Saturday. I had considering making two trips instead of this giant leap towards Anchorage from the small coastal airport where I’d last landed, but there seemed to me something epic about burning an entire long-weekend morning with some zen-like cruising.
It is possible, by the way, to do other things while I fly. After settling into a steady altitude I spent most of the 350 NM flight tweaking my course but also writing, watching some videos, reading some news, and straightening up my office. In fact, I’ve still got nearly 100 NM to go as I write these words, typing then glancing over every couple minutes to nudge the flight stick and bring myself back to “generally in the right direction.”
Leg 10 of this trip around the world left from a landing strip in a small town called Yakutat in Alaska. When I landed there on Wednesday it was cloudy with some low fog and a hazy sky.
Today it was clear and bright, the epic mountains were worthy of a few dozen screenshots, and I found myself babbling through the video capture just to make sure the flyover of the scenery was not passed by too quickly.
Not another soul made an appearance in the simulator until I came withing 100 NM of Anchorage, however. The skies on this flight were lonely and clear of clouds and other traffic. It was likely a factor of both the remoteness of where I found myself and the fact others might have better things to do on a Saturday morning. I mean, I can’t imagine what...
With about 30 minutes left in my flight the “flight hours” gauge in the Cessna 172 rolled over to 25 hours, the first of (hopefully) many milestones. Given my strict rules about using that particular plane for only recorded flight legs on the Pilot Project, this means that including my handful of short jumps around the province in practice flights, my trip has added up to 25 hours so far. For some reason that feels light, but I’m not quite ready to go back and add it all up.
I descended in Anchorage, cruised in low under some emergent clouds, and dropped gently onto a generous international airport runway — with neither clearance (never asked nor received) nor the the usual chiding from ATC that usually follows uncleared landings. I guess up North they do things a little different.