Alaska2018 - Aviation-Media.com

Since 10 years I am regularly visiting Alaska to enjoy the aviation scene in that beautiful part of the world. Over the years I have developed a good network that makes many things possible. Every trip is full of surprises and the following pictures will give an overview what I experienced in September 2018.

Anchorage

N615AS landing at Runway 7R at ANC. Alaska Airlines is the main passenger operator at Anchorage. The biggest part of the fleet is operating in the lower 48´s – especially on the west coast.

A Fedex MD11 was a common sight everywhere but now becoming rarer every year. The beautiful three holer is landing on Ted Stevens runway 7R.

Dozens of cargo planes are stopping for fuel at Anchorage every day. Even all the new generation planes need to do that when they are heavy loaded. One of the main ANC customers for that Purpose is Cathay pacific with its fleet of Boeing 747-8F and Boeing 747-400F.

Everts Air Cargo still needs it´s classic propliner to reach most of its remote destinations in Alaska. After operating DC9-30´s for some years the MD80F was introduced to its fleet in 2015 to fly to the bigger airports in the north.Everts Air was the first company to operate the MD80F cargo conversion and is expecting more MD80´s in the future.

N780BA Boeing 747-409 c/n 24310/778 – converted into a Boeing 747-409LCF from 2004 to 2007. N780BA is one of four Boeing 747-400LCF operated by Atlas Air for Boeing. They are mainly used to transport Boeing 787 wings from Japan to the United States.

N320DL is operated in an albino flight scheme since its return from Aloha Airlines in 2015. After Selling its Douglas DC-6 fleet Northern Air Cargo moved to the Boeing 737-200. Now five Boeing 737´s in different versions are operated alongside two Boeing 767-300.

62 years old and still making money in daily operations! N151 is taking off at Anchorage in the beautiful morning light.

Beside the two operational Super Dakotas,Trans Northern has N29TN parked on their ramp at Anchorage. It just needs some maintenance to be airborne again. There are plans to move that beauty to Europe in 2019 to be part of the “Dakotas over Normandy” Event.

Since 2001 Desert Air operates two Douglas DC-3 out of Anchorage on cargo charters all over Alaska. On a cloudy day N272R flies over Knik River and shows that it is looking good in any kind of weather.

Trans Northern is the last commercial C117 operator in the world. One passenger and one cargo configured Super Dakota are currently airworthy. N28TN is the cargo plane of Trans Northern and it is still wearing the orange Kenn Borek Air paint scheme.

Fairbanks

Everts Air is giving tours at their headquarter in Fairbanks. The apron there is uneven and after rain the puddles stay for some time, which gives aviation photographers a great opportunity for reflection shots.

Over the last years Everts Air bought every available DC6 to keep their own fleet airworthy. In 2008 Northern Air Cargo retired its fleet of DC6 and replaced it with Boeing 737-200. All Northern Air Cargo DC6 were sold to Everts Air and after removal of nearly all useful parts the remains are awaiting their fate at Fairbanks.

Beside the main storage yard next to the maintenance base at Fairbanks, Everts Air has a closed compound across the road at Fairbanks International Airport with the remains of three Curtiss C46 and five Convairs.

"Hot Stuff" is one of 3 Curtiss C46 in operation with Everts Air Fuel and Everts Air Cargo. It is equipped with fuselage tanks to carry fuel to the remote areas of Alaska. All maintenance is done inhouse by Everts Air at its headquarter in Fairbanks.

Nenana

On January 17th 2007 Douglas C-54 N82FA operated by Brooks Air Fuel departed from Fairbanks, carrying 3000 gallons of heating fuel for the Nixon Fork Mine. En route the no. 2 engine started running rough. The pilot elected to shut it down and return to Fairbanks. During the shutdown procedure, the engine caught fire. The fire extinguishing system was activated. The crew attempted to divert to Nenana Municipal Airport, but a forced gear-up landing had to be carried out in the tundra. The left wing was consumed by fire. It´s remains were moved to Nenana Airport.

Wasilla

Alaska Air Fuel came out of the ashes of Brooks Air Fuel, which stopped its operation in 2011. Brooks Air Fuel hauled fuel with its DC4´s since 1986. Two of the former Brooks Air Fuel Douglas DC-4 were sold to the newly formed Alaska Air Fuel in 2012 and put in operation out of Palmer. After some friction with the new Palmer Airport manager Alaska Air Fuel moved to Wasilla airport. At the moment N96358 is the only operational aircraft with a second one Douglas DC-4 N3054V receiving heavy maintenance over the winter. There are plans to move the company to a hangar at Fairbanks and increase the operational fleet by two more Douglas DC-4.


The inflight Pictures were taken on a fuel hauling flight from Wasilla to Valdez over the Knik glacier.

Lake Hood

Around 30 Grumman G-21 Goose are still in flyable condition. One of them in immaculate condition is hidden in a grey hangar at Lake Hood. It is Gosse N703 with serial number B-81, delivered new to the American military in 1944. In the 1960´s it was moved to Alaska and after some years of operation out of Lake Hood it was abandoned. Its current owner “B-81 LLC” invested two years and over 8000 man hours into it. The plane is available for charters and multi engine seaplane Ratings.

N2545Z Cessna 185B c/n 185-0545. Picture is taken during landing at the Lake Hood sea plane base. There is an open parking lot at Aviation Drive where take offs and landings of float planes can be watched very closely.

N2899J Dash DHC-3 Turbo Otter c/n 425 This Turbo Otter is the biggest plane in the fleet of the Lake Hood based Rust´s Flying Service. This company is one of the big players in flying tourists to the fantastic nature spots all over Alaska

Merrill Field

Grumman G44 Widgeon N302 is based in Alaska since 1956. It is a McDermott conversion with two 260 hp Continental engines. In over 50 years its former owner Oren B. Hudson logged over 12,000 hours before it was sold to its current owner. The paint scheme wasn´t changed for a long time and that gives it that special bush plane look. Actually it is based at Anchorage Merrill Field Airport and flown regularly on hunting trips.

Consolidated Vultee BT-13B N63282  is operated by the Alaska Wing Commemorative Air Force together with Havard N421QB out of Merill Field airport in Anchorage. Every few weeks and on request the CAF gives warbird rides over the fantastic scenery around Anchorage.

Palmer

Fairchild C-119F Flying Boxcar N8501W was flown into Palmer from Anchorage in 2001–and since that time the owner works on it and keeping it “nearly airworthy". The second Boxcar N1394N is no parked in a remote corner of Palmer Airport. 


Since April 2015 this former Missionary Flights (Florida) Dakota N400MF is registered to Kingdom Air Corps of Sutton AK,which undertakes missionary flying in North Alaska and Far East Russia.

Bush Air Cargo has moved this DC3 from Anchorage to Palmer and will operate it to remote fields all over Alaska as soon as it is ready to fly.  

Dietmar Schreiber, November 2018