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Living in the Alaskan bush
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frozen-ace Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Living in the Alaskan bush
(02-12-2019 03:15 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  How good is the internet?

On the road system it is similar to anywhere else. In the bush it is hit or miss. In some places you can only get satellite internet on an oversubscribed connection. Other places have higher speed broadband, but it is throttled on the upload and download and you have data caps. It's incredibly expensive if you go over. I think a basic plan with 4Mbps down, 2Mbps up, 25 gigs total per month will run you $125 per month.

(02-14-2019 01:29 PM)Belize King Wrote:  Great thread. I'm thinking about becoming a pilot. Alaska supposedly has alot of work. I've heard crazy pilot stories about Alaska. It may be on my list once I finish getting my commercial license.

There are a lot of pilot jobs, and there is constant turnover. I think the people that do it are kind of crazy. I've had a few close calls just as a passenger. It will happen in an instant, and you will get this surge of adrenaline and your heart will start racing, and once it is over and you land on the ground you kind of have a new lease on life. Being a pilot up here is a dangerous job. It's kind of a numbers thing, and the more you fly, the more likely you are to crash. The weather is so unpredictable and can turn on you in an instant. These stories below are all close to me in some form or another-

I still remember when this guy called me. He had a really unique name and he gave me some advice about getting through the winter. He wanted to do business and offered his charter services. He said he could fly on short notice and during "unusual hours" which I thought was strange. Under normal circumstances you only want to fly during the day and avoid flying at night. Just a few weeks after that conversation he flew some Canadians into the side of a mountain and killed one of them. He was eventually charged with obstruction of the National Transportation Safety Board because he told the investigators that his propeller fell apart and came off the plane and that's why he crashed. The NTSB was able to determine the propeller was connected to the plane leading up to the crash and that he overloaded the plane. After his license was revoked he kept flying.
[Image: forest-crash.jpg]

On this one here they were flying and hit some ice fog. The fog kept getting thicker and thicker. Then the plane started losing elevation and eventually they could hear the tundra bushes scraping the bottom of the plane. When the plane impacted, the nuts and bolts holding the seats in place all came apart and everyone flew in the air and smashed their heads and necks against the ceiling. Then when the seats came back down the metal parts crushed their feet and ankles. They crashed on top of a hillside out in the tundra in the winter. It took about an hour before help arrived via snowmachine. Those who lived have life-long spinal and back injuries.
[Image: St-Marys-Crash1.jpg]

There was a moose hunting guide and they were flying and looking down at the ground trying to spot moose on the way to their camp site. There was a bush commuter plane that was slightly higher than the hunting guide but coming at a 90 degree angle. They didn't see each other and the hunting guide's plane clipped the bottom of the commuter plane. Everyone on both planes died. RIP Shorty.
[Image: moose-hunters.jpg]

He was a young family man who loved Alaska and ran a remote church camp in the summer. There was some damage at the camp and he was flying to pick up volunteers who were going to help him fix it. He never made it. His plane was found by boaters on the Yukon. He left behind a widow with two young children who will never know their dad.
[Image: yukon-plane-crash.jpg]

The weather can change in an instant. Alaska doesn't have the infrastructure you get in the lower 48 and many times the pilots are only going off of visual. Here the pilots were on the milk run and hit some unexpected fog. They had turned off the terrain warning system as it alarms constantly in hilly country at lower elevation even when there isn't danger. With the alarm off, they were enveloped by the thick fog and flew into the side of a hill. No one walked away from this one.
[Image: Togiak-plane-crash.jpg]
02-27-2019 06:10 AM
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LowerCaseG Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Living in the Alaskan bush
Great thread. Thank you.

Stupid question, but who is your favorite character on all of these various Alaska Wilderness shows? I like life below zero, and I am intrigued by Glen Villenueve because he uses only hand tools other than his firearms. Are these people the real deal or phonies?
02-27-2019 10:09 AM
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Jetset Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Living in the Alaskan bush
(02-27-2019 06:10 AM)frozen-ace Wrote:  There are a lot of pilot jobs, and there is constant turnover. I think the people that do it are kind of crazy. I've had a few close calls just as a passenger. It will happen in an instant, and you will get this surge of adrenaline and your heart will start racing, and once it is over and you land on the ground you kind of have a new lease on life. Being a pilot up here is a dangerous job. It's kind of a numbers thing, and the more you fly, the more likely you are to crash. The weather is so unpredictable and can turn on you in an instant.

I don't have anything nearly as cool to add as you have, this thread is amazing, but I've seen just enough of the visitor-friendly parts of Alaska during the winter to be able to imagine what the rest of it can be like year-round. You can be minding your own business on a pair of nordic skis damn near sea level, and go from a beautiful sunny day to cloud cover so close you feel like you could reach up and touch it in a matter of minutes. The mountains disappear, some sleety snow starts falling horizontally, then you get hit by a 60 mph gust of wind and you start thinking you've maybe made a mistake going out today, so you follow your own tracks back as best you can.

...and it does that regularly. It's not the cold that'll get you up there, it's the surprises. In a bush plane, those would be some dark moments.

Hidey-ho, RVFerinos!
(This post was last modified: 02-27-2019 10:19 AM by Jetset.)
02-27-2019 10:17 AM
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