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Thread: AK airport/airstrip - choosing stability

  1. #1

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    Question AK airport/airstrip - choosing stability

    I've been reading about airport sponsorship potentially changing hands at Birchwood, and scuttlebutt about a growing internal desire for the State to abdicate responsibility for some airports in a push for shrinking government or perhaps in response to shrinking budgets. Whatever the reasons, it certainly gives pause for thought.

    We're moving to AK for the warmer months. In doing that, I like the idea of basing out of an airport that is likely to stay under control of avid aviators and folks with vested interests.

    Q: If a land-based Skywagon was to be hangared somewhere that was reasonably free from the controversy of being managed by an indifferent and perhaps even antagonistic ruling body, and is a decent location from which to explore/fish/hunt/aviate, where would that be?

    Instrument approaches are preferred, but not required. Being part of a community that has families with kids is a good thing (we have a 12 y/o), as is being able to land on grass for much of the season to preserve bush tires.

    Thanks,
    Johnny
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 03-16-2018 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2

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    Jonny for now the Birchwood issue appears to be solved. It will sponsorship will remain in state hands. However with any government entity things can change in the future. You might consider looking at being based out of a private strip such as Hollywood strip in Wasilla. If you have bad weather you could get into big lake or Wasilla airport and tie down then have someone come to pick you up and move the plane home when weather clears.
    DENNY
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  3. #3
    Barnstormer's Avatar
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    Soldotna (PASX) would be a great place. Far enough away from Anchorage and its bedroom communities that it won't feel like you've traded one metropolitan area for another, but only a 30 minute flight to Anchorage in the Wagon when you want to go to the "big city". 30 minutes or less flight time to everything cool about Alaska: beaches, rivers, gravel bars, tundra benches, ridges, glaciers, wildlife viewing, whale watching, hunting, fishing. The nearby airport of Kenai has 20 minute Dash 8 flights multiple times a say to/from Anchorage.
    Phil Whittemore
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  4. #4

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    If/when Birchwood is managed by Eklutna Corp? I'd expect things to get better. Birchwood guys should be crossing their fingers and hoping for it to happen.

    Hangar home? Wasilla area, like Wolf Lake. Or further north, like in JR's neighborhood. Or south to Sterling or Nikiski. Anchorage will have a big cost premium and very limited availability.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyR View Post

    Instrument approaches are preferred, but not required. Being part of a community that has families with kids is a good thing (we have a 12 y/o), as is being able to land on grass for much of the season to preserve bush tires.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

    Instrument approaches? What’s that?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danielle View Post
    Instrument approaches? What’s that?
    Har-har

    It's a way to get yourself in trouble in the mountains!!
    We don't fly single engine IFR in the mountains, but it sure is nice to be able to pop through a local layer to get somewhere else, or the converse...

  7. #7

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    Hey Johnny , l just saw you were from Maine and had to give you the business like a Mainer would . I spent about 5 years flying in Maine and loved every second of it . I got my license in Belfast ME . Did all my crosswind training at Rockland ME.

    If I was in your shoes I would look in the valley at Leisure wood airstrip community . If you like it. I know some one that has an undeveloped lot there .they have been talking about selling. I could forward there number to you if your interested.
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  8. #8
    strangeak's Avatar
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    Thats when they have music playing for your arrival.

  9. #9
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I really like Anderson Lake...

    That said, Stewart has a point, and any airport that has been operating with federal funds is required to follow rules lined out by the FAA. Managers come and go- with some effort the bad ones go quickly.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  10. #10

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    I had forgotten about this thread and wanted to thank folks for their inputs. We’re searching in earnest down on the Kenai but still considering most anything. Looking forward to full time or at least “most time” in AK.
    J
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 11-27-2019 at 08:45 AM.
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  11. #11
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    One consideration (I have been told), if you are looking in the Wasilla/Palmer/Wolf Lake/Anderson Lake etc, is to learn from the locals about the winds. I have heard they can be a significant factor, with some areas being much much better than others, or perhaps much worse.


    Just what I've been told

    Bill
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  12. #12

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    Wolf Lake has a crosswind runway and plenty of space at the intersection to land diagonally. Handy. Grass infield on both sides of the runway get more use than the pavement. I like it.

    I have Aeroweather display Palmer and Wasilla on my Apple watch. It's very interesting to see how the weather varies and which report favors Wolf Lake. Fun stuff.
    Last edited by stewartb; 11-26-2019 at 10:26 PM.

  13. #13
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Bill Rusk;760363]. . . I have heard they can be a significant factor, . . .

    That's like saying that the Pope is mildly catholic.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  14. #14
    aktango58's Avatar
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    A good Hangar solves many wind problems.

    I sleep better at night with the plane inside.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  15. #15

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    Hmmm.
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  16. #16
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Just another early winter day, lol.

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  17. #17

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    I agree with George. Hangars are awesome!

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  18. #18
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Are those storm clouds in the distance?

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

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