Trip Reports
By Gostar den Daas | 2002

Alaska 2002

Aviation trip through the Last Frontier

Our journey started on the 25th of May, when eight photographers gathered on Schiphol airport, Amsterdam. The first stage of this trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (MN) took about eight hours. After six hours we reached our first goal for this trip, Anchorage Ted Stevens International airport, Alaska.

This trip would be a unique experiment, combining lot's of airfields, civil, military and a visit to Denali National park. Hightlight of this trip, a flight in a DHC-2 Beaver Floatplain, destination: a lake in the middle of nowhere.

Day1, Sunday May 26th

After a good night sleep and an even better breakfast at Denny's we started of examining the neighborhood. Following Raspberry road we reached the south site of Ted Stevens, housing Era aviation and the ANG base, Kulis. The Kulis tarmac could easily be observed from the road to Era aviation and was crowded with C-130' and a E-3 on alert.

Later that day we stopped near the fence of Nothern Air Cargo. A dispatcher approached us if we would like to see the DC-6' and Boeing 727' from close by, of course! After our visit, including the Nothern Air Cargo platform and the inside of two DC-6', we continued our examination around Ted Stevens. North of Ted Stevens are the large distribution centers of Federal Express and United Parcel Service.

There are also some smaller business, like ACE (Alaska Central Express) and Air Cargo Express flying DC-6' and a Curtis Commander!

Continuing the road north of the main terminal heading Knik Arm we reached the west site of runway 14/32. A small hill next to the runway makes a great photo point, next to the touchdown point of landing aircraft.

The afternoon we spent at Lake Hood SPB, east of the main terminal at Ted Stevens. Lake Hood is the biggest sea plane base in the world, housing hundreds of float planes. The canal connecting the two parts of Lake Hood serves as a takeoff and landing strip. You can stand right next to it, and thus make great pictures.

Day 2, Monday May 27th

On the second day we visited the second airfield in Anchorage, Merrill Field. On this open field you can drive over the platform between the planes. Highlights on this field containing lots of small private planes, are the An-2 an the CH-3E Green Jolliet of Evergreen Helicopters.

After a long stay next to runway 24/13 at Ted Stevens, we went to the ANGB Kulis for a official base visit. There are a few gate guards on the base which can't be seen from the outside. Kulis is the home base of two ANG squadrons. The 144th AS with C-130Hs and the 210th RQS witch HC-130Hs and HH-60Gs. Both part of the 176th Wing AK ANG.

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