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The Only Way Is South!

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Leg 1: CYLT Alert to CYEU Eureka. 260nm 1.7 hours


A short time ago, the weekly fly-in brought us to CFS Alert, the northernmost continuously inhabited settlement on the planet (pop. 67). While the others were content to let their aircraft disappear under the snow, maybe never to be seen again, in favour of the twice-weekly herc back to civilisation, I paid hard cash for my trusty Cessna 340 and gosh darn it if I wasn't going to bring it back myself.


And so, Operation "The only way is South" was born. Starting from the second-coldest airport on the planet, the obvious destination was somewhere nice and warm, like Palm Springs. But that can wait. Our first sector is going to take us south into the Yukon, across into Alaska and down to Juneau. This brings me to the secondary objective of this trip: Poke around some of that nice new Orbx scenery I picked up in the recent sale.





I had to wait until there was a reasonable weather window, so I thought I'd show you some of the sights of "frozen north"...




The boss still manages to get a limo ride to his plane!



That's the entire town, and the airport beyond.



And that's pretty much it. There are a few wild rabbits and the occasional polar bear to add extra excitement if you really need it.

So now we're prepped and ready to go. As you can see, half the town has turned out!



Up, Up, and Away!


Goodbye Alert. It'll be dark here in a few weeks, until the Spring



Heading south





The infamous lake mountains, for which this area has become renowned.


Final for Eureka, the world' third northernmost settlement.


Oh, remember at the top, I said that Alert was the world's second coldest airport? Turns out, Eureka is the coldest. Now they tell me!

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NIce PIREP Tim, I must admit, I hightailed it out of Alert on the C130 straight to northern Spain, strange, I thought I saw you there too :D


Looking forward to the next installment.


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Leg 2: CYEU Eureka to CYMD Mould Bay. 462nm, 2.8 hours

Cumulative: 722nm, 4.5 hours




The settlement at Eureka is down on the beach, accessed via a gravel road  and a very battered old land rover. We're still on Ellesmere Island (third largest in Canada, 10th largest in the world), and the climate here is polar desert, meaning it's bloody cold, but not so much snow as elsewhere. The station is permanently manned, but only 10 or so people brave out the winter months. Rather them than me! I got here just in time to partake in the weekly film night . . .  Gone with the wind (groan!)








Fortunately they let me overnight the plane in their comparatively warm hangar (at least it was above freezing). But the next day dawned distinctly IFR. I elected for a downwind take off as being better than a climb out towards this lump of cumulus granitus.



We're off! The cloud base was given as 1100ft.



So pretty soon, we were well and truly in it!



Fortunately it topped out at around 7000 ft





Occasionally we got a glimpse of the ground or the sea (not a very scenic tour so far!). Prince Patrick Island is our destination.



Field in sight - possibly. Hard to tell with all these crevasses.



Looks a bit bleak . . . hope there'll be someone to meet me



Um . . . what do you mean the base was abandoned in 1997???



Well I'm here now. Hope someone left a key under the mat!




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An ambitious flight Tim but the C340 is worth the effort of maybe, I don't know, freezing to death:D. Enjoyed the shots in these PIREP's and look forward to the next flights.:thum:

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Cheers Brett. I haven't had this plane long, and I don't want to see it disappear under some glacier, lol.

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Sounds like an epic but icy trip getting that plane out of death by freezer. Hope you have engine heaters, blankets and or hangars for overnight stops along the way....looks like none of the above at stop #1. :(

Crossing fingers for your Cold Starts. :)


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Leg 3: CYMD Mould Bay to CYSY Sachs Harbour. 272nm,  1.6 hours

Cumulative:  994nm, 6.1 hours


If there was a key left under the mat, I never found it. No mat. No, well, anything really. And so faced with the prospect of a night huddled under the wing in freezing temperatures, I decided to push right on. There was still a couple of hours before nightfall, and I for one could use a hot meal.



No point in calling up the radio, just firewall the throttle and get the hell out of Mould.



It's actually a lot colder on top, but by now the heaters have kicked in, lol.


Not a lot to see up here though. We're crossing the M'Clure Strait (named after the first man to traverse the North West Passage) towards Banks Island.



Look, no snow! Bet there are billions of mozzies though!


There are no plants here growing taller than 12 inches, and very little above four. We're well into our descent now.


Most of the world's snow geese live here!


Descending into murk. Just typical!



According to the map, Sachs Harbour is around here somewhere . . .

Just look at that weather! That wind is pretty much straight across the runway. And we can see how low that cloud is!


Um, final? The settlement is down on the shore. I did catch a glimpse of it just now.


Phew! But we've still got to put it down.


Taxying in. Just look at that windsock! 19 knots straight across the runway. I may need to get my tyres checked before the next flight!


Sachs Harbour. You can just make out the end of the runway at top left.



This is what passes for entertainment around here. The lads are on the pull . . .



Right. Show me the hot food!

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It's like the clouds only sit over the runways up there.<_< Another great leg with great shots,:thum: good move flying on to a place that has hot Muktuk and women that always beat the men at tug-of-war.:P

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Leg 4: CYSY Sachs Harbour to CYEV Zubko. 277nm,  1.9 hours

Cumulative:  1271nm, 8.0 hours


I'm sure there's no truth to the rumour that they kept me locked in a cabin for two weeks! Regardless, I was happy to see that there was no unaccounted for time on the tacho when I got back into the plane!


Today's flight takes us south from Banks Island and finally onto the Canadian mainland. We'll be stopping at the town of Inuvik. I said town. An actual town! Woo hoo!!!!



I guess that'll be a crosswind takeoff then. I do hope we can fly sideways!



The "settlement" of Sachs harbour nestles down on the beach. You'd think that protects it from the wind, but today at least the wind roared straight through town, up the hill and swirled all over the runway. Take off was "interesting". You don't need to see that, trust me.



Bye bye Banks Island.



That's also the last we'll see of the snow. For a while anyhow. I have a feeling it might catch up with me over the coming weeks.



Doesn't take long to get up into the clouds.



The passengers in the back would be playing Zombie Crush about now - if I had any passengers (sob!)



Mainland ahoy! We're coming up on Eskimo Lake, although it isn't a lake, and there probably aren't any eskimos.



More clouds.



Descending over the Mackenzie-Beaufort Delta. Look - no snow! And trees! :D



The bustling town of Inuvik. They have ships and proper hotels and everything!



I'm following the ILS, because why not?



Airport must be out there somewhere. Don't want to miss it!



Final. Clearly the airport has been Orbx'd :thum:







We made it. Rather a nice looking field.



Parked up on the GA Apron. Gonna find me that modern hotel!


Inuvik, population 3500



They even have one of those legendary ice roads in the winter



Mike Zubko Airport terminal. Happening place!


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Another nice flight or I should say great flight since you ended up in a place that actually has a restaurant and hotel.:D Thanks for letting us fly along and all the sweet shots, I really liked that head-on approach pic.:thum:


Just a suggestion but I would stay away from any music festivals that are named "End of the Road".;)

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Terrific couple of legs since I last checked in. I like that the Battle of the Sachs/Sexes is conducted by Tug o War...a sensible idea.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Gratz on making it to "civilization" again with the Cessna. I'm not sure how hot you are for passengers, but that sensibly shod lady behind the polar bear looks like she is checking you out, might not be hard to talk her into saving some airfare and changing plans/planes. ;)

Edited by Captain Coffee

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Leg 5: CYEV Zubko to PATK Talkeetna. 547nm, 4.5 hours

Cumulative: 1818nm, 12/5 hours


After a bit of a RW gap, our flight cracks on across the border and into the US of A.



For an airfield that's basically a hidden freebie, it's very nicely done. The Canadian flag over the terminal is animated, there are people wandering around, lots of static aircraft & some AI...



Tanks are full for what is the longest leg of the flight so far.



Good view of the airfield as we depart.



Our flight planning suggests the most favourable winds are way up in the flight levels, so we don't hang about down low.



Lots of cloud as you'd expect, with an occasional hole...



FL200! Don't forget the oxygen checks...



That ground is a lot higher than you might think!



Down there is an airfield. We're about halfway, across the border, and they have fuel. Remember that: they have fuel.



Nuuur-nuh! I really wanted a Jaws-like fin sticking through the cloud. Ah well.



Have to settle for a Jaws-like mountain sticking through the cloud!



We're descending to our destination. Remember what I said about that airport we passed earlier? I'm sure those needles shouldn't be pointing straight down! Hey, why's it gone quiet all of a sudden?



So, this'll be a glide approach then!



Runway in sight. Gear up (and feet up!) until the last possible moment.



Phew! Turns out those "favourable high altitude winds" were really stinking headwinds! Added an hour to the flight, and of course we had 45 minutes of reserves. (whistles...)



Anyhow, any landing you can walk away from, or better yet, park...!







And that's pretty much the entire of Talkeetna Alaska. Even according to the Official What to do in Talkeetna site, pretty much everything involves leaving town.


Hey, they have wooden moose made from bits of log!


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Another glide approach? Seems to be the central theme to this adventure :D


Enjoyed the latest update Tim, keep it going! :pilotic:

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You're probably remembering me telling you about it at Cosford - this is definitely the first glide approach of this trip ;)

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Glad you made it down safe,:thum:(check those fuel filters;)) and was able to take great pics during that harrowing situation.:D

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