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Thread: Floats to Alaska - 2017

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    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Floats to Alaska - 2017

    PART 1


    Folks

    As you may remember from my post on the "Building a Javron" thread, I did a super thorough annual condition inspection on the Cub this winter and made a few additions and hopefully improvements. I sorta ran out of time so when I departed on this trip I was a little behind the power curve and did not have enough test time to catch all the little things that can crop up after a pretty big rebuild. We also had some lousy weather and that delayed things so I got a late start and had some maintenance issues at the start of the trip. Not a very auspicious start.
    I had a oil leak where the oil heat valve went into the oil cooler. They recommend that you use steel fittings on a aluminum oil cooler. This is a pipe thread. When you put steel into aluminum pipe threads it is going to elongate, deform, and enlarge the threads. This could mean that if you remove and replace the fitting you may have problems getting a good seal on the threads. So, I had a small oil leak starting the trip. A little oil is like a little blood, it goes a long way. Looked like the end of the world to me but was probably about 2 ounces on a 3 hour leg, maybe even less, but boy it looked bad down the side of the fuselage. After a long day, and a pretty average overnight in the lounge at Roundup Montana (I do not recommend this as an overnight) I made Spokane the second day.
    Mike Scalera and John helped me try to get the leak stopped and I fixed a broken wire on my radio, and did a couple of other things. Unfortunately this also delayed me another night.


    Following I90 through the mountains of Montana. Very pretty.


    In my hangar in Spokane doing maintenance.


    The next day I headed North across the border to Kamloops, shown here, to clear customs. Since I did not have a firearm it was just a phone call clearance. It seems that if you have a firearm they are going to be there for the full monte Vs no firearm often results in a phone clearance. The Canadians remain very friendly and easy to work with. You can clear customs here by landing in the river if you are on straight floats.
    After getting to Kamloops I discovered that our work in Spokane had not solved the oil leak. I went to a shop on the field, Mountainaire Services, and asked for help. At this point all I wanted to do was bypass my oil heat valve and get on with the trip. So they had a standard 45 degree pipe fitting and we installed it in the oil cooler and.....yup......it threaded in with no resistance. This was when I discovered the threads in the oil cooler were shot. Trouble in paradise! There was a gent there that says "well, we can put a helicoil in there". I did not know you could helicoil a pipe thread. Learn something new every day. They did a great job, very carefully, so as not to get shavings in my oil cooler, and 5 hours later I was once again on my way. But now even later. My weather window was closing. I made Mackinzie that evening. And yes, you guessed it....still some oil on the fuselage.....less but still there.....residual?? Hopefully. The next morning the wx was down. I was stuck. Oh well. The folks at Trench Fuels in Mackinzie were awesome (as always) and took are of getting me to the hotel and squared away. Great folks.
    Two days later......finally......I was on my way again but at this point I had missed the "Alaska Airmans Trade Show" and visiting with all my friends there.
    BIG TIME BUMMER!!



    This is Mackinzie (runway on the right) and looking into the Trench at Lake Williston.



    This is Scoop Lake at the north end of the Trench still about 80 miles from Watson Lake. It is a possible stop and if you call in advance they may have fuel. Great folks, but call first. Still frozen so turned out not to be an option for me. This was plan C that turned out to be a no go. No big deal as I still had plan D, E, and F. Weather at Watson Lake still iffy. The dirt runways would be fine for bushwheels but I did not want to try on the small amphib tires. And with the fuel pod I had plenty of fuel.


    Customs!!! Arggggg, I guess I have still not broken the code. I have trouble with US customs every time. No problem with the Canadians, ALWAYS with the US. According to the "on a power trip" agent you MUST file to Northway even if they are not going to be there. Then they can give you "permission" to bypass Northway and go to Tok for fuel then clear at Anchorage Intl (which is a 24 hour operation). Be sure to call customs in advance and try to get details on how they want you to do all this. It seems to change every time, or with every different agent. Be SURE to write down the name of the agent you talk to. When I got to Anchorage, it seemed the only thing they cared about was the name of the agent who cleared me and at what time he did so. This is following the highway after Tok going towards Anchorage. Pretty country.
    Also when you file your flight plan (you must be on a flight plan when you cross the border, going and coming) the guys at the FSS have a waiver for a fuel stop at Tok but not Gulkanna. So.......you will file Tok then Anchorage.......if you do not clear at Northway.....between the hours of 9-3. (window keeps getting smaller) but don't file until you get permission from customs. Got all that? If you are still confused...so am I.





    Finally, on final to Anchorage Intl to clear customs. This was a long day of flying. 14.9 hours in the air. Thank heavens for Tylenol and Advil.
    I got in about 2130 Sunday evening. Mike Woodson, Gary and Sue Drean, Joe and Kim came out to meet me. How cool is that? Thanks guys!!!
    On Monday I found and fixed a few more problems and finally got the airplane all squared away. Thanks to Dave Caulkins for his help. Supercub.org folks are the best. So..... I made it to Anchorage, a day late and a couple of dollars short, but I'm there and I got the airplane all fixed up.

    Here is a short 2 minute video





    Hope this is worth your time

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 05-26-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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  2. #2
    pzinck's Avatar
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    Enjoy your Trip,GOD bless.
    Remember , the light at the end of the tunnel may be you .O wind of heaven by thy might save all who dare the eagles flight, and keep them by thy watchful care from every peril in the air.
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  3. #3
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    After a day in Anchorage visiting friends and working on the Cub I flew up to visit Bob on Visnaw lake. Here is a video of that flight. These videos are short, usually under three minutes and the editing may not be all that great. They are done while on the road. But I am learning and incorporating the radio audio now. Hopefully it makes it a little more interesting.





    Looking from the window at Bobs place on Visnaw Lake. It always feels like my soul has come home when I am there. Love it.


    My good friend Kobuk. Bobs VERY well trained retriever. I have a soft spot in my heart for Labs. I have had 4 over the years and loved them all. Great dogs.



    After a great visit and stay with Bob (thanks for the Moose dinner and Elk sausage breakfast) I flew down to Soldotna to visit John (on right) and Randy. Both great guys and SC.org family members. Both built their Cubs. Randy built a Smith/Javron/Turbine Cubs kit (its complicated) and John recently completed a Javron Kit. I got a GREAT tour with Randy in his Cub.



    Randy and John helped me change the oil. Carefully !!!!



    Crashed in Randy's hangar. Thanks Randy. Great place



    Randy and his lovely wife Kathy.


    After a great stay with John and Randy I took a flying tour of Lake Clark. Video here. Stunning scenery.




    Then Headed over to Valdez for the STOL contest there. Here is a video of the flight over Skilak Lake, Seward, and Prince William Sound and into Valdez





    I hope you enjoy

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    I had a great stay at the Valdez contest. I had a chance to meet some new friends and visit with old ones. I also got to (finally) meet Joe Prax, the organizer and host of the Valdez contest. What a super nice guy. He insisted I borrow his car and take a drive around Valdez and out to Thompson pass. I did not want to impose but he insisted. I am so glad he did (thank you) what an awesome tour. Stunning scenery. Put that on your must do bucket list. I can't imagine living there. I don't think would ever tire of the scenery, or not praise the Lord for his handiwork.



    L-R Bob, Martin and Joe Prax



    After a great stay at Valdez I had an awesome flight down the coast and into Juneau. Then over to Sitka to meet up with my good friend George Campbell. He took me fishing to one of his "secret" places. Here he is above in the front seat of my Cub. He is an excellent pilot and would be welcome to fly my Cub anytime.



    George on the floats at the super secret fishing spot. Note how clear the water is. You don't see this very often in the lower 48



    George is a great guide and fisherman. All I did was follow his lead. If you want to see the fish you will have to watch the video below.......



    Just incredible scenery



    After a great trip and visit with George it was time to go into a Forest Service Cabin. This is the view from the Young Lake North Cabin



    Young Lake North Cabin
    Tom Bass's website for the cabins is here........http://www.publiclakecabinsak.com



    Cabin above the wing on the right. Neat reflection of the wing on the water



    Finally, just me enjoying the incredible scenery, a babbling brook, and good cup of hot tea. It doesn't get much better than that.

    After a night in the cabin my vacation was coming to a close. The next morning I put the airplane in the hangar at Juneau, and jumpseated home and back to work. Stand by for part two in June with Jay DeRosier and our very own Doc from SC.org, Dr Randy Corfman as they join me for adventuring on floats in the SE of Alaska.

    Ok folks here is a video of the flight from Valdez to Juneau and also the fishing. It is only about 2 minutes, don't panic. The whole purpose of this thread is to motivate you into making this trip.




    Until June......

    Hope you enjoy

    Bill





    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 05-28-2017 at 09:38 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  5. #5

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    Great videos with the audio! Thanks for posting.
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  6. #6
    snowyriver
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    Great videos, Bill. Thanks for sharing those. If you're ever in the Anderson lake area, give a shout. We have a lake and a strip. It'd be great to meet you. Craig
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Great videos, Bill....Short, sweet and well done!

    A word regarding low overflights of wildlife: Low overflights of terrestrial mammals, like moose, bears, etc are generally no harm, no foul, unless it's during hunting season, in which case, you may have just ruined a hunter's stalk.....but, otherwise, no big deal.

    But, when it comes to marine mammals (Seals, Sea Lions, Walrus, etc), aviators would be wise to stay well away from them. National Marine Fisheries Service has jurisdiction over these, with the exception of Pacific Walrus, which are managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

    When Walrus haul out on a beach, pilots should stay a long ways away from them with an airplane. Walrus will often stampede from even a casual over flight, and if there's many of them on a beach when they stampede, some of them will likely get trampled. Not good....that's considered a "Take" under the regulations.

    If there are witnesses, and they read a tail number, the pilot will be having a chat with some LE folks, and it may not be pleasant conversation. The Marine Mammal Protection Act has a forfeiture clause.....

    And, NMFS has adopted much stronger policies on harassment of the marine mammal species that they have management responsibility for as well.

    So, no need to be paranoid, but if you see Walrus hauled out on a beach (and they don't occur in Southeast Alaska), stay way far away from them. And, I'd be similarly careful about low flights over seals or sea lions as well. Most of all, enjoy that country!

    MTV
    Last edited by mvivion; 05-29-2017 at 08:08 AM.
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  8. #8
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Thank you Mike. I appreciate your input, I will send you a PM tonight.


    Best regards

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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  9. #9
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    PART 2



    After working for a couple of weeks, my next vacation block started so I hopped on my ride (UPS jumpseat) back to Anchorage then another jumpseat on Alaska Airlines and I was back in Juneau. I met up with Dennis Bedford in Juneau. Dennis is a very interesting guy. Retired from Alaska Airlines and just super knowledgeable about aviation history and especially SE Alaska Aviation history. We had a great visit.



    Dennis invited me over for breakfast and we watched several whales right from his dining room window. He has a great house (he built) right on the water. He also has an extensive aviation library and if I lived here I would probably wear out my welcome borrowing all his books. I did manage to get several titles I don't have, and I look forward to finding them on Amazon, Ebay, etc.
    I spent several hours that afternoon, before Jay arrived, cleaning, checking, and making sure my magic carpet was in tip top shape for a little more Alaska adventuring.



    I managed to pull Jay DeRosier out of the shop for a few days (Im sure someone will be unhappy they are not getting their parts as fast as they want, but I figure it helps his motivation). The weather looked good the first day so we went for a Misty Fjords Tour. We hit all the great sights and had an incredible day. Good thing we did it then because the rest of the week was pretty much SE std wx. We finally ended up at the Swan Lake Cabin shown here. I took a gamble knowing that we might get weathered in (and with an altimeter setting of 2952 I got exactly what I expected). We got weathered in for a couple of extra days. Not a big deal, we fished, hiked and had a great time. The video below shows a little of the weather.



    We used the boat (and my motor) at our cabin to get to the other end of the lake to hike to the Falls. They leave a boat at the Falls for folks that hike in to row to the
    cabin. I feel sorry for anyone that hiked in just to find this. A tree fell down and crushed not one, but both, boats that were there. That would suck. I don't know how long it will take the Forrest Service Dept to fix this problem.




    We took a hike to the Upper and Lower Falls and to the Lower Falls Shelter. It was a very rugged hike. In a few years I'm not sure I will be able to make it. I certainly can't imagine doing it with a forty pound backpack but I guess some folks manage to hike in to the Swan Lake Cabin. Then after hiking in, they have to row to the other end of the lake to where the cabin is. They must be young and healthy. This is one shot of the falls (one of many falls)



    This is the Lower Falls Shelter. Neat construction.



    View from the Shelter.



    After we got out of Swan Lake we went to Baranof Island and into Warm Springs Bay. Jay at the water fall



    Then we hiked into the natural hot springs and rested our tired bones (from all the hiking) in the pool.



    Then we went into Juneau to resupply and had lunch at the Red Dog Saloon. Neat place. Then we flew in to Jims Lake Cabin shown here. This is a great cabin with a nice beach that has room for a couple of planes.



    The view from Jims Lake Cabin on Admiralty Island.



    The next morning we got up and did a little fishing. I'm not sure why they were not biting at Swan Lake but they were sure feeding at Jims Lake. We probably caught 75 plus. Here is Jay with a nice Cutthroat.



    Jay with lunch.



    Trout lunch. After gorging ourselves we went into a food comma and took a nap. Then it was into Juneau, and into a hotel so we could get Jay on the early flight out and back to Javron to get those kits and parts out.

    Here is a 3 minute video of Jays visit, fishing, weather, sights etc.




    Our very own Medical Matters Doctor, Randy Corfman, will be arriving in a few minutes and he and I will be doing the Alaska Adventuring thing for the next week. Stand by for more updates to come.

    Hope you enjoy it

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 06-23-2017 at 10:57 AM.
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    C130jake's Avatar
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    That's why Jay was out of the office. We did need a part but the hail storm made it moot.

    Jake


    Sent from my iPad using SuperCub.Org

  11. #11
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Really sorry to hear about the hailstorm. Bummer. Hoping for a good outcome.

    Best of luck.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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  12. #12
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    I had a great week with Jay and safely got him on a plane back home and back to work. Dr Randy arrived that evening (seen in the video below), we made a plan, and hit the sack.



    The next day the weather was good so we elected to do a flight seeing day. We first flew up to Skagway and were Blessed to see a whale doing Bubble Net Feeding. In this photo you can see a mostly complete circle in progress. The whale(s), this is usually done by more than one whale and they do it in concert, swims in a tight circle and blows bubbles while doing so. This then forms a bubble net that captures the food and the whales feed. This only last a minute or two then the process is repeated. It is an amazing sight to see. As we flew down the coast we also saw a bunch of seals resting on the rocks in the sun. Pretty cool flight to Skagway.



    Saw this lighthouse on an island going up the Lynn Canal on the way to Skagway.



    Skagway with the cruise ships in port. A town that makes most of its annual income in about 3 months during the cruise ship season, which only runs June, July, and August, and tapers off rapidly in September.



    After a great visit in Skagway we flew over to Haines to see George Campbells house and runway. His lovely wife Lynn gave us the tour. This is Georges strip in the background under construction. George and Lynn live about 23 miles outside of Haines. Great house and it will be a great strip. I was most impressed by Lynn. I think George married up.....LOL....but I must also add that George is very talented in a lot of areas and is capable of doing just about anything you can imagine. Sharp guy indeed.



    Doc Randy in the front seat.



    On the way back to Juneau from Haines we flew over the mountains and enjoyed spectacular scenery.



    The next morning we flew over to the Taku glacier and inlet just for sightseeing then into Turner Lake. This place is so impressive, it just never gets tiring going here.



    The weather coming out of Turner was fun. Not too low but it made for a great flight. We did a little fishing there but got skunked. It was good last year. ??



    Then it was over to Baranof Island across Chathem Strait and into the Baranof cabin for the night.



    Dr Randy with the Baranof cabin in the background.



    Fishing Baranof. Not much luck again. Places that were hot last year were cold this year. Even still, the scenery is so spectacular that is does not matter if you catch fish or not.



    After a great stay at the cabin we went to the Hot Springs for a bath and spa visit. There were people there this year. First time I've seen anyone else there. Weird.



    Then it was over to the Jims Lake cabin. We have lots of stuff but every bit is used. Not sure how to pare it down much.



    The view from Jims Lake Cabin



    Good fishing at Jims Lake. We probably caught 50 plus fish. Kept a couple for dinner. While filleting the fish I managed to fillet my fingers. Thankfully I had a Doc right there to bandage me up (after he stopped laughing).



    Turns out the joke was on Doc as he had to do the cooking, since my fingers were all bandaged up. We had a great Trout dinner.



    The next day the weather was good so we flew to Sitka to visit with George Campbell (on R). George fed us fresh Hallibut and chips. It does not get much better than that.



    Doc Randy took this shot on the way back to Jims Lake. In fact a lot of the photos are his. He is a good photographer among his other many talents.



    On the way to Misty Fjords we went into Swan lake, DeBore lake and visited the Le Conte Glacier. These are ice floes off the glacier. If you look closely you can see seals on the floes, some with newly born calves. We did not fly low to avoid disturbing them. This shot is zoomed in. Pretty cool to see.



    The next day the weather was excellent so we did another flight seeing day. First over to Ketchikan for fuel and shopping. We took the ferry across the channel and into town. Lunch and groceries.



    Then we went flight seeing in Misty Fjords. This is the Wall. A huge slab of Granite.



    This is Punchbowl. Named because it is in a bowl of granite



    Big Goat Lake



    After a great Misty Fjords tour we worked our way to the SE Heckman cabin for the night. This cabin has a nice dock and is a little larger cabin. Very nice.






    Did a little fishing again. Nice Rainbow. Slippery little devils.........



    Doc doing the filleting. He won't let me near a knife now, says I'm a danger to myself......LOL.....
    it is kinda a painful way to get out of the chores.



    Sausage and beans with trout = a "surf and turf" dinner.



    Hero shot of my brother and our good friend at SC.org. A good man indeed.



    On his way home. Wow - what a great trip we had.


    Here is a movie of Dr Randys part of the adventure. It is about 5 minutes. I tried to do a little editing so hopefully it is not too boring. Hope you enjoy.






    I am back in Poplar Grove now but will be returning to Alaska in a couple of days to go adventuring again. I have put right around 100 hours on the cub on this trip so far. Still having July, Aug, and Sept blocks to go. It has been an incredible trip so far and I am Blessed to live my dream. Stand by for more updates, probably around the 10th of July.

    I hope you enjoy and Thank You for following


    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 06-23-2017 at 12:26 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  13. #13
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Folks, it was such a pleasure to fly with Bill. His airplane is really sweet to fly, performs extremely well and is rigged perfectly. He is justifiably really proud of it.

    Flying in SE AK is so much different than flying in MN, for a number of reasons. For example, I hadn't flown floats since getting my rating at Jack Brown's Seaplane base over 20 years ago...in a J3 with straight floats. I did a refresher with Mary Alverson, DPE, a few days before heading up to Juneau, doing exercises on some of the big lakes near Brainerd. You know, doing downwind, base, then turning final. That doesn't really work in SE AK...we just kept a wing against the mountain on one side of the lake, made a quick, descending turn to final and made the landing on Bill's amphibs happen. I bet I logged 15 hours flying time in Bill's PA18 on amphibs, and it was a hoot.

    We also had the opportunity to make some quick 180 degree turns when visibility and or clouds dictated a deviance from our intended path...in mountains. This was a great learning experience for me, the chance to brush up on rusty skills in doing steep turns in a short radius. Bill is an excellent mentor, and I thank him for the tips he gave me to make me a better pilot.

    I remember having some second thoughts about going to spend a week in SE AK with Bill, not because he might be hard to be around 24/7 for a week, but because I would have really hated having a great relationship become less great...predominantly because I have been told that I am challenging to be around for more than a few hours. I am happy to report that, at least from my perspective, I did not experience a single moment of wishing I was not there. Our friendship grew even stronger, and I am more thankful than ever for having crossed paths with Bill. He is a gentleman and an outstanding pilot.

    I don't see amphib or straight floats in my future, despite the great time I had logging float time in AK. This being written, I doubt I will have the chance to see what I saw in SE AK again in my lifetime. I will likely take Julie on a cruise up the Inside Passage, and will likely charter someone at one of the stops to take us into Misty Fjords, but nothing short of another trip with Bill will top the experience or memories I have of the time I had with him there.

    Thanks very much, Bill. Greatly appreciated, Bro.

    Randy

    Very Blessed
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    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Hey Bill,

    I'm planning on leaving Denver about July 26 or 27 and arrive in the Haines/Sitka area by Aug 1 or 2. I'll be in that area until Aug 14th or so. Planning on of course visiting George. Be great to meet up if you find yourself in that region then.

    Anyone else going to be up there during that period? Hope to camp on beaches, gravel bars and strips up through that area into perhaps McCarthy...weather of course permitting...
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Dr. Randy,

    It is a matter of choice to see this area. Either you do it, or regret not doing it.

    Bring Mrs. Doc in Santa Cub, and have a ball; or have her meet you up here. You have not touched all the places to go, and then there are wheel places galore!

    We will leave a light on for you, and have Halibut and Moose for you two.

    Ted- same same.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Folks, it was such a pleasure to fly with Bill. His airplane is really sweet to fly, performs extremely well and is rigged perfectly. He is justifiably really proud of it.

    Flying in SE AK is so much different than flying in MN, for a number of reasons. For example, I hadn't flown floats since getting my rating at Jack Brown's Seaplane base over 20 years ago...in a J3 with straight floats. I did a refresher with Mary Alverson, DPE, a few days before heading up to Juneau, doing exercises on some of the big lakes near Brainerd. You know, doing downwind, base, then turning final. That doesn't really work in SE AK...we just kept a wing against the mountain on one side of the lake, made a quick, descending turn to final and made the landing on Bill's amphibs happen. I bet I logged 15 hours flying time in Bill's PA18 on amphibs, and it was a hoot.

    We also had the opportunity to make some quick 180 degree turns when visibility and or clouds dictated a deviance from our intended path...in mountains. This was a great learning experience for me, the chance to brush up on rusty skills in doing steep turns in a short radius. Bill is an excellent mentor, and I thank him for the tips he gave me to make me a better pilot.

    I remember having some second thoughts about going to spend a week in SE AK with Bill, not because he might be hard to be around 24/7 for a week, but because I would have really hated having a great relationship become less great...predominantly because I have been told that I am challenging to be around for more than a few hours. I am happy to report that, at least from my perspective, I did not experience a single moment of wishing I was not there. Our friendship grew even stronger, and I am more thankful than ever for having crossed paths with Bill. He is a gentleman and an outstanding pilot.

    I don't see amphib or straight floats in my future, despite the great time I had logging float time in AK. This being written, I doubt I will have the chance to see what I saw in SE AK again in my lifetime. I will likely take Julie on a cruise up the Inside Passage, and will likely charter someone at one of the stops to take us into Misty Fjords, but nothing short of another trip with Bill will top the experience or memories I have of the time I had with him there.

    Thanks very much, Bill. Greatly appreciated, Bro.

    Randy

    Very Blessed


    great thread and fun read.
    Thanks Bill Rusk thanked for this post

  17. #17
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    Doc Randy - It was a pleasure to fly with you and our friendship was deepened, certainly not compromised. I had a GREAT time!!

    Ted - I will stay in touch. I should be available after Aug 7th


    PART 3


    After just a short stay at home to work I was able to return to Alaska with my good friend and neighbor Tom and spend a little more time exploring and enjoying the SE. This is part three of a five part summer. Aug and Sept still to go. No telling what type of trouble I can find between now and then. Currently in Petersburg getting a shower, laundry, supplies before heading back out. The weather is pretty crummy today, not not sure how everything is going to turn out. We might end up right back where we are now. Going to try for Swan. After you stop laughing.........bad weather and Swan don't play well together, but we have a couple of back up plans............



    After Tom got in we went to downtown Juneau and got some lunch. Gotta like the scenery here in the SE



    Four of these behemoths in port. Man they are HUGE.......



    Our first cabin was the Big Shaheen cabin on Admirality Island. This cabin was built in 1939. Lots of nice beach for a couple of planes.



    This cabin is a three room job, sorta. Two bedrooms as you can see here.



    I did not think anyone could be a worse fisherman than me ........but maybe..............LOL



    Tom logging front seat time in a floatplane in Alaska. It doesn't get much better than that.....


    And now for the best part......I hope......The edited video. It is not great but I promise I did not just turn the camera on and let it run for 10 minutes.



    Thanks for following, I hope you enjoy...

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  18. #18
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Bill, did you notice today that the ceilings and vis were good over the water, but the stratus was lying on or near any exposed ground, even the smallest of islands? That's an interesting phenomenon. Made getting into JNU interesting. I'm GLAD I'm not one of those commercial floatplane pilots: they fly in the lousiest of weather, and they were hard at it today. [I guess that's a polite way of saying that I've got better judgment than George.] A guys needs brass balls to do that stuff day after day.

    Earlier today I was at JNU waiting to take off on 26. Tower said an Alaska jet was inbound from the bridge, and I could see it on my Capstone screen, but I sure couldn't see it out the window. The Capstone was showing it 600' AGL and descending, but still no joy. Then, all of a sudden it emerged from the murk just as it made the turn final. It's impressive to see a jet that big maneuvering so low, and I'm sure plane spotters all over the world would wet their pants if they got to see it in person.

    Pretty widespread bum weather in Southeast today. I think I heard Alaska Airlines go missed twice, and that doesn't happen often. Coming into SIT this afternoon I was number three behind an Alaska jet and a Gulfstream: they both went missed and went out to the Biorka VOR to hold. You could hear the tension in the controller's voice: I don't think she wanted three of us holding out there! I got lucky and broke out at minimums - sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. I'm scheduled to go to PAPG tomorrow: maybe I'll see you on the ramp.
    Speedo
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  19. #19
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Eric

    Yea the wx has been pretty low. And yes it is often better over the big salt water areas, channels, straits etc. Made it from PAPG yesterday into Jims Lake Cabin after doing a 180 trying for Swan. Will try again today for Swan, back up is to go into Wrangell and visit a friend for a while then try for Virginia Lake Cabin as a back up. Or hotel in Wrangell if necessary. Max flexibility is the word right now with low weather.


    Hope to meet up somewhere/sometime.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  20. #20
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Easy now there Speedster, I did fly yesterday but on the Kerosene Crummy (Alaska Airlines). And the day before I turned around three times!

    Ok, it was not great either day. The boat rides were actually relaxing while the plane stayed in the hangar.

    Hope to cross paths this trip Bill, but you need to have your visitors bring better weather. Even a good day in the morning seems to bring deterioration later on.

    Maybe Eric will feel better when he does not need to read instructions from the box up front to locate destinations and learn to love float flying
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  21. #21
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    It will be sunny and calm in a few weeks. I just know it...

  22. #22
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Ha ha Ha ha ha…… LOL
    Very Blessed.

  23. #23
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    Tom and I had a good trip. It rained 7 of the 9 days we were together but we had fun anyway. Ya just dress in your rain gear and press on. If you are not comfortable flying in the rain and sometimes less than unlimited vis you will get used to it pretty quick or you won't do much.



    This is a picture of Jims Lake Cabin. It is a very nice, recently remodeled cabin. One of my favorites. It is also in a "low entry" area. This is my term for a cabin that you can get to under a low ceiling - say 300' or 400'. Some of the cabins require a 1000' or better ceiling to get into and that is often a problem. You might have 2 or 3K ceiling over the salt water channels and bays but over the land areas it will often hang lower. So you are fine until you turn inland to get to the cabin, then the ceiling drops and/ or there is a ridgeline, between you and the cabin.



    We flew over this island totally covered in Sea Lions. Wow



    Visited the Le Conte Glacier



    We stopped into Wrangell and got a nice tour from Dena (wife of a SC.org member). Unfortunately Rob (her husband) was working on the North Slope so we missed seeing him, but Dena is a lot better looking anyway, LOL



    Stayed at the Lake Eva Cabin. This is a larger cabin and is also handicap accessible.



    I think this was taken at Jims Lake, probably about midnight. It does not really get dark in June up there.



    Went over to Sitka and visited with George Campbell, shown here in the Beaver he flies for Harris Air.
    Great guy. If you are ever up in the SE you need to look George up. He will take good care of you.



    Unfortunately I worked my good friend Tom a little too hard and we had to stop in and have things checked out



    He checked out just fine, I think he just got a little dehydrated.



    After Tom got all re-hydrated we put my "Magic Carpet" in the hangar and got it ready for the next adventure. Did an oil change, cleaned, etc. I think I've put about 120 hours on it so far on this adventure.

    I am back at work now but looking forward to Aug when I will return to Juneau to start Part 4 of my Summer in Alaska. My family will be coming up for a week and I'm really looking forward to that. I am Blessed with a great family. Then in Sept there will be another stint that I will call Part 5 and that will finish out the summer and I will fly the Cub to Spokane.

    So here is a little video (about 3 minutes). I hope you enjoy






    Thanks for following


    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 08-13-2017 at 10:49 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  24. #24
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    I am back for ...,,.PART 4

    I got back the morning of the 3rd. My family, Mom, sister Mona and her two sons (my nephews) Brian and Kyle all came up from Houston to experience the magic of the SE of Alaska.

    WOW...... is all I can say. We have had GREAT weather and it looks to continue for several more days. This is going to be close to 10 days total with no rain in the SE. Unheard of. But the last time Mona was here we had no rain. I think I will invite her on all my SE trips.


    This entire trip would not have been possible without the help and support from Rolin and Helen. Two of the nicest folks I have ever met.
    Rolin has given me hangar space, fed me, let me use his car etc. AWESOME!!!! Thank you both from the bottom of my heart. You are the BEST!!



    L-R Kyle, Mona, and Brian



    L-R Brian, Kyle and Mom at the bar. They had to drink a bunch of "liquid courage" to fly with me.




    Paradise!! Turner Lake West Cabin



    Kyle taking it all in



    Loading up the magic carpet in Juneau before heading out



    We have enjoyed a lot of great fun sitting around the fire and the BS sometimes gets so thick you must raise your arm and at least try to "save the watch" before you drown in it.........great times.....LOL







    And now for the best part........yes.....another video........









    Hope you enjoy


    Bill





    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 08-13-2017 at 06:14 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  25. #25
    G44's Avatar
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    That can't be George, where is his kilt?

  26. #26
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I am green!

    I plan on spending June to Sep there next year.

    In this.

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    Eddie Foy
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God"
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  27. #27
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Bill, I saw you at your hangar yesterday as I taxied to 26. Thank you for bringing Mona, the weather good luck charm. Please send her to Sitka Sept 1-15. Thanks, Eric
    Speedo
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  28. #28
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    Bill, I saw you at your hangar yesterday as I taxied to 26. Thank you for bringing Mona, the weather good luck charm. Please send her to Sitka Sept 1-15. Thanks, Eric
    Have her move here, I will help move boxes and furniture!

    Great video- thanks
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  29. #29
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    The weather has been un-friggin-believeable. Clear skies for 8 days. Here is another update with my family on their visit.



    We all enjoyed "flight Seeing". The scenery never gets old.



    My nephew Kyle helping me grill Salmon we caught



    My Mom, at 79, still enjoys flying with me....... how cool is that



    Wow.......



    Family time. Nothing like a campfire beside a lake, and a log cabin.


    Here is another video. I hope you enjoy (3.5 minutes long)










    I managed to get the family all back to Juneau and on a plane back to reality. My next guest is Terri. She came to spend a few days with me doing the flying, cabins, sightseeing, fishing, adventure thing. Can you see the woman touch? Hors d'oeuvres and she picked some flowers for our coffee table........ooh boy....this will be different....stand by for the next update.

    Thanks for following

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 08-13-2017 at 06:17 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  30. #30
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    My family was Blessed with great weather and things worked out well. After they were back in Juneau and getting ready to go home I picked up my next visitor (victim) for a little Alaska flying and adventuring. The weather held and was fantastic.


    Terri knows how to pack light. One small "daypack" and a sleeping bag. Wow..........



    We grilled Rib-eye steaks for dinner, with baked potatoes, french cut green beens and Terri made up a plate of appetizers. This is not camping it is glamor camping, referred to as "glamping"



    There is a story behind this picture. That look on Terri's face, the hair flung out, and the pointing finger, were all captured by accident as she was just SERIOUSLY startled. Watch the video to see what happened.



    Terri enjoying some front seat floatplane flying in Alaska. She did great!



    We hiked the rugged hike down to the Lower Falls at Swan Lake. I think she was just enjoying the sun, warmth, and sound of the falls. She had no problems with the hike, which is not a smooth or easy trail. But.....she had to stop and look at EVERY flower along the way.......LOL



    Enjoying the fire in the evening. This is not always a possibility, you see it is usually raining, so outside campfires are a rare treat to be savored.



    Terri at Swan Lake.


    And now for Terri's video. It was a great trip, great weather, and a wonderful lady to spend a few days flying with in Alaska.

    Hope you enjoy.






    I will spend the next few days flying solo and exploring some new cabins. Thanks for following.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 08-13-2017 at 06:18 PM.
    Very Blessed.

  31. #31
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Bill,

    Great trip reports and fantastic videos. I am going to tell the Wipline crew that you're flying around on a set of their floats whilst wearing an EDO hat, however.

    Thanks for the eye candy.

    MTV
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  32. #32
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Great report and pics. Makes me want to return to the 1960's in Sitka and go tent camping near a salmon stream in bear country.

    Gary
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  33. #33
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Passing through Petersburg. Yeah, I have a Wip hat but that old Edo hat is just comfortable (and it's up here) and the Wip hat is at home. Perhaps I'll remember it next time. I gave a couple of folks at Wip the link to this thread. Never heard anything. Guess they are not interested. Thanks for following Mike, Gary, cubpilot2, Steve, Pete, etal.
    Yeah.....very attractive lady.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  34. #34
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Bill, please wear the Wip hat more, it contains magical powers

    Petersburg has the finest glaciers in the general vicinity. Was just there on 2100As.

    "Speedo" said "Hi" to me on CTAF from a Navajo in PAGS. He recognized my yellow bird from this forum.

    JUNE-2017 Le Conte Glacier
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  35. #35
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Folks

    The hat has been switched out and I will wear the Wip hat on the next part of the trip. Not sure what happened to my SC.org hat. Oh well.....

    After I got Terri safely on a plane back home I had a few days solo to mess around. Unfortunately the wx went to poo poo. Actually I am SUPER happy for the great weather we had for my family and Terri. I can handle the bad wx (I've seen the good) but when folks come to visit its nice for them to see the good wx Vs the bad stuff.



    I stayed at the Kook cabin over on Baranof Island for a night. Neat location but.......



    This is the wx landing at Kook Lake. I had to sail in to the beach which turned out to be interesting.....I was backing in just fine until about 10" from shore the wind started swirling around and I ended up beaching sideways. Thank heavens there were no trees around. It worked but I got surprised and it was not pretty.



    The next day (actually the next couple of days) the weather looked like this. I tried to get in to the Red Bay Cabin but it was just too low. Did a 180 and ended up staying in Petersburg for the night. Next day I made it in to the Alexander Lake cabin.



    Alex Lake Cabin is quite nice. I stayed there, partly because the wx was so bad I did not even try to get out.



    While I was there this very nice lady and her daughter came through. They were paddling across Admirality Island and the portage trail runs right next to the Alex lake cabin. A couple of pretty darn adventuresome ladies!! I was impressed.



    The view from the Alex Lake Cabin.

    This concludes Part 4 of my summer in Alaska. I am home to work for a couple of weeks, then Lord willing, I will return to the SE and continue adventuring until around the 20th of Sept., then it will be time to fly home to Spokane for the winter. It has been an awesome summer. Stand by for Part 5.

    Thanks for following.....

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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  36. #36
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Just for clarification: Kook Lake is on Chichigof Island, and that is good weather for there!

    How was the fishing? The outfall is a great spot to fish.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  37. #37
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The saga of Kook Lake/Basket Bay in 1966.

    Me and my summer's work partner Bruce Arndt were stream guarding for AK Fish and Game that summer in Basket Bay to the SE into which Kook Lake's outlet feeds water for spawning Red Salmon. On a sunny sunday prior to a commercial season opener a seine boat came into the bay. The pre-spawning Reds were jumping in the salt water and the temptation to set inside the closed area near the creek mouth was great. Easy big $.

    They looked around and apparently spotted our supposedly hidden camp covered with black visqueen plastic up in the woods (sun does that to plastic when the angle is right). They fired about 25 rounds into the camp to run us off...which we did. Three of the boat's four crew came ashore in their seiner skiff with rifles and walked up towards the camp looking to do us. We took our Springfield O3-A3 and went further uphill to prepare for war. But fortunately another seiner soon entered the bay and the boat blew its horn so the onshore dudes returned. The left for other creek robbing I guess.

    The outlet of Kook Lake (Kook Creek) is interesting in that it went (probably still does) underground for hundreds of feet midway before surfacing to flow to the sea. The migrating salmon pooled up at the lower pool, swam underground, then popped up to continue into the lake.

    End of story.

    Gary
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  38. #38
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Wow Gary that was scary for you. What do you suppose those fellows would have done had they found you? Were you able to get the name of the boat?
    N1PA

  39. #39
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Doggoneit - I knew I should have checked a map before I posted that. There was a little voice in my head saying it might be Chichigof Island. Oops, I stand corrected. I did not try fishing there. Wx was bad and I was tired. Sat and read a book.

    Gary - That is quite a story. Pretty sad when a Salmon catch is worth killing folks over. Thank heavens you were not under that tarp.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  40. #40
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Now i'm really green.

    Are you going again next year?
    Eddie Foy
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