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Thread: Bush Flights

  1. #1
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    Default Bush Flights

    Have not been on the forum in years, but have flown all over Alaska for the past 30 years.

    Here is the question. I am encountering air service that wants payment for deadheads back to their bases after dropping me and my camp off. ie 1 hr. flight to camp, return 4 days later and pick me up.

    Charge,4 hrs. flight time. Maybe I have just been lucky, I have never had to pay for return to base flights, only flights where my butt was in the seat. $650.00 an hr. for the beavers and additional 10 % fuel sir-charge.

    Is this the price of doing business today?

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaRiverGuide's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, yes. And the kicker is that the air taxi, while flying back empty on your dime will, if the scheduling allows, pick up other clients and fly them back to base, charging them as well as you.

    Where are you flying if you don't mind my asking?

  3. #3
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    Default King Salmon Air Charter

    King Salmon to Brooks and then to the Ugashik Narrows. The Brooks trips are pretty canned and you can find most any for $195.00 per person round trip from KS, plus the park fee. Katmai Air is in and out of there all day. We wanted to spend the day at Brooks and then fly from there to the Narrows and camp there for 4 days, and return to King Salmon.

    It's 20 minutes to Brooks from KS then 45 minutes to the narrrows on good weather. Pick up and take back to KS 4 days later. The Narrows on good weather is 85 miles, and takes about an hour. The cost of this trip is littlerly thousands, and I don't mean one or two thousand.

    Have flown out of Bethel, Kodiak, Fairbanks, and Kotzebue, for years and never had these cost.

    Took the same trip last year using two carriers and it cost $1750.00. One to Brooks and then back to KS, and the Next day to Ugashik Narrows and picked up a week later. Was trying to coardinate this into a single flight without coming back to KS and have hit the snag.

  4. #4
    Member Trouthead's Avatar
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    It's not cheap to fly in a Beaver for an hour when fuel is probably 9 or 10 bucks a gallon in KS. I dont think it would be out of line to say that fuel alone could cost a couple thousand for four hours flying in a turbine beaver out of KS. You might see if you can find a much smaller plane to charter and pack light.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wjb View Post
    Have not been on the forum in years, but have flown all over Alaska for the past 30 years.

    Here is the question. I am encountering air service that wants payment for deadheads back to their bases after dropping me and my camp off. ie 1 hr. flight to camp, return 4 days later and pick me up.

    Charge,4 hrs. flight time. Maybe I have just been lucky, I have never had to pay for return to base flights, only flights where my butt was in the seat. $650.00 an hr. for the beavers and additional 10 % fuel sir-charge.

    Is this the price of doing business today?
    Charter is ALWAYS based on r/t time on the A/C and been that way; always.

    You are not remembering it the way it is; probably because it was so less expensive then you were not paying attention. Everyone has has always paid round trip per flight from the point of origin UNLESS you were flying a 'seat fare'.

    That's cheap for a Beaver today. I just paid 44% fuel surcharge for freight on Norther Air Cargo back haul to Anchorage from the Peninsula.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wjb View Post
    King Salmon to Brooks and then to the Ugashik Narrows. The Brooks trips are pretty canned and you can find most any for $195.00 per person round trip from KS, plus the park fee. Katmai Air is in and out of there all day.
    Thats called a seat fare. Just like Ak Airlines charges. Try to "charter" Katmai Air's Otter to Brooks to drop you off and pick you up and compare the prices.




    Quote Originally Posted by wjb View Post
    Took the same trip last year using two carriers and it cost $1750.00. One to Brooks and then back to KS, and the Next day to Ugashik Narrows and picked up a week later. Was trying to coardinate this into a single flight without coming back to KS and have hit the snag.

    You hit the snag cause you are trying to charter from Brooks to the narrows instead of doing it like you did last year and going back to king Salmon and then taking a 185 to the narrows instead of a beaver.

    The operator is based in KS; has to fly to Brooks to get you then to the narrows then back to ks and THEN from KS to the Narrows and back to pick you up...thats what a 'charter' is....your plane your way. (to a point)

    That's 4 hours flight time dude. Same as if you used a 206 or 185 but those two airplanes are cheaper per hour.

    I am assuming you got 4 people and gear which is too much for a 185 or 206 and they would have to make two trips to do the same job as the beaver can do in one...so then it would be 8 hours of charter and then the beaver price is not sounding like "so much" is it???

    Break it down to a per person per day cost for transportation to have the fun you want to have and maybe it wont feel so bad too ya. It's not an unreasonable price considering all things.


  7. #7
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    Thanks to Avalanche and all that posted. You are right on, just was hard to get it thru my head. Best bet is back to King Salmon and on to the ugashik the next day. Did find a beaver for 600 an hr. and no fuel surcharge. Same guy we took last year, for the same money. Beaver uses 20 gph, on decent weather. Price of gas at KS is 7 bucks a gal. About 3.5 hrs. of fuel consumption. He is a really nice guy, should have called him first. We will gladly use his services this time.

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