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Are Alaska Flight Tours Safe?  
User currently offlineA380US From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2358 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3758 times:

Hi im going to alaska next week and i was wondering if u think these tours (helicopter and sea plane) are safe
considering there have been 2 accidents in the past month

thanks for your help


www.JandACosmetics.com
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIFEMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3758 times:

Quoting A380US (Thread starter):
Hi im going to alaska next week and i was wondering if u think these tours (helicopter and sea plane) are safe
considering there have been 2 accidents in the past month

Yes. They are safe. End of.


User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3753 times:

No. They are not safe. Your plane will crash and burn, and all hope will be lost.

 sarcastic 

Of course they are safe. Alaska is a part of the United States you know... thereby subjecting them to FAA regulations.



Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3737 times:

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2):
No. They are not safe. Your plane will crash and burn, and all hope will be lost

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

Yes they are safe.


User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3175 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3726 times:
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Yes! One of the highlights of my Alaska trip with the family was a sea-plane tour to Taku from Juneau w/ Wings of Alaska Airlines.

DO IT DO IT DO IT!


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3718 times:

Avoid them at all cost! Be very careful, take no chances so you can live long enough to develop one of those painful, degrading, untreatable diseases that will drain your family fortunes before you inevitably die.

On second thought, live a little, take a chance.

Alaska is paradigm-shifting gorgeous and just far too grand to be seen from the ground. One of those things that makes me happiest is the fact that I got to see (more than once) the great massif behind Yakutat, that includes Mount St. Elias, Mount Logan and others. It is above 15000' for something like fifty miles. Try sightseeing that from a cruise ship.

I'd like to take the open-cockpit ride out of Merrill Field some time. Newly minted Waco bipes. Nothing between you and H. Slartibartfast' finest work but some goggles.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineA380US From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3718 times:

well im doing a helicopter tour and then dog sledding in Junea i was jsut nervouse


www.JandACosmetics.com
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

Quoting A380US (Reply 6):
dog sledding

Oh, well now...

Dog sleds are unregulated. Who knows what they feed those things? Maybe poor tippers!
Actually this sounds pretty cool.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3705 times:

I am always skeptical of those tour helo's. They are always crashing in the canyon or hawaii. I would do the fixed wing tours and only twin engine helicopter tours. No Astars or 206's thank you. I've seen too many helicopters that have crashed.

User currently offlineCO777ER From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3704 times:

I flew out of Talkeetna (sp) about three years ago and did a sight-seeing tour of Mt. Denali. I believe the carrier was K2 Aviation. The plane was a DHV-Beaver. It was probably one of the coolest things that I have ever done.

User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

I'd answer but you spelled Alaska wrong in the Thread Title . . . . .  wink 

I fixed it for you . . .  biggrin 





Yes, the things are safe. THousands of people a year fly all over Alaska on Beavers, Cubs, Otters, and the like . . . thousands of them.


User currently offlineAA61Hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 8):
They are always crashing in the canyon or hawaii.

Daily? Semi Daily?



Go big or go home
User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3676 times:

Quoting AA61Hvy (Reply 11):
Daily? Semi Daily?

Close to it.  Wink


Here are the rules the FAA implemented because they were dropping like flies in Hawaii.
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...256c920059f228!OpenDocument&Click=

We were trying to work with the PHNL FSDO about three months ago, but it was difficult because they were all wrapped up working on the series of helo crashes they had this spring.


User currently offlineGimliGlider From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3665 times:

If you do get in a vehicle crash, chances are its going to be on the drive to the airport/heliport/seaplane base.

I am a believer in the safety of these things, but I do my research first. I also confirm that the pilot's done the preflight and kind of watch over his/her shoulder to see how they fly. Maybe a tad bit paranoid, but I'm writing this now, so they must have done their job correctly. I won't complain about their flying style, and will only mention things that I think are really dangerous.



"You could attach that to your house and still go 0-60 in 5 seconds..."
User currently offlineTom12 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 1078 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3655 times:

Of course they are safe!


You know, Homer loved Alaska that much he's never going back to America  Wink



"Per noctem volamus" - Royal Air Force Bomber Squadron IX
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

dont be nervouse when you go to Junea jsut do it ull be fine

im more nervouse about punctuations than sea planes



But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlineUnited757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting A380US (Reply 6):
well im doing a helicopter tour and then dog sledding in Junea i was jsut nervouse

I did both of those when I wen't to Alaska this summer. I'm still alive.


User currently offlinePlaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1210 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3595 times:

I did a tour with Rusts Flying Service out of Lake Hood in Anchorage and had a great time. K2 does fly out of Talkeetna as mentioned in a previous post.

I have a great picture of 4 float planes on Chelatna Lake - but can't get it to upload - happy to e-mail a copy if you send me a note.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29699 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3563 times:

Yes they are safe.

But.....I will add a caveat.

Flying in a floatplane will always be riskier then landing on a runway. A water surface is less defined and more turbulent then asphalt.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineJkj777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3469 times:

I must say one of the most amazing experiences of my life was on 7/24/2006. My girlfriends family and I went on a flight seeing tour of Mt. McKinley (not Mt. Denali....it is called Denali) that left at 7 a.m. When we took off, there was not a cloud in all of Alaska. The flight through the gorges, cliffs, and glaciers were spectacular. The return flight from Healy was amazing as well but the weather had moved in and the views were not quite as spectacular as earlier that morning.
To answer the question, yes flight seeing tours in Alaska are safe. The pilots are probably as qualified if not more qualified to fly their planes as the pilot that took you up to AK on your 757 or 767 or whatever. Pilots in Alaska are exposed to some of the most harsh conditions on the planet and fly as a way of life. The pilots are qualified (I am sure there are one or two bad apples) and although old, the planes are extremely well maintained. These planes have managed to fly through these harsh conditions for decades and are still able to do the job.
Talkeetna aero services were great if you are in the interior near Talkeetna. Plus you get off the plane, drive one or two hundred yards and get an Alaskan Amber Ale from one of the fine pubs in the area. Have fun. Alaska is the greatest place on Earth and I am jealouse you are going. Have a great trip!


User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2926 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3373 times:

Having lived in Southeast Alaska for thirteen years and Juneau for ten. The flight seeing excursions are generally safe. Many of the flight seeing pilots have logged hundreds if not thousands of flight hours. Don't be affraid to ask for the pilots credentials. Most of the flights are low altitude.

I encourage you to monitor the weather before you fly. I personally would not fly in a puddle jumper on a day which is socked in with weather or low cloud ceilings. Wind can also play a factor in the channels and in the mountain passes.

You also might want to ask the airline if they are DOD certified/approved, meaning are they allowed to fly DOD personnel. If they are not, I would not fly with them. DOD has strict certification standards/requirements. Ask to see the certification if there is uncertainty

You can also contact the FAA flight service station in the community you want to fly or review Alaska aviation forecast here: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/tafobs.php

If you can't fly in Ketchikan because of weather, wait for the next day when you are in Juneau or whereever else your travels might take you. The Misty Fjords outside of Ketchikan are extremely beautiful on a clear day. But you don't want to put yourself in harms way getting there.



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlineSkyexRamper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

Sure they're safe, only if you consider all those Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Hawaii air tours safe. Just as long as you didn't find your pilot standing drunk next you a tree holding a sign you made out of cardboard.

User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3360 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 20):
Having lived in Southeast Alaska for thirteen years and Juneau for ten. The flight seeing excursions are generally safe. Many of the flight seeing pilots have logged hundreds if not thousands of flight hours. Don't be affraid to ask for the pilots credentials. Most of the flights are low altitude.

The pilot will definitely have his or her licenses, but don't expect them to carry a logbook. They aren't legally required to nor are they required to produce it immediately if asked for it from the FAA.

Just having a commercial pilot's license doesn't make a pilot safe.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 20):
I encourage you to monitor the weather before you fly. I personally would not fly in a puddle jumper on a day which is socked in with weather or low cloud ceilings. Wind can also play a factor in the channels and in the mountain passes.

This is a very good idea. Keep in mind, socked in does not mean simply mean overcast though. Foggy and low ceilings are what you want to watch for.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 20):

You also might want to ask the airline if they are DOD certified/approved, meaning are they allowed to fly DOD personnel. If they are not, I would not fly with them. DOD has strict certification standards/requirements. Ask to see the certification if there is uncertainty

I'm not sure of the exact requirements. However, my airline is DOD approved and have done DOD charters to destinations where other operators already fly because we are two crew and the other airline is not. Thus, its possible that a sightseeing operator, no matter how safe, cannot receive the DOD "certification" simply because they fly single pilot.

I'd look into the requirements before making a judgment on an operation.

Checko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2926 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3356 times:

The link I provided above is for pilots and may not be understood by the flying public.

Use the public forecast here http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/pubfcst.php for a plain language snapshot of the weather. I believe the forecast is updated every six hours. The numbers represent zones. I believe Juneau for example is 025



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2223 posts, RR: 39
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3340 times:

Quoting CO777ER (Reply 9):
DHV-Beaver

Huh? Just messin :P

Anywho as a floatplane pilot myself, its not bad man. Theyre a blast and they are as safe as the pilots flying and the mechanics who work on them. I have personally dealt with Promech Air outta Ketchikan and have loved their operation. Ive heard good things about Wings of Alaska and TEMCO out of Juneau. I have an old friend who flew for Temco for 3 summers, now he's flying a medevac helicopter in Ohio. (Poor bast***...). Giving up Alaska for ohio...sad.

Anywho no sweat man. Take lots of pictures for us continentals! Someday I'll get back to AK...

ATCT



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
25 A380US : uts a helicoter flightto a glacier
26 F9Animal : I would have to say that they are indeed very safe. Those Alaska fly boys and girls are some of the most talented and experienced. Also take into cons
27 GentFromAlaska : The cases I've heard about were not safety issues per se. In one instance the aircraft company did not carry enough liability insurance to meet DOD r
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