(803) 641-9999

Monday, September 16, 2013 (Again!): Day 24 - Fairbanks-Minot, North Dakota
091613-2 Mike Laver contemplates sunrise aloft in AlaskaThis morning when I got out of bed, I opened the curtains in the hotel room to see a frost over the cars in the car park; this was not a good sign. When we arrived at the airport, it was obviously a few091613-2 Arrival into Ketchikan degrees warmer because the aircraft was clear. Departing Fairbanks, it was a magnificent morning, and we witnessed a beautiful sunrise from the east, it's reflection spanning the horizon over to the west were the snow-capped mountains appeared crystal clear. (Photo left: Mike contemplating sunrise.) After flying around the world it is hard to believe that some of the most beautiful scenery we saw is here in America ready for us to all experience. (Photo right: arrival into Ketchican)

091613-2 Crabbing into headwindAs we move our way southeast to Ketchikan, we have been blessed with yet another headwind component of around 30 knots (photo left: Garmin display shows N50ET crabbing into the strong headwind); this is actually good because I am trying to build flight time. We are now over Canada's Yukon Territory for about 300 miles then back into Alaska airspace for our arrival into Ketchikan. I have flown into Ketchikan before--the scenery is stunning--and today was no different. We broke out of clouds at around 1,500 feet, and it was like there was a parade in front of us--welcoming us back to our home continent. Several float planes were in the circuit to land on the water; they come straight at you over the field then make a sharp right turn to touch down on the water next to the field. It's so exciting watching them maneuver around us.

Our turnaround in Ketchikan was just 25 minutes, and we were on our way again to Minot, ND. This is a long 1228 mile leg with headwinds on the first half and light tailwinds on the remainder. This is definitely a long-range cruise leg. I burnt 34 gallons from startup to 25,000 feet and then set up 58 gallons per hour and 260 knots TAS. I am calculating that I will land with 70 gallons remaining. We crossed Canada in an uneventful flight; the weather was good all the way. A visual approach into Minot on runway 13, and then we were at Minot Aero Services. Mike and I were ready for a good night's rest.