UPDATE- Thursday June 14th
(Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to Fairbanks, Alaska)
The flight took three hours, and although the weather was yukky,
it was almost uneventful. We had a little problem with a circuit breaker,
but a call on the way to Jay Stout, our friend and airplane expert gave us some
answers which we took care of when we landed. (Another great use for the
Iridium Satellite Phone- - - it saved us time on the ground.)
Upon approaching Fairbanks Airport, it was obvious there was something different
(first pix). Although the chart showed three parallel runways, as we got
closer (second pix) I really saw something I hadn't seen before. The
middle runway was just not for my plane (unless I wanted to get really wet).
We had heard so much about Alaskans and how helpful and friendly there were,
but to experience it first hand was much more meaningful. We taxied to
U.S. Customs, and the entry process only took a few minutes. Then I
radioed the Ground Controller and asked him if there was a maintenance
facility available. He asked us to stand by while he made some calls.
He recommended one and we taxied over to the facility. The mechanic,
Fred, couldn't have been more
helpful. Sharon was picked up promptly by the Sophie Station Hotel (which
is really outstanding) while I waited with Fred who immediately
began working on my plane. A couple of phone calls with Jay and we were
back in business (third pix). The charge was very reasonable. Fred
also told us to "just leave the plane here and pick it up in the morning."
Before I left Philadelphia, Jay had recommended that I speak with Alaska Pilots
for advice on flying in the state. Five of them stopped by the maintenance
facility and they couldn't have been more helpful. One went and got me a
coffe cup with his company's name on it. Of course they often
disagreed on what towns and villages we should go to, but they all gave me VERY good advice on
flying in the area.
Tomorrow morning, with the cooperation of Willard Scott (the weather man) and
with all the guidance I received from the local pilots, we plan on flying to
Barrow, the most northern city in The Americas. We plan on staying there
nights, which I understand automatically makes us residents. (I don't
think a tourist has ever stayed there that long.)
On another note, I spoke with Carol in the office this morning who told me that
she was a friend of Michael Klensch's mother (see yesterday).
I believe there is an Internet hookup in Barrow so you should hear from us from
there. (By the way, today's high temp in Barrow was 32 degrees, although
it snowed a bit this morning.)
Fairbanks Airport- 3 Parallel Runways
Yes, but don't land on the middle one!
Just about ready to go