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Unalakleet Travel Blog

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Bering Sea shoreline
 

All engine instruments read normal and no red or yellow warning lights illuminated on the caution panel but Matt did notice a lower than normal power requirement to control our descent. Then the guy on the ground taking pictures of our approach, the several others pointing at us, and the shadow of trailing smoke hinted that our routine fuel stop was about to become an emergency landing. 

 

As soon as we touched down, Matt ignored the usual two-minute cool-down, pulled the emergency fuel shut-off, and handed me the fire extinguisher. I jumped out, expecting to see flames engulfing the engine compartment. The light weight of a Hughes 500 is partially attributed to the large content of magnesium used in its construction and once ignited, burns with amazing speed.

Unalakleet
I found no fire but thick white smoke billowing from the exhaust stack which formed a massive, dense cloud that drifted across the airport ramp. An internal oil seal had blown and engine oil poured directly into the combustion chamber. Our ship was grounded.

 

The Allison (now Rolls Royce) 250 C20B engine comprises three modules which can be changed individually: the compressor, the gearbox, and the turbine. The culprit seal is located inside the turbine and after a call to our company in Wasilla, a replacement module was arranged to be shipped out to us. It would arrive around mid-day tomorrow.

 

Matt and I checked into the Sleep Inn Hotel. The place was more like a guesthouse or youth hostel than a hotel. Guests shared a common kitchen and living/dining room. Any food items marked with an 'X' were free to anyone. With a lack of restaurants in town, the kitchen offered all appliances and utensils for cooking. For dinner, we bought a package of Johnsonville Brats, a loaf of bread, and a few vegetables.

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Bering Sea shoreline
Bering Sea shoreline
Unalakleet
Unalakleet
Poster at the airport
Poster at the airport
Hageland Air sign
Hageland Air sign
Fish drying
Fish drying
Coho salmon
Coho salmon
Crab pots
Crab pots
Driftwood
Driftwood
Flower pot sled
Flower pot sled
Backyard clothes-line
Backyard clothes-line
Old B-29 converted into a storage …
Old B-29 converted into a storage…
Sled dog awaiting winter
Sled dog awaiting winter
The old school
The old school
Old bear cache
Old bear cache
Musk ox fur
Musk ox fur
The character of Unalakleet
The character of Unalakleet
Unalakleet
photo by: rotorhead85