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View Full Version : Homer, AK - Helicopter Work Trip



NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:11 PM
Just got back last night from a whirlwind trip to Homer. We drove to Homer, which is 280 miles south of here, did a little work at a site we could drive to and then jumped in a Helicopter to a couple of sites, then had a small plane meet us for the last 2 sites. We landed back in Homer, got in the truck and hauled ass north back - about a 17 hour day, which is great time considering the distances & aircraft involved. We fully expected this trip to take at least a couple of days but the stars were aligned in our favor all the way around.

This is the Bell 407, which is my favorite helicopter. It's smooth, powerful and fast - I'm told the only 2 helos faster are the Chinook and the Apache. As it turns out, I flew on this baby back when she was brand new in '09 out of King Salmon on a week long trip working for the Nat'l Park Service. She's still looking great and I was overjoyed to be able to ride in her again.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9994&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:19 PM
Leaving the airport in Homer - we could not have asked for better weather.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9995&stc=1

The Homer Spit, the small finger of land on the right jutting out into Kachemak Bay, is where we caught the Ferry a few months ago to Kodiak, where the Salty Dawg Bar is located.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9996&stc=1

The tourists are slowly trickling in. A month from now, this will be wall-to-wall RVs and tents everywhere.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9997&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:22 PM
We passed a small plane like he was standing still on our way out over the water. It was hard to judge, but I think we were going about twice as fast as he was.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9998&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:24 PM
The end of the Homer Spit.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9999&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:28 PM
Scenery, looking out toward Halibut Cove across the bay from Homer.

I apologize for the yellow reflection in the plexiglas, but the new FAA regs state that all helo passengers have to wear those little yellow life jackets.

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NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:42 PM
On our way to Dangerous Cape.

I suspect there's a couple of hair-raising maritime stories about how it got the moniker.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10003&stc=1

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10004&stc=1

There's some pretty sweet cabins out here among the islands... and world-class fishing just minutes away.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10005&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:51 PM
I'm going to bring the boat down here this summer... there's so many awesome places to fish that I spotted it was making me drool.


http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10006&stc=1


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A microwave repeater site on top of that mountain there - the signal just bounces off the reflector and to the receiving dish.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10008&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:54 PM
A cool little valley with a whitewater stream... probably some killer trout in this one that never gets fished.
jimnyc - can you rotate this please?

http://i.imgur.com/9sLufIR.jpg

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 12:59 PM
On approach to one of our sites... doing the prudent fly-around to check for any bears in the area before landing.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10010&stc=1

http://i.imgur.com/yy6Lwn0.jpg

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 01:06 PM
And then we had a small airplane meet us for the rest of the trip - those helos are expensive!

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10012&stc=1

A pretty cool outcropping of eroded stone standing up there.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10013&stc=1

On final to the runway. Yeah, it's the one running 90 degrees to where we're heading - that can be a nasty one in bad weather. The pilot laid the plane over on it's side at the last minute and greased it in like a pro. Love watching those bush pilots do their thing, as long as I'm not tangled up in the wreckage from a screwup!

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10014&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 01:09 PM
Welcome to Nanwalek International Airport. No loitering.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10015&stc=1

jimnyc
06-01-2017, 01:09 PM
Sweet copter!! Love to fly in one of them, never been on one before.

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 01:16 PM
Our Limo - a Cessna 207.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10016&stc=1

Taking off from Nanwalek. They've got a cool little protected harbor here for their boats that you can only get in and out of during high tide. That's where I'd be keeping the boat, for sure.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10017&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 01:21 PM
One last shot of Nanwalek from the air. The tower there is how everyone gets internet and telephone.

We had a couple of people hopefully ask if we were there to finally install cell service for them... unfortunately, no, we weren't. I don't see them getting service anytime soon, because there just isn't enough people there to justify the huge expense of setting up the tower & equipment to provide it. Cell companies have to make money or it won't happen, ya know!

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10018&stc=1

Gunny
06-01-2017, 01:23 PM
Sweet copter!! Love to fly in one of them, never been on one before.Trust me, you can learn to hate them REAL quick. Careful what you wish for. Especially a sensitive guy like you. Probably puke. Nothing like making friends.

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 01:26 PM
And a few more shots of scenery on the way back to Homer.


http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10019&stc=1


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http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10021&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 01:31 PM
There's a bear down there in the valley... I can't find it in the pic, though.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10022&stc=1

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NightTrain
06-01-2017, 02:06 PM
Seldovia. It's a pretty cool little town, very popular with Anchorage residents owning recreational cabins / homes here.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10026&stc=1

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NightTrain
06-01-2017, 02:07 PM
Seldovia's link to the world.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10028&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 02:13 PM
Pretty nice cabins.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10029&stc=1

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10030&stc=1

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10031&stc=1


It's hard to see in this pic, but there's a red pickup on the beach down there above the high tide mark. He probably uses this to haul stuff from his boat to his cabin... I imagine he used a Landing Craft to get it hauled out there. Personally I would have went with a good ATV, but this works too!

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10032&stc=1

NightTrain
06-01-2017, 02:16 PM
http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10033&stc=1

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10034&stc=1


And coming back in over the Homer Spit.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10035&stc=1

Elessar
06-01-2017, 11:49 PM
Marvelous pictures, NT!