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Thread: Moving to Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Moving to Alaska

    I will be moving to Cordova, AK for work. I've got a couple thousand hours with instrument commercial single and Multi land privilages. I have 100+ hours IMC but fully expect to stay a VFR pilot based on respect and fear of the area. I would like to add Float plane for fishing and to enjoy. Can anyone offer some insight(web sites, literature, instructors and pilots in Cordova) for flying in the Prince William Sound area.

  2. #2
    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    .... don't know anyone in CDV but my advice would be to fly scared. Always wonder if you have the ability and the weather clearance to turn around. Fly off shore with enough space that if you have to turn around you can always keep the shoreline in sight ie. never turn away from what you can see. I would suggest spending many hours hanging around the local air taxi guys and asking for their wisdom/input. If you ever find a guy named Charlie Pike, milk him for all he is worth. And above all - fly scared; have a plan for everything.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    cordova, ak
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    when are you moving to cordova .. i live here .. dont have my pilots licens yet but i am workin on the ground school and goin to flight school in november...

    but there are alot of very good pilots with alot of bush flying under there belts that would probly have no problem showin you the ropes around here...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverDriver View Post
    .... don't know anyone in CDV but my advice would be to fly scared. Always wonder if you have the ability and the weather clearance to turn around. Fly off shore with enough space that if you have to turn around you can always keep the shoreline in sight ie. never turn away from what you can see. I would suggest spending many hours hanging around the local air taxi guys and asking for their wisdom/input. If you ever find a guy named Charlie Pike, milk him for all he is worth. And above all - fly scared; have a plan for everything.
    I'm mostly a float plane pilot, and my background is a little in SE, but mostly in SW Alaska. BeaverDriver's advise on flying the shoreline should be considered an unbreakable rule. When you're in the crap, you've got to stay far enough offshore to turn towards the beach, not the water.

  5. #5
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Kachemak Bay Alaska
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    Congrats on finding a job up here.
    If you are looking at your float rating once you get settled-in, give me a call.
    I am over in Homer but a few days over here won't kill you and we have some interesting places to fly-floats.
    dragonfly@alaska.net
    907-226-2899
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  6. #6
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    I flew my own plane in Prince William Sound for many years, been in and out of Cordova lots of times. It is beautiful country, lots of places to go on wheels or floats. Landing on the beaches on wheels is easy with little risk, just make sure your gone by high tide. When the weather is good there is no place like Prince William Sound. Unfortunately the weather is normally not good. IFR is not a good idea in small planes, MEAs are very high and you will not be able to stay out of the ice. When flying VFR the ceilings are often very low, visibility poor and it is easy to find yourself out over the water, very low and a long way from shore. There are a couple of 135 outfits operating out of Cordova. They fly off Eyak Lake on floats. The lake is right in town and the city airstrip is located next to the lake. The big airport is 13 miles from town, it has regular Alaska Airlines flights. Interestingly Avgas is not available at the big airport, only at the city strip. There's something like 5 men for every woman in Cordova. There was an magazine article a few years ago where they interviewed several women from Cordova asking them what it was like to live someplace where the men outnumbered the women 5 to 1. One woman answered "It's like this, the odds are good, but the goods are odd".

    In the previous post about survival equipment and guns I mentioned I may not take a gun on every flight. If I were going to Yakataga (southeast of Cordova) I would take the biggest gun I could find. That place is thick with Brown Bears.

    Have fun, bring a raincoat.

  7. #7
    RMK
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    Default Cordova

    There is some bad weather and unforgiving country in that part of the world. The air force lost a KC-135 out of Valdez. It can snow 20 feet in a day! I think they found it a year or so after the crash.

    Once I was deer hunting on Hinchinbrook Island near Cordova and an airplane wreckage appeared on the beach at low tide. I wanted to look for some identifying serial number but it was getting dark. At the next low tide, it was long gone. I've always wondered if that was a never solved missing aircraft?

    Too bad Mudhole Smith isn't around anymore. I flew with his kid once. Mudhole was a famous aviation pioneer who called Cordova home. I'm pretty sure the strip is named after him. Hopefully you'll find some other wise locals to show you the ropes. Be safe.

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