Aviation for Women

JAN-FEB 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

Issue link: https://afwdigital.epubxp.com/i/915381

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Page 33 of 52

J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 AviationforWomen 31 Living close to the Alaska Range has visual benefits that make up for the lack of ethnic restaurants that you may find in more populated areas. While many people travel from all around the world to see North America's highest peak, Alaskan residents get to eat up the view throughout the year. There is no shortage of Denali burgers on menus around the state and the "High One," Denali, feeds the tourism industry with am- ple revenue. Air travel is the most common way to experience the majestic and rugged mountains of the Alaska Range. It is without a doubt a real thrill to fly around Denali with an experienced air taxi pilot, gawk at the in- sane beauty, and even land on a glacier. Pilots and mountaineers get the most in- timate contact with the Alaska Range. The Talkeetna Airport (TK A) is a hub of activi- ty for these types during summer months as they focus intensely on Denali as a dream- climb-come-true trip for the climber or a demanding job for the glacier pilots. The common aircraft are Beavers, Otters, Cess- na 185s, Cherokees, and Navajos and vari- ous types of Pipers. The summer air traffic buzzes up and around Denali with awe-filled passengers aboard. The rocky faces, peculiar glacial ice, and intimidating crags embrace the viewer time and time again. Nearby is another type of hub that heads out to a totally different location, the Tal - keetna Mountains. Alaska Floats and Skis is a bush flying school specializing in glacier flight training, which is prohibited in De- nali National Park. In the era of the ski fly- ing pioneers such as Bob Reeves, Don Shel- don, and Cliff Hudson, they learned their skill from the school of hard knocks. More recently, learning the art of glacier land- ing requires a friend with a skiplane or be- ing a qualified pilot that air taxis are willing to train. Don Lee of Alaska Floats and Skis has fine-tuned the teaching of this valu- able trade on the Swiftsure Glacier that he named after a British battleship. His name choice is no coincidence, a s getting the Training Katie started learning the art of glacier flying in Alaska some 12 years ago in her Super Cub. One of the essential training topics is Arctic survival skills including how to build a snow cave. TIM BUECHLE

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