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Thread: First trip to AK, ArriveCAN question

  1. #1
    kestrel's Avatar
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    First trip to AK, ArriveCAN question

    I'm a couple days from departing for my first trip to AK and my first attempt at any border crossings by airplane. While doing a dry-run through the ArriveCAN app, I see that it asks for my "destination type"
    and where I will be staying while in Canada. I can't figure out what to put in there?

    Thank you!
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  2. #2

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    What did you put for reason for travel? I put “other” and it simplifies things. For an address if you are overnighting, I put the hotel address or if you are staying on the airport, put the airport address. They made it super simple. Also make sure you call the Canadian customs 800 number before heading over, and again when you arrive.
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    1-888-CAN-PASS

    First things first: DO NOT TAKE A PISTOL. If you need one up here I will loan you one, return when you fly south.

    Second thing: When the customs folks come to inspect you, make sure you have all your weed in one place so they can find it easy

    They have always treated me well. Ask Can Pass if you have questions. EAPIS is the one I have issues with. If you can, check in with Skagway or Juneau and avoid Northway.

    I will be home through the 5th, leaving the 6th to return to Guklana. I will be up there for a couple weeks flying if you want help, or some secret spots to hang out and catch fish/have fun.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    When I checked in at Northway a month ago they were only taking people at 9am and 3pm. Call the day or evening before and make sure they’ll take you. If so, easy peasy. If not, you may be headed to ANC or somewhere else from my understanding. Fuel stops are permitted if that happens. I camped at Beaver Creek in order to not mis my 9AM checkin at Northway. Keep in mind that Northway is 1hr behind Beaver Creek.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Depending on your ultimate destination, there are (or used to be) other places to clear customs. I used to clear customs at Eagle. Simple, the postmaster came out to the airport to do the deed. We had a friendly chat and I went on my way. I know, times have changed since I was last there. But it is a thought.
    N1PA
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    KevinJ is correct, Northway for those hours (9am or 3pm) because they are short staffed, we had to go to Anchorage, they let us stop in Gulkana for fuel. Took 5 minutes with customs, and 20 minutes taxiing around 747’s to concourse C. Makes a lot of sense.
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Fairbanks also has customs, as does Eagle I believe. Maybe even check in at the border on the Top of the World, used to be a strip there.

    Depending on weather though, checking in in Southeast and flying the coast could be your best bet, at least gives you the prettiest flight.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  8. #8
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Love this place. Get more than I asked for and information I didn't know I needed.

    It is sounding like any reasonable answer will work after putting in "other".

    George, I had been eyeing a stop at your place and then traveling up the coast if weather permitted. Its looking a lot better now, but the past week of weather voyeurism was rather discouraging. If your luck isn't good, I will be at your place on the 5th and will follow you north.

    If the coast doesn't work, I had been planning for Northway. If I give enough notice and they agree to meet me, is there likely to be further problems? ...or is it just a case of don't count on getting the appointment?
    --
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    I am driving out on the 6th to work, will plan on being in Tok that night after a stop at Northway airport to drop off a tractor. (Tractor is getting taken from Northway to Chisana in a sky van).

    Then off the 7th to in Gulkana for work the 8th.

    I could haul some fuel to ORT if you need.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  10. #10

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    I fly into Calgary earlier this month from the lower 48. Apparently I didn't do ArriveCan correctly the first time (and was told so when I called CanPass to give notice of arrival the day before). I was able to fix the issue before the flight, but I can't remember what the issue was. When we landed, CanPass didn't answer the 888 number. Fortunately, another pilot in the custom's box gave me a local number to call. We had to hold 30 minutes on the phone, but we were ultimately cleared without inspection.

    I don't know if the problem with the 888 Can Pass number was with Can Pass or the fact that the Rogers cell phone network was down. Regardless, I highly recommend getting a couple of local customs phone numbers in advance. Once we got them on the phone, Canadian Customs were courteous and professional. We also had good luck coming back to the US through Great Falls, MT. The customs agent circled the plane with a geiger counter, but did not look inside. We handled passports in the airconditioned office.
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  11. #11
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    I am driving out on the 6th to work, will plan on being in Tok that night after a stop at Northway airport to drop off a tractor. (Tractor is getting taken from Northway to Chisana in a sky van).

    Then off the 7th to in Gulkana for work the 8th.
    Busy man!!!!

    I could haul some fuel to ORT if you need.
    Doesn't look like that would be worth it. It sounds like customs will generally permit a fuel stop if I have to clear at ANC. I also just checked distances. If I really fill up, I can follow the ravines/rivers/notches from Whitehorse to ANC by way of ORT without a fuel stop. Thank you very much for the offer!
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  12. #12
    kestrel's Avatar
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    There have been some suggestions for Eagle. It is a little out of the way, and the airport info shows this:


    Name:  EagleCustoms.png
Views: 726
Size:  11.8 KB
    What does "Customs Landing Rights" mean in combination with "customs unavailable"?
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  13. #13
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel View Post
    There have been some suggestions for Eagle. It is a little out of the way, and the airport info shows this:


    Name:  EagleCustoms.png
Views: 726
Size:  11.8 KB
    What does "Customs Landing Rights" mean in combination with "customs unavailable"?
    Call ahead to see if the Customs guy has time to close his store to come check you in.

    Not kidding.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel View Post
    Doesn't look like that would be worth it. It sounds like customs will generally permit a fuel stop if I have to clear at ANC. I also just checked distances. If I really fill up, I can follow the ravines/rivers/notches from Whitehorse to ANC by way of ORT without a fuel stop. Thank you very much for the offer!
    Weather permitting the trip from Whitehorse to Northway can be flown direct, bypassing the corner at Haines Junction. Be careful of some of those passes. The weather can be great until you get to them, when it quickly gets down on the ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Call ahead to see if the Customs guy has time to close his store to come check you in.

    Not kidding.
    Ah, more like the old days prior to the shut downs. On the way there, a stop in Dawson City is a trip down through history of the old gold rush era. Unless they have a landing strip near town now. you'll need a cab ride from the airport.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 07-28-2022 at 03:58 AM.
    N1PA
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    Also, you cannot bring in raw/uncooked chicken nor uncooked eggs. May want to call ahead and make sure the Canadian Airport of Entry you select is open for international travel.

    Don’t forget your passport and Covid card.

    Have a safe journey.

    MartyC

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    furiously working on the airstrip today getting it ready for you. Unfortunately the red carpet was backordered, so you are getting fresh graded dirt.

    If you see equipment on the strip, feel free to buzz the idiot in the cab. If you don't see any activity, our house is the bigger one on the right with the deck across the front about the middle of the left base leg landing south. I will let Lyn know the score.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  17. #17
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Did you check my website? ArriveCAN info there. http://Fly2ak.com

    I’m in Inveremere BC on the way up via Valemount, Mackenzie, Watson Lake, Carcross, Skagway (customs).

    Trip details: Usually select “Discretionary…”
    ”Entry by Air”
    Country of departure: USA
    Arrival Airport: find the AOE/15 airport in list
    Airline: Select anything, e.g. “WestJet”
    Flight number: Put your N-# or even 1234…anything works
    Date of arrival: Obvious…select correct estimated time in bottom right
    phone # & language: Obvious
    Travelers: should already have yourself in the list from when you set up your account
    Destination Type: “Other”
    Destination Description: Airport
    Street name and number”: put “Airport”
    City: self explanatory
    Province: ALBERTA, BC, ….
    Postal Code: Google the FBO address of the airport to find the Canadian zip code

    Hope the above helps…

    Ted
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  18. #18
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedwaltman1 View Post
    Did you check my website? ArriveCAN info there. http://Fly2ak.com
    [...]
    Ted
    I did and it was incredibly helpful for a noob like myself. However the page I found with a section that that seemed to cover ArriveCAN wasn't quite as detailed as the information above.

    https://fly2ak.com/?page_id=24

    I was looking under "Tips for use of the ArriveCAN app"

    Thanks!
    Tyson
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  19. #19
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    You’re right. I need to do a better job on that page re the ArriveCAN app tips. Next week when I’m home. Thank you!
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  20. #20
    kestrel's Avatar
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    A couple comments from our trip that may help others and Ted might include in his website:

    Watson Lake seemed to have a limited amount of lodging. I ended up in a spare room that is normally reserved for staff. It would have been fine to camp at the airport, but we had taken a taxi into town and by the time we realized how dire lodging was the taxi was closed for the evening leaving us with no way to get back to the airport, plane and tent.

    Discovery Yukon Lodge, about 26 NM south of Beaver Creek, was an excellent overnight stop with home cooked meals and a "wall tent". It was an appropriate distance from Northway for customs the next morning. The owner allowed me to use her computer with limited internet to check weather and her phone to call customs.

    My experience at Northway customs was painless thanks to the pointers from posters above. I called a day ahead and it was explained that they only scheduled at 9am and 3pm. They also said that the eAPIS application would be rejected and their phone number would be included to call for an appointment. During the initial call and the followup call the possibility of a "by-pass" to Anchorage with fuel stops was discussed. They nicely stated that they prefer a by-pass. Before my "real"/follow-up call I had checked weather and it seemed unlikely that I would be able to get through Tahneta Pass between Gulkana and Anchorage. When I told them this, they pleasantly set my appointment at Northway for 9am.

    A C-182 also cleared customs at Northway at the same time. He was not familiar with how to deal with Northway and he felt that he had gotten quite a run-around that included being unable to get a hold of the right person at customs in Fairbanks. Some of my easy pass through Northway may be attributed to the customs officials getting to process 2 planes on a single drive to the airport.

    On the trip home, we stopped at Ft Grahame for a leg stretch and swap who was flying. A kind gentleman came out to the plane and asked if we needed anything and offered sandwiches and drinks. I'm sorry I failed to write down his name, but Finlay River Outfitters is run by a very nice couple who welcome pilots passing through. Food and lodging can be found there. They said that their friends at Scoop Lake also welcome flying travelers.

    https://www.finlayriveroutfitters.com/
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4
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  21. #21
    kestrel's Avatar
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    I also noted that Finbow (just SE of Ft Ware in the trench) has about 900 ft of usable length on the SE end due to brush/trees growing up. If had had been there longer I would have taken out the pack saw and lengthened it a bit. I never made it up to the NW end.
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    Must have been a off day in Watson lake for you Kestrel. I traveled twice through there last month, called ahead and got rooms at the Big Horn. A step back in time for sure, but clean and up kept. For those needing a store, there’s two walking distance from the hotel.

    Ps has anyone flown a stock J-3 up the trench? How much extra fuel did you need to take to make it through? Or impossible.

  23. #23
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKjurnees View Post
    Must have been a off day in Watson lake for you Kestrel.
    It was. I ran into a bunch of "off days". Can you imagine not being able to find a room of any kind in Duluth, MI?! That was what I hit. There we were able to get back to our camping gear in the airplane and tent at the airport.

    Ps has anyone flown a stock J-3 up the trench? How much extra fuel did you need to take to make it through? Or impossible.
    I can't directly answer your question, but it is possible to get auto fuel at Ft. Grahame. The operator has it for his own cub. He isn't in the business of selling fuel, but he will work with those in need. I'd suggest calling ahead.
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  24. #24
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKjurnees View Post
    Must have been a off day in Watson lake for you Kestrel. I traveled twice through there last month, called ahead and got rooms at the Big Horn. A step back in time for sure, but clean and up kept. For those needing a store, there’s two walking distance from the hotel.

    Ps has anyone flown a stock J-3 up the trench? How much extra fuel did you need to take to make it through? Or impossible.
    Maybe Cpt Cub will chime in, he did it years ago with a group of J3

    Glenn

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  25. #25
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    I significantly updated the ArriveCAN tips/instructions. Thank you Tyson for prompting me to do this much-needed update.

    Thank you "kestrel" for the specific airport comments. I added them to the "Canada" page as noted in your above text. Much appreciated.

    I'll continue to update airport specific comments and related "Canada" info based on my travel experiences this summer. I sincerely appreciate everyone's input!!
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