Discovering Alaska Volume 6: ASA 62 – ANC to JNU

It’s time to say Good Bye to Alaska. Today we will reach the end of our little “Discovering Alaska”-series. And I gotta say: There would not have been a better way to do so. The leg was from Anchorage to Juneau. I am really glad that I found the beautiful Freeware scenery “Glacier Bay Alaska” (available on avsim) before this flight. In my opinion one of the best Freeware sceneries out there!

Also I sorted out most of the issues I had with my fresh-installed FS on the last flight. So there was nothing standing in the way of flying this last leg into the Alaskan capital. Our ride will be N607AS, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 in a special paint scheme for the MLS club Portland Timbers. Now, I won’t get into a discussion about US soccer vs. European soccer. The last DC United match I went to was probably the worst soccer game I have ever seen. But then there also is the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB – so who honestly needs soccer anyway, right?! Back to our flight: That bird looks awesome!

Flight details are the following.
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We will take off on runway 07R, like on all the last flights out of Anchorage. The flight will take us along the Alaskan coast, over Yakutat and into runway 08 in Juneau. This is the only runway available for landings, as the airport is located in very mountainous terrain. We will follow the LDA X8 approach. This means we’re flying diagonal to the theoretical LOC to avoid some high terrain on short final and turn onto runway heading just seconds before touching down. I already gave Juneau the nickname “Kai Tak of Alaska”. Or maybe the Toncontin…you name it. Whatever your choice is: This approach was truly stunning and a little challenging with visibility just above 6nm and snow.
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Now let’s get started. It’s only 7:35 am as we board N607AS. Built in 1999 this bird has the old-style MCP and even eyebrow windows. The sun is still rising outside.
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After we’re done with the cockpit preparation, Mr. Pushback-driver arrives with his tractor. Maybe Kenny Chesney can rewrite his song “She thinks my tractor’s sexy” for pushback-tug drivers… The sun has come up by now and the skies turned from red into blue.
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I really like the saturated green of this paint scheme. It’s a nice contrast to all the snow around here, even though you might not see it in the summertime when all the forests turn green.
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Before the Pushback starts, we get de-iced. It’s only 17F OAT and so this seems like a good idea. Aileron is set full pitch down, as required for De-Icing and Bleeds/Packs are off.
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Say Good Bye to Anchorage for now.
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I hope this Ambulance is in no hurry… he has to wait for us to clear the driving lane.
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Such a beautiful airport they have in Anchorage and even more so the landscape surrounding it.
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At the holding point for 07R. ASA 62, Cleared for take-off!
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I was sitting in this exact spot 4 times during this tour and it looks different every time.
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Rotate!
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Only a few clouds today. We’ve been through worse.
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Still climbing.
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There is an overcast cloud layer below for almost the entire flight.
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And we’re lucky to have our Aviators on us. The sun can be really blinding when flying straight at it…
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I hope the Portland Timbers at least deserve to have a plane painted for them…
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We are descending already and about to enter the clouds again. Time to concentrate, errors during this approach could have very serious consequences.
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And this is the reason why!
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Yes, gimme all you have Mother Earth! Snow and the color of those clouds doesn’t look too nice…
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We’re flying this approach by hand the whole time. Diagonal to the theoretical Localizer as you can see on the ND.
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Again, this is why we have to fly diagonal. The result of a fight between plane and mountain doesn’t require a lot of imagination…
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This little hill is blocking the short final approach path. The result is that we can turn onto runway heading only seconds before touchdown.
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Here’s how this approach looks like on our charts.
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Now my favorite part of this report starts, so I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Short final into runway 08.
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The approach again from the outside view.
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After mastering this landing, we are taxiing to our gate. You can see the hill that’s blocking the flightpath in the background.
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Engines are shutdown and I’m going through the shutdown checklist with Johnny, my FS2Crew F/O.
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As we’re about to leave the plane, this FedEx ATR is starting its journey to Seattle. This will also be our next destination.
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Thanks for reading today’s report. I hope you enjoyed this thrilling approach into Juneau as much as I did. This flight marks the end of our little Alaska adventure. Next trip will be back into the Lower 48. Seattle is the destination then, so stay tuned!

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