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Alaska by Bearhawk

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  • Alaska by Bearhawk

    Just returned from a trip to AK in the Bearhawk. In total, 64 flight hours over 19 days. I'll post videos here as I get the time to make and add them. These will also be posted on the BCP site.

    For now, just a short teaser.
    We put a GoPro under the wing and sometimes even remembered to turn it on before takeoff. There is a lot more to come eventually, after we find time to edit. FB…

  • #2
    Very cool. Loved that waterfall, and the glaciers are so interesting and cool. Looks like a lot of fun making the videos.

    Looking forward to the rest of them!
    Jim Parker
    Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
    RANS S-6ES – E-LSA powered by 100 HP Rotax 912ULS

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    • #3
      Where can I get advanced tickets. Can't wait.

      Doug
      Scratch building Patrol #254

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      • #4
        "...remembered to turn it on before takeoff." LOL! Sounds like something I would be guilty of. Good angle on the camera and nice editing on the video. Can't wait to see more!

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        • #5
          We had great weather which allowed us to visit some coastal great destinations such as Cordova.
          We are in the second plane (camera ship) for this 2-plane flight landing at Cordova's in-town airstrip. The big airport is several miles out of town. We fueled…

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          • #6
            AWESOME! I'm an Alaskan living in NV now and ordered my Bearhawk QB kit last month. Your videos are wrecking me! Which route did you take north?

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            • Blackrock
              Blackrock commented
              Editing a comment
              Where are you in NV? I'm based in Elko.

            • Av8rPaul
              Av8rPaul commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm in Gardnerville. I might have to wander over your way some time once I'm knee deep in Bearhawk.

          • #7
            We left Elko, NV and flew non-stop to Omak, Wa for fuel, then on to Penticton to clear Canada Customs. From there, we overflew Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George before landing at Mackenzie for fuel. Then the northern trench route to Watson Lake, Whitehorse, and cleared with US CBP in Northway, AK. That was 2,000 miles in 2-days of flying; a long trip!

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Blackrock View Post
              We left Elko, NV and flew non-stop to Omak, Wa for fuel, then on to Penticton to clear Canada Customs. From there, we overflew Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George before landing at Mackenzie for fuel. Then the northern trench route to Watson Lake, Whitehorse, and cleared with US CBP in Northway, AK. That was 2,000 miles in 2-days of flying; a long trip!
              Wow, you made short work of the trip up. Did the 180 make the trip with you? Curious how your Bearhawk cruises compared to the 180 and what speed you flight plan for.

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              • #9
                Looks like so much fun! I hope you'll be ready for another trip in about 5 years.
                Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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                • #10
                  Did you happen to stop in the Anchorage or Kenai area? It would have been great to meet up and see the BH!

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                  • #11
                    On the way up, we left about 1/2 day behind the first C-180 (we flew with 2 at different times) and caught up to them in Tok, Ak. It has the O-470 Pponk conversion to like a 520 ci, I think. The 180 is a more efficient airframe so gets better fuel economy. We were flying at lower elevations so used more fuel than normal. At 1,000 to 2,000 ft msl, I was mostly running about 12 gph and just under 130 mph. The 180's pulled back a little to match my speed. I could keep up with their normal cruise speed with a fuel flow of 15 to 16 gph. Their shoes were 29' Bushwheels, while our's were 31's, so close in size. Not sure what they were burning at that speed but would guess around 14 gph . If I recall correctly, we were flying a little over 140 mph TAS at the time.

                    Low ceilings, low visibility, and winds are the norm once into Canada and AK so we all carried more fuel reserve than normal. Flying single ship, I plan for 10 gph and 125 mph above about 5,000 ft to be conservative, but my actual flow is 9 gph, assuming I'm mindful enough to optimize the mixture. I planned for 12 gph and 125 mph in Canada and AK at altitudes between 1 to 2,000 ft with a 15 gallon reserve. Aux tanks are a big benefit in that country and we used them on at least 6 legs of the trip. There aren't many alternate airports in Canada or AK so conservative fuel planning is needed. The actual fuel consumption averaged 11.1 gph over the entire the trip.

                    When flying in the western US, my normal reserve is 10 gallons at 10 gph or 1-hour. I've had to stretch that a few times due to unforecast winds; that gets uncomfortable, but is doable with a fuel transducer and totalizer. We limped into Rock Springs WY one day landing with only 3 gallons useable on board when thunderstorms closed our original destination. Power and mixture settings were pulled way back to 6 gph while ridding a 40 mph tailwind. We were prepared to make a road landing, if needed. Wyoming is windy!

                    Sounds good Whee. 5-years will be good timing.

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                    • #12
                      Thanks for all the info! Yeah, a Pponk'ed 180 is a race horse. They're 280+ hp so it's a got a good 10% or so power advantage too. The speed and fuel burn is pretty nice IMO, of course most of my piston time is in 3800 lbs (NEVER over) of 207 slogging low over western AK.

                      I've ordered my plane with aux. tanks with trips like yours in mind. There's lots of places to land in the north country to stretch your legs but getting fuel is another subject for sure.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by alaskabearhawk View Post
                        Did you happen to stop in the Anchorage or Kenai area? It would have been great to meet up and see the BH!
                        I did make it to Palmer and Homer, but very little free time. I thought I was going to have more time to meet people, but that didn't happen.

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                        • #14
                          Made my worst landing of the trip in Valdez. Glad nobody was there to see it. Had carb heat on max when I added power to arrest the descent; the engine choked on a slug of hot air. Wow did we hit hard! Learned a lesson on that one - carry power when carb heat is on! I don't have to worry about that much in NV unless it's raining but constantly in humid places.

                          We slept on the tarmac since it was late when we arrived. Had to convince the ladies that the 4 bears we saw near what looked like a picnic area were unlikely to eat us of the asphalt.

                          The next morning we went into town for sightseeing and breakfast. We wanted to fly the coast route to Homer but low pressure in the gulf forced us east over the mountains instead.

                          We wanted to fly the coast from Valdez to Homer, but an offshore low pressure system forced us east, over the Valdez and Klutina Glaciers instead. The video speed…

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                          • Mark Goldberg
                            Mark Goldberg commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Spectacular video Mike. What a flight. I gasped when it looked like you were so close up on top. Mark

                        • #15
                          Man, maybe it was the camera but it looked pretty tight squeezing over the top there! I'm guessing you had a westerly wind, I've seen a lot of planes get smashed like a bug into glaciers when that cold air comes tumbling down off of them.

                          Beautiful stuff, more please!

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                          • Blackrock
                            Blackrock commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Yep, we had a little westerly lift going over the top. I entered the turn planning on a 360, but we caught enough lift to put us over. We had plenty of reserve power, but #5 cyl temp was already pushing 400 so I held back. Yeah, in the wrong wind conditions, that's no place to be.
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