Aniak Travel Blog

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Five month old St. Bernard pups at the hotel in Aniak.

The company flew me To Aniak on a small commuter to help out with an inspection on one of our helicopters. Upon boarding the flight in Anchorage, I was impressed that I did not have to remove my boots. That always seemed a bit overboard to me …  if that shoe-bomber fella  had packed explosives in his underwear, we would all be commuting in hospital gowns.  It was nice to be away from that  mainstream of madness and to be back in Alaska.


Heading west and inland, away from the ocean waters of the Cook Inlet, the snow quickly disappeared. The spruce, white birch, and alder trees were bare. Aniak is a small fishing village on the Kuskokwim River which was still frozen-over in white as we landed.

Midnight maintenance
Walt met me at the airport, one of our other mechanics who I would be helping to perform a 100 hour inpection. I was glad to be out of the hangar but still anxious to get my own ship and begin my own season in the bush. I never like working in a hangar; punching a time-clock and living for the next coffee break. I preferred being in the bush maintaing my own aircraft where I could work when there was work to be done and play and explore when there wasn't.


While Joe, the pilot, paused flying just long enough to gulp dinner, Walt and I had time to pop open a few panels, to have a peek at structures and components that are only checked at each 100 hours of flight-time, keeping the ship ready to fly at fifteen minutes notice. The more intense maintenance would begin at night-fall when Joe's work was finished for the day. It was still too early in the season for the midnight sun, so we worked by the glow of our Mini-Mag Lites.

Joe lands in town to pick up shot-gun shells for a crew working in the bush.
It was after 1:00 a.m. when we completed the inspection and secured the final piece of cowling. Light snow flakes  drifted in the cold air.


A knock at my hotel-room door woke me about 10:00 a.m. It was Joe and I mentally cursed a problem and the helicopter  still sitting idle at the airfield. Missing flight time for maintenance would be inexcusable by my standards, especially having TWO mechanics on the bird. I was elated to learn that Joe had already flown three hours that morning and was there to take me to the airport for the flight back to Anchorage. It was great to be back to 'field' work and to be back in Alaska!





sleepingsunshine says:
love ur blog :)
Thanks for sharing, would like to visit alaska someday too.
Posted on: Nov 26, 2008
alyssa_ob says:
"...where I could work when there was work to be done and play and explore when there wasn't." I HEAR YOU!!!
Posted on: May 31, 2008
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Five month old St. Bernard pups at…
Five month old St. Bernard pups a…
Midnight maintenance
Midnight maintenance
Joe lands in town to pick up shot-…
Joe lands in town to pick up shot…
photo by: rotorhead85