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Old 08-03-2011, 12:31 PM
164 posts, read 181,197 times
Reputation: 116


I am planning a trip to Alaska in late September and I can't wait! I have always wanted to see Lake Clark National Park, so I am considering chartering a small plane to fly me to Port Alsworth for a few days during my stay. My problem is that I am a big baby when it comes to airplanes. Even large commercial planes scare me. (Not enough to stop me from flying, but I am an anxious mess the entire flight.) I'm just curious what it's like to fly (and land) in a bush plane vs. a large commercial plane. I hope this isn't a silly question...I've just never flown in a small plane before and I'm a bit nervous about it.

Should I sedate myself before I board?

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Old 08-03-2011, 12:51 PM
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL-Soon to Be ->ASH
7,497 posts, read 10,827,437 times
Reputation: 7050
Its Small, you will feel evey bump, But NO Don't Sedate you will miss the best part... the view from 3-5,000 Feet (AGL) Landing can be a little bumpy. But DO it... It will be the best ...
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:55 PM
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,294 posts, read 27,724,669 times
Reputation: 13356
If you do take the flight there, take a company that is a part of the Medallion Foundation.

Medallion Foundation
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:03 PM
Location: Alaska 2001-2008
437 posts, read 538,257 times
Reputation: 419
You will enjoy every minute of the flight going to and from Alaska, and during, if you take the flight to Lake Clark. And by all means, STAY AWAKE. And keep your camera handy. Have fun! I'm coming up in early October for 10 days!!!

Last edited by akravenlady; 08-03-2011 at 01:58 PM..
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:03 PM
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
1,978 posts, read 2,548,816 times
Reputation: 1165
I can't recommend a company, but I strongly recommend going up in a bush plane or any small plane. It will be more involved and potentially "scarier" - I was a bit nervous the first time I flew a plane for sure, and I still always get the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I go flying - but it is so rewarding. The views from up there, the experience of seeing how the instruments work, seeing how the plane is flown. I couldn't believe I was actually operating an airplane. Maybe the pilot will let you ride in the right seat and take the controls for a second, but I don't know. I know my friend lets them do that when he takes charters down in Mississippi (he's a pilot).
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:26 PM
Location: Point Hope Alaska
4,322 posts, read 2,554,264 times
Reputation: 1146
You have the exact same fears that most natives have that fly these small aircraft. As soon as that plane hits a small bump, people panic.

RELAX. that plane is just going to go from point A - point B

500,000 flights all over the world every day.......... rarely do you ever hear of anything bad happening. Why do so many people 'think', that something bad is going to happen during "their flight" ??

In all seriousness, the worst case senario (my opinon) is that if that plane were to crash, the worst thing that can happen.. .. is that you live!
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:45 PM
Location: Homosassa, Florida
2,200 posts, read 3,216,488 times
Reputation: 465
Bush Plane one can sit up front with the pilot. During the flight you can see same as the pilot sees. Can study the navigational panel and many knobs controls. your plan seat vibrates because of the prop of the plane. Take of and landing is short and sweet. You can feel the wind taking the plane away from auto pilot course and it's kind of fun when the plane goes off course because of the wind sheers. Auto pilot takes the plane back on course. Some bush planes has map GPS and you can see whats around you below. Always carry energy bars with you and load up your coat pockets with extra survival stuff. You never know what could take place when flying small planes in remote wilderness. Take small binoculars with you on the bush plane...
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:46 PM
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
3,759 posts, read 2,809,673 times
Reputation: 2955
Flying in a bush plane from Barrow to Anaktuvak Pass was one of my best experiences in Alaska. Loved every minute of it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:47 PM
9,184 posts, read 7,459,783 times
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Get a ride in the mainland before you go.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:08 PM
Location: Interior alaska
6,377 posts, read 10,104,469 times
Reputation: 3405
Well if I am taking someone up flying that has never flown or nervous, I would take them up flying either early in the morning or late in the evening. That is when the air is the most stable and calm. In the afternoon, the winds pickup or the heat of the day will cause air to rise over the darker areas and desend over the cooler areas which both cause the air turbulence and the resulting bouncy ride.

The flight is a really pretty one as long as you have a clear sky! You can call around to some of the air carriers and see if they have flights that leave in those time frames.

In Homer and Anchorage there is a few of the air charters that have bears viewing tours. They fly out to Halo Bay, in Katmai National Park (where Timothy Treadwell was killed, known as the Grizzly Bear Man, or an idiot by others) and they fly along the beaches and you can see the bears by the dozens.

Hope your trip is a good one, Lake Clark Pass is really pretty to watch unfold below you as you travel out that direction as well! Take a good camera!
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