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Thread: Floating Kobuk, need suggestion on flight services.. (upper river)

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Floating Kobuk, need suggestion on flight services.. (upper river)

    Looking at finally floating the Kobuk. Been wanting to do this trip for years. I am floating the upper river and taking out above (or at) the village of Kobuk. First thought was a drop off and pick up with Bettle's Air, but looks like about $3500 round trip. Then thought about a scheduled air taxi from Kobuk village back to Fbx. That would have us paying about $1500 for the bush plane drop, and a few hundred bucks on the scheduled return. Can't find out who does the Kobuk village to Fbx air taxi. I know Bering Air does the trip from Kobuk village to Kotz, but not sure who goes between Fbx and Kobuk. Any ideas? Also, anyone know of a bush plane option that would take us from Fbx directly to the Kobuk? We will need a float plane (lake) drop off with 800# payload. If so, that would save us the trouble from going up to Bettles in the first place. Especially since we are now considering a return flight directly to Fbx from the village of Kobuk. Trying to find sound logistics that won't break the bank. I appreciate any comment as always.


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Hello Dan,

    I put-in at Walker Lake and float to Kobuk Village. As you may be aware, this is the upper reaches and includes whitewater. In past years (particularly September trips), it's often been better to charter from Fairbanks with Wright's on wheels to Bettles --- then Beaver on floats to Walker --- returning from Kobuk village on wheels using Wright's back to Fairbanks. If you did not need a Beaver... best straight-away out of Fairbanks... go direct Cessna on floats or amphibious to put-in, then get whatever size on wheels for returning from take-out. It all gets expensive chartering per hour, yet ponying up is better logistics, don't have the hassle, or get separated from your stuff.
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  3. #3

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    Hey Dan, Just back from Louisiana- Laura still down south- But plan to have you guys over before you leave.
    Hagland has-had daily 208 service from Kobuk Village to Kotz. a couple of yrs. ago. Maybe fly in from Fbks. Home from Kotz??
    BIG!!! Sheefish in early-mid Sept.
    Goo

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    Yep - all out of Kotz would be another way to go about this....

    However, I'd say for put-in better still Fairbanks and/or Bettles connections for the upper river.

    If you where heading further down-river than Kobuk Village... then a good take out with Kotz. connection working to some advantage --- assuming ya have every bit of gear with ya, and the bush flight to Kotz route takes you by jet from Kotz back into Anchorage.

    Much depends on your transportation from Anchorage or Fairbanks, how you are getting to/from either major hub, in addition to what gear you take with and what ya leave behind at some location.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Awesome pic of that Sheefish. I lived in Kotz in 2004 and there are options for getting from Kobuk to Kotz. My concern was that my round trip commercial flight will be NC to Fbx. I might just have to bite the bullet and do the whole thing through Bettles. Looks like about $4200 total (from Fbx). $320 pp for Fbx to Bettles flights round trip. $1500 for Beaver drop off on Lake Minakakosa. $2000 river pick up below Pah River confluence. Man, that is a pricey trip. The old saying, you gotta pay to play, holds meaning here I guess. I will continue scratching my head on the subject. Any other ideas, I am all ears. Thanks for any thoughts guys.



    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Try out prices starting in Anch. Era Alaska Anch-Fbks-Bettles. Charter from Bettles to upper Kobuk. Era Alaska OBU-OTZ-Fbks-Anch. Maybe you can get Era Alaska to give you a discount price for the whole route, minus the charter. Era Alaska is Era-Hageland-Frontier combined.
    To my knowledge there are no scheduled flights between Fbks and Kobuk. There used to be a few years ago. I believe Dave Rue still runs Ambler Air, but he doesn't have a beaver.
    You can float to Ambler to reduce the price to OTZ.
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks man. I will research that angle. We use the companion tickets to get us to Alaska, saves us about a grand a trip. I will have to compare the options and see how it works. I appreciate the idea.


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Dan, I agree with Brian. One route to consider:

    IN: Fly with Bettles Air from fairbanks to Bettles via navaho and then charter them to reach Walker Lk.
    OUT: Charter a navaho through Wright Air if under 1600 lbs total outbound weight, or ask for a Caravan p/u if 1600-2400 lbs. Both options are spendy, but depending on your final harvest # you'll save in the long run trying to get two beaver flights out of kobuk back through Bettles and in to fairbanks.

    Sounds like you're slightly over weight for one Cessna 185 load on floats out of fairbanks, but if you can trim your inbound load you might try Jim Webster 457-2409 (Webster's Flying Service) if Andy Greenblatt 590-5866 (Shadow Aviation) is too full. If Not Jim, try Ken Jouppi 488-8848 (Ken Air).

    good luck, brother.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Larry. I was hoping you would chime in.



    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Yep on LB's follow-up post... Navajo flight is another way to go when loads are appropriate.

    Upper Kobuk logistics are best like this... I have done it this way most often and it has always worked out very well. For me, it's going Fairbanks to Bettles --- Bettles to Walker Lake --- Kobuk Village returning to Fairbanks.

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