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This presentation is the result of a trip by David Whitney and his father, Bill Whitney to Alaska and back from Port Townsend, WA, in Davids Piper 'Tomahawk' airplane. They departed Port Townsend on September 5, 2004 and returned to Port Townsend on September 15. Total flight distance was 4035 nautical miles (4640 statute miles)in 42.77 flight hours over 11 days.

The single engine plane built by Piper Aircraft in 1979 has a wingspan of 34 feet and a payload of 402 pounds with full fuel. It is powered by a Lycoming 0235 engine rated at about 115 horsepower. The plane is in excellent condition with a recent engine replacement, new exterior finish and a completely new interior. It cruises at approximately 100 nautical miles per hour (115 statute mph). Fuel consumption is about 6.5 gallons per hour and tankage is 30 gallons of fuel.

The following map shows the routing of the trip up through the interior of British Columbia and then across the Yukon Territory to Fairbanks in central Alaska. From Fairbanks, the route went south near Mt McKinley to Talkeetna and then to Anchorage. After leaving Anchorage, they proceeded to Homer and then back down the coast to Port Townsend. Overnight stops are indicated by round marks and are numbered in white. The short line marks are intermediate fuel stops.

On the following pages are digital photos taken during the trip. Most of them were taken from inside the plane and the fidelity is greatly effected by the windshield which after 25 years is showing a bit of discoloration. Also, the images have been reduced in size and memory to provide for reduced downloading time. In spite of the reduced photo memory size, download may take a while. The original photos have been reduced to 700 pixel width size and further reduced for page display to 400 pixel width.

To view any of the photos at the higher 700 resolution size, click on the photo. You will have to use your 'BACK' key to return to this webpage.



September 5, 2004

For the first day, the route began from Port townsend to Abbotsford, B.C., to clear Candadian Customs. The route then followed the Fraser River to Quesnel for the first overnight stop. Accomodations were made at the Billy Barker Casino Hotel.

The distance flown during the day was approximately 120 miles to Abbotsford plus 270 miles to Quesnel for a day total of 390 nautical miles in 4 hour flying time.

1. Port Townsend
2. Port Townsend
3. Bill & Dave
4. Fraser River Valley
5. Fraser River Valley
6. Fraser River Valley
7. Quesnel, B.C.

September 6, 2004

Intent was to fly to MacKenzie, at the south end of Williston Lake, near Prince George, for a fuel stop and then continue on north , up the "Trench" to Watson Lake for another fuel stop before proceeding to Whitehorse for an overnight stop.

The "Trench" is a geographic anomaly of a long fault gouge through northern British Columbia for about 400 miles. It provides a lesser distance and low altitude VFR route from Prince George to Watson Lake following Williston Lake, Finlay River, Fox River and Kechika River valleys. There is no highway and it is boarded on both sides by steep mountain ranges. There are a number of small landing strips, mostly utilized for logging operations.

Unfortunately, the weather became rather imposing with a strong arctic high over the Yukon and Northwest Territories and we were forced to turn around about 80 miles south of Watson Lake near Terminus Mountain. In addition, there was insufficient remaining fuel to return to MacKenzie. As a result a landing was made at Ft. Ware about 150 miles north of Mackenzie where emergency fuel was obtained to top off the tanks for a return to MacKenzie for overnight at the MacKenzie Inn.

The distance flown during the day was approximately 140 miles from Quesnel to MacKenzie; then 265 miles to the turn around and then 265 miles back to MacKenzie with the stop at Ft. Ware. Total flight distance for the day was 670 miles in about 7 hours flying time.

8. Williston Lake
9. MacKenzie/ Williston Lake Airport
10. Taxi Strip at Williston Airport
11. Bill at Williston Airport Fuel
12. Dave Checking Fuel Levels
13. Williston Lake
14. Ospikas
15. Mesilinka
16. Ingenika
17. Williston Lake
18. Williston Lake
19. Tsay Keh
20. Finbow
21. Ft. Ware
22. Fuel Station at Ft. Ware
23. Native Burial Cemetary at Ft Ware
24. Ft. Ware Airstrip
25. Fox Lake

September 7, 2004

On the third day, we departed MacKenzie again and encountered marginal weather at about the same spot as on the day before with snow flurries and freezing temperatures. However, this time it was possible to get through the pass at Terminus Mountain and proceed to Watson Lake. Temperature at Watson Lake was minus 8 centigrade and there was a skiff of snow on the surrounding hillsides.

Beyond Watson Lake, the weather cleared with the route following the Alaska Highway on to Whitehorse for an overnight stay at the Edgewater Hotel.

The distance flown during the day was approximately 345 miles from MacKenzie to Watson Lake and another 210 miles to Whitehorse for a total of 555 miles for the day and 6 hours flying time.

26. Williston Lake
27. Kechika River Valley (North End of Trench)
28. Kechika River
29. Snow Near Terminus Mountain
30. Terminus Mountain
31. Scoop Lake
32. Mountains Near Watson Lake
33. Watson Lake Hanger (WWII Ferry Point to Russia)
34. Dave at Watson Lake
35. Alaska Highway Near Watson Lake
36. Alaska Highway and Swift River
37. Teslin
38. Teslin Lake
39. Jakes Corner
40. Marsh Lake
41. Marsh Lake
42. Whitehorse
43. Whitehorse Airport
44. Whitehorse Airport Tower
45. Whitehorse Airport
46. Whitehorse Rail Station
47. Edgewater Hotel, Whitehorse

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The above photos have been quickly assembled onto this web page. The resolution has been diluted in order to reduce the memory with intent to provide faster downloading. To comment with regard to these pages, you may send an e-mail by clicking
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This page and the other associated pages covering the Fly Alaska 2004 adventure have been assembled by Bill Whitney for his personal pleasure and the possible enjoyment of his friends and visitors. There is no commercial intent and viewers utilize any information presented herein at their own risk.