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Malfunction of GPS out of Kotzebue, Ak to God's Back Yard?


Mission, TX
It is my understanding that a friend of mine departed Kotzebue on a flight to Dahl Creek up the Kobuk River, a normal route for him. I have no idea what kind of a party the night before but since Kotzebue is a dry town, I suspect only Cola, 7 Up or coffee. Anyway, the GPS "could" have been off or he accidentally picked up a heading of 260 degrees true on departure out of Kotzebue instead of 100 degrees true to head upriver. Lots and lots of snow of course and low and behold, he comes upon this: (by clicking on photo, it opens up to about .5 MB and one photo I will upload later will open up to over 2 MB and talk about detail)

This photo is probably the best I have ever seen of Diomede on Little Diomede Island and another photo will following which shows the "runways" available near the town and with the Russian Big Diomede Island just a mile away in the background. My friend says on left downwind he would be in Russian airspace if landing on 36. It is a very interesting photo on possibly the most remote "airport" in the United States, landing on the frozen ice pack of the Bering Sea.
Hi Ernie

I believe Kotzebue is "damp," where possession is okay but selling is not. I may be wrong on that though.

I've spent some time in Diomede and can attest to its remoteness. This summer was the first time I've been in there without ice, and it is just a different world. I've got some pics somewhere of that, and maybe I'll learn how to post them on the site.

You do indeed get into Russian Airspace in the pattern out there, but nobody gets too worked up about it. Big Diomede is manned by militia, and they keep pretty good track of how many times people cross the border. On one trip we were talking to the mayor and he referenced a letter from the "other side" mentioning that the 87 times that people from Little Diomede crossed into Russian territory was excessive and that it needed to be curbed. Looking from Little Diomede over to the Big Island you wouldn't expect that they have such extensive monitoring equipment, but I guess they do.

Anyway, nice pic there, would be interested in seeing the one of the runway. I should also try to post some pics my brother took (flying for Bering Air) of some of the polar bears while flying the Caravan out there.

Upload your photos and post a link to this thread so eveyone can find them easy. Maybe we can get a bunch of guys on the west coast uploading photos of the areas around there all in one place to link to. Just a thought. If you picked up on the true headings out of OTZ, you would know it was a joke but everyone gets lost at times. :wink:

If you are not able to upload, e-mail them to me and I will upload and of course give you credits. Another idea is to e-mail me and I will work it through with you.
Where does you brother fly to for Bering Air? Based in OTZ? The airline was after my time of course but know some things about them. I would suspect he has some unusual stories to tell so pass on to him to feel free to jump in here and share them with us. After all, that is what this area is for, memories.

Gee, if Mike can get lost out of OTZ on the way to DCK and end up at Little Diomede Island, anything can happen. :wink: Sorry Mike, had to get that one in.
Hi Ernie

Tried to post those pics, probably ended up in somebody's photo album. I was halfway expecting the site to let me know where they ended up after I hit the button to upload them. I think the folder where I was trying to stick them was called cub driver photos, or something like that. Oh well, so much for coming from the "computer generation..."

My brother (twin, at that) flies out of Nome, and hits all the communities in the northern Seward Peninsula and eastern/southern Norton Sound. He gets out to Diomede in the winter and also heads up to Kotzebue for day trips out of there. I started flying before him and therefore feel a little humbled that he is flying commercially and I am still picking away slowly at the comm/multi rating, but I've swung a few points since becoming a cub owner (a serious rookie, but an owner nonetheless).

Yeah, I realized that ending up in Diomede is a bit unlikely if you are headed almost the other direction, we've got a good bunch of pilots flying up there. I have been out the night before with them on a number of occasions though... :morning: :D

Anyway, will try to locate/repost those pics when I get back to my computer with those pics on it.
You posted your photos in the right place. As you will note, there are 6 pages now and each page only takes 27 photos. I uploaded the photo of the Kobuk Sand Dunes (which I needed for a story) and it said it was compressed and went through. Now, as I have seen in the past, it will take a while before page 7 comes up and when it does, your photo should show. This is if you checked add photos. If you checked add photos to album, it probably could have gone anywhere. I have not tried that option though.

First of all, during the upload time, did you get a notice back saying the photo was being resized and compressed? At one point, another little box will come up that says dismiss. Just click on that and the process should be done for your part. I have found that when there is an open space on a page, it will show almost right away but I have waited for 3 or 4 days.
Watch out on the size of the photo though.
Great photos Simon.
How about opening them up and posting comments about when, where, why, how, etc so the rest of us can share. I like that one of the "road" heading into town.

As we used to say in the Arctic bush, where were the Bolar Pears when you took the photo. ;-)