Chugach
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The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:14 pm

Due somewhat to chance, I got to take AS 66 enroute to Juneau last Friday. This is better known as a "milk run" flight, meaning it stops in the smaller towns along the way.

I was upgraded to first class prior to departure thanks to my MVP Gold status on AS. I'll break down each segment of the flight; it was flown with a 734. I'll also include the return portion, AS 67 nonstop JNU-ANC.

Going to Cordova, we boarded out of gate C1 at ANC. After pushback, there was a slight delay due to a problem with the avionics; the pilot came on over the intercom and said that we wouldn't need it today (conditions in ANC that afternoon were sunny and about 80 degrees). Upon completing the necessary paperwork, we made the short taxi over to runway 32 and did the normal departure over Knik Arm and headed east over the Chugach Range.

Flight time to Cordova was 34 minutes. Coach got the normal juice service, while first class had the usual choice of drinks and a pack of pretzels. We started our descent shortly after passing over College Fjord. We flew directly south of Valdez, passed over the town of Cordova, across the hill separating the town from the Copper River Flats, parallel to state highway 10 (the Copper River Highway), and landed straight ahead with a thud on runway 9 at Mudhole Smith Airport. We turned around while still in the runway and backtracked to the ramp.

Pictures from this leg:

The Chugach Range shortly after departure from ANC.



College Fjord, with Harvard Glacier and Yale Glacier:



Shortly before arrival in Cordova:



The Alaska Airlines terminal at Mudhole Smith Airport:




Ground time in Cordova was short so that we could make up some of the time lost while sitting on the ramp in Anchorage. Approximately three (3!) people boarded our 734 in Cordova, bound now for Yakutat.

Flight time to Yakutat was announced as 41 minutes. We taxied back to runway 9 and took off to the southeast. Routing between Cordova and Yakutat is pretty simple: just hug the coast. Service on this leg was identical to the first leg, and I had first class almost to myself (only one other passenger).

Descent into Yakutat was nothing short of spectacular. Great views of Mt. St. Elias and Mt. Logan before touching down smoothly on runway 11 at the Yakutat Airport. Once again we turned around in the runway (most rural Alaska airports don't have taxiways) and pulled up next to the Alaska Airlines building. Yakutat is one of, if not the, smallest towns in the world with jet service. It has a population of roughly 800 people and sees two flights a day on AS.

Pictures from the Cordova-Yakutat leg:

Glacier (not sure of the name) shortly after takeoff from Cordova.



Nice overview of the Copper River.



Mt. St. Elias, the second-highest peak in Alaska at slightly more than 18,000 feet.



Boat harbor in Yakutat shortly before landing.



Alaska Airlines terminal in Yakutat.



The Yakutat Lodge at the airport...sign says it all.



Our 734 taking a breather on the ramp at YAK.




The Yakutat-Juneau leg was similar to the first two. Flight time was announced as 43 minutes, and by my count, 21 people boarded in Yakutat. We departed from runway 11 and headed southeast, taking a turn to the west over Glacier Bay. We passed over Gustavus and Excursion Inlet, over the Chilkat Range and Funter Bay, past Auke Bay and the ferry terminal before passing over JNU and making the infamous 180 degree turn over Gastineau Channel before landing on runway 26 at Juneau International Airport. We parked at gate 3, where I disembarked and the flight continued on down to SEA.

Pictures:

Chilkat Range on descent into Juneau.



Auke Bay and the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal. You can see a ferry docked in the lower left hand corner.



Nice overview of Juneau International Airport and Mendenhall Glacier before making the turn for landing.



The Mendenhall Wetlands seconds before landing.




The following Monday, I hopped on to AS 67 to return to Anchorage. AS 67 is a milk run of its own, routed SEA-KTN-SIT-JNU-ANC. Once again I was upgraded to first. The flight was full. Service in first class was more extensive than on the way down, due to the longer stage length. Inflight service in first class consisted of pre-flight water, a choice of drinks while inflight, and a nice plate of cheese and crackers. I sipped on a glass of Jack Daniels while my seatmate entertained me with stories of blowing up cans of white gas in the Brooks Range. I love this state.

Flight time to Anchorage was 1 hour, 27 minutes, once again on a 734. We pushed back from gate 4 and took off from runway 8 at JNU, flying the length of the town before making a long turn to the west, passing again over Glacier Bay before turning northwest and following the coast. We begun our descent over Valdez, passing over Whittier before following the length of Turnagain Arm into Anchorage and landing on runway 7R. Arrival gate was C5.

Pictures:

View of a SEA-bound 734 parked at gate 3 from my seat on AS 67.



Downtown Juneau after takeoff.



The head of Turnagain Arm, shortly after passing over Whittier.



Turnagain Arm at about Girdwood/Alyeska.



Sleeping Lady and Cook Inlet while making the base leg turn to runway 7R.



View of Anchorage from short final.




Hope you enjoyed it!
GO ROCKETS
 
764
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:28 pm

Awesome, thanks a lot! Looks like there is another flight I really want to take some day - Just like CO957...
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:12 pm

I am extremely jealous!!!!!

A clear day AND a all the scenery . . . . one in a million day for flying about south central and south east Alaska.

Great photos!!
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767747
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:08 pm

Nice pictures, and a great report!
I love to fly!
 
semsem
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:53 am

Great to know about these flights. Thanks.
 
Lucky727
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:10 am

Nice report - I like those milk runs, with lots of takeoffs & landings...beautiful pics of the moutains, too. - makes me want to visit Alaska...

Lucky
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dforce1
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:58 am

Why does Alaska operate inter-Alaska flights with 734's? Woudn't it make more sense to operate QX CRJ700's?
 
Sabena332
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:20 am

Great report about a very scenic flight, thanks a lot for posting! The pictures are a great addition, the landscape is just stunning, I hope that I get the chance to visit Alaska one day.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
USAF757300
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:20 am

awesome!! I am soo envyous! Hopefully this time next year I will be living in ANC ( going to school at UAA). God I love Alaska, no place better on earth. Period.
 
Chugach
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:56 am

Quoting DFORCE1 (Reply 6):
Why does Alaska operate inter-Alaska flights with 734's? Woudn't it make more sense to operate QX CRJ700's?

Cargo. Plus, in the summer months, those 737's fill up with passengers.

Keep in mind that there are no roads into these towns.
GO ROCKETS
 
DC10Widebody
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:33 am

One of these days on a trip to ANC, I would like to try AS 67, I think it would be a really interesting "scenic" route. Awesome report thanks for sharing!
Cheers thanks a lot.
 
JAGflyer
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:31 am

Very nice report and photos. What exactly does "milk run" mean?
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UK_Dispatcher
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:37 am

Excellent report and pics - that is what I call an interesting trip report, from an interesting part of the world!
 
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alaskaqantas
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:48 am

I love flying the milk run! I've done it 3 times!
nice report and good photos!
~cheers-
~~Kyle H.
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
 
tbear815
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:10 pm

Late in the last century, I had the great pleasure of flying an AS "milk run" Sitka to Seattle via Ketchikan. I had sailed the waters of the panhandle extensively, but the view from "on high" is incredible. Thanks so much for the great report and photos. It is an incredible state and we should all see what our gorgeous country looks like.

As for AS's fabled first class service; it's really too bad they burned the steak and you had to have the ever-present Alaskan salmon........  biting 
 
CO7e7
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:29 pm

Great pictures... thanks for sharing.

Zaki
 
jeffrey1970
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:47 pm

Quoting Chugach (Thread starter):
Mudhole Smith Airport

That has to be one of the great airport names of all time, LOL. I loved your pictures. They make me wish I was in Alaska right now.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
UnitedFirst
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:19 am

After spending last summer working in Juneau, I can't even get over how lucky you were with the weather!!

Gorgeous pictures - thanks for a fantastic report.

Derek
 
Door5Right
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:24 am

Most unusual and interesting report. Thanks.
My soul is in the sky...
 
jumbo747
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:09 am

Ah Man! Thanks for reminding me of these magnificent views, I flew from SFO to ANC last July truly magnificent.

Great layout with the images attached along with their descriptions. Your luck with the weather throughout the journey was great. The photos were in great detail could you please allow me to ask what camera did you used. Thanks.
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:08 pm

Great report and some fantastic pics too Big grin


Cheers...


Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
Chugach
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:00 pm

Quoting Jumbo747 (Reply 19):
The photos were in great detail could you please allow me to ask what camera did you used. Thanks.

Nikon Coolpix 995.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 11):
What exactly does "milk run" mean?

It's kind of an Alaskan slang term for a flight that makes lots of stops in small towns. A few examples are AS 61/66 (my flight), which is ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU-SEA and reverse; AS 64/65, ANC-JNU-PSG-WRG-KTN-SEA and reverse; AS 62/67, ANC-JNU-SIT-KTN-SEA; AS 122, a triangle that goes ANC-AKN-DLG-ANC; and the three daily flights that are routed ANC-OME-OTZ-ANC.
GO ROCKETS
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:48 am

Superb report and excellent pics.....must put that trip on my to-do list. Thanks for sharing it!

Tom at MSY
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DC10Widebody
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:18 am

Chugach, I am curious how did you book this? I called Alaska reservations and they were clearly not amused and I was told (twice) that the system would not book this. Any hints that won't cost millions of dollars?
Cheers thanks a lot.
 
Chugach
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:27 am

Quoting DC10Widebody (Reply 23):
Chugach, I am curious how did you book this? I called Alaska reservations and they were clearly not amused and I was told (twice) that the system would not book this. Any hints that won't cost millions of dollars?

alaskaair.com

Did you try to book ANC-SEA on this flight? If so, that may be why. Although I've heard that it IS possible to fly the length of a milk run between ANC and SEA.

Flying ANC-JNU on this flight costs exactly the same as taking a nonstop flight.
GO ROCKETS
 
DC10Widebody
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:15 am

I was trying to book SEA-ANC on flight 67 and ANC-SEA on flight 66. I tried on alaskaair.com initially but it would only allow me to connect in Juneau, also which the representative said was allowed so I guess I could try that and see it it would come up that way.
Cheers thanks a lot.
 
travatl
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:20 am

Funny, I just happened to fly this same route on my flight sim a week ago (I used an AS 73G though...).
 
Chugach
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:43 am

Quoting Chugach (Reply 24):
Did you try to book ANC-SEA on this flight? If so, that may be why. Although I've heard that it IS possible to fly the length of a milk run between ANC and SEA.



Quoting Chugach (Reply 24):
I was trying to book SEA-ANC on flight 67 and ANC-SEA on flight 66. I tried on alaskaair.com initially but it would only allow me to connect in Juneau, also which the representative said was allowed so I guess I could try that and see it it would come up that way.

Hey folks...just as an FYI, you can now book ANC-SEA milk run flights (AS 61/66 and AS 62/67, and AS 64/65) on alaskaair.com.
GO ROCKETS
 
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TK787
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:17 am

Chugach,
Thanks a lot for this great report. It was a pleasure to look at those pictures with my wife. Being both Alaskans we both think they are some amazing photos. Lucky you!
At the Yakutat Lodge the sign says it all all right: But, Booze should come first, by all means!
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:12 am

An absolutely incredible landscape, stunning pictures. Thanks for taking the time for an excellent report, most likely the best I've seen yet!

Quoting Chugach (Reply 9):
Quoting DFORCE1 (Reply 6):
Why does Alaska operate inter-Alaska flights with 734's? Woudn't it make more sense to operate QX CRJ700's?

Cargo. Plus, in the summer months, those 737's fill up with passengers.

Also, with the JNU leg if the weather is down, there is an RNP .1 procedure that I believe only AS is certified to fly....certainly no CRJ has an RNP certification that low if any certification at all for CRJ's.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
ba319-131
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RE: The Alaska Milk Run: ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU On AS

Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:22 am

Simply fantastic, the pictures are stunning!!

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 7):
The pictures are a great addition, the landscape is just stunning, I hope that I get the chance to visit Alaska one day.

- I totally agree.

Great stuff, many thanks.

Regards

Mark
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