end of July.

    If you moved outside the core area, incorporated areas like Wasilla, you have no zoning and hence can't control what your neighbors do etc. But otoh there no Gov hammering either. There are lots of very safe well kept communities outside Wasilla.

    One advantage is land prices are always increasing. OTOH, there or anywhere in Ak, materials costs are out of sight and labor makes very high wages compared to the US.

    One old timer said "before you make a permanent move, go there and rent for a few months and see if you like" it. Good thang for you is you have options. Your lucky.

    Yes there are lots of people all over Ak that have no 'pot or a window to throw it out of'. They have no respect for private property and others. It's that way everywhere. Is it more so the Valley area?

    FYI, check out

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/reo/2983261304.html

    Best of luck.

    rick

  14. #14
    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Default What month does flight PPL start again?

    Well the wife and I came to Kenai and went fishing and had a grand time. We caught more reds and halibut than we can eat for a while. We looked at houses to rent and ended up putting a deposit down on one starting Jan. 1 in Sterling on Scout Lake Rd. close to Morgan's Landing. We are exciting about the move. I was wandering what month flight training starts back up up there? It's year round where I live but I know its different in AK. I should be able to find an instructor to finish me out on the Penn.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    You should be able to fly year round weather permitting. I know I have struggled with my training in the winter due to weather or runway conditions because of weather.

  16. #16
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I was just at Scout Lake and will be again next week-end. That is where I meet Dean the DPE so he can do the check-rides for my SES clients.
    Missionary Aviation Repair at the Soldotna airport used to do PPL training in their C-172. Give them a call. They are listed under MARC in the local phone book.
    595 Funny River Road Soldotna, AK 99669
    (907) 262-5388

    If you can't find anyone, give me a call 907-226-2899 or dragonfly@alaska.net and I will try to help you find somebody in your area. I am just 75 highway miles south.... Which for us real Alaskans is how far we will go for a good pizza.
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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Thanks ab.

    I sure will fp. Thanks fellas.

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    I found a guy named Steve Staton that runs Penninsula Flight School in Kenai. Have you guys heard of him? The only thing is he has a 150 and I hate 150's. I would do it if I didn't have another choice. I plan on calling Marc and see if they still instruct.

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    Emailed M.A.R.C. four days ago, but I havn't heard anything yet.

  20. #20
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Because it is summer and they are super busy.... Plus most old time Alaskans have a disdain for e-mails and even worst text messages.
    The folks at MARC are folks that want to look you in the eye, take your spoken word and a hand-shake.

    I only have e-mail for my business. When my kids or grand kids insist on using it instead of a phone call... it really torques my prop bolts. And now they are sending me those blasted text things... I do not know how to get them off my phone.
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