147th leg: Thursday, September 15, 2005
UHSS to UHPP, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk, Russia
Airport: Yelizovo
5.9 hours

Leaving Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. After this, most of the trip was over water.


I was a little nervous manuevering around this lumpy terrain in the fog and trying to get lower as I got closer to my destination.


 

Low fuel in both tanks. This leg (and maybe the next) was the reason for leasing the plane. Even with the bigger tanks I was running out of gas. I was nervous about this too, but I wasn't landing on fumes. There were still over four gallons left in each tank when I filled up.


 148th leg: Friday, September 16, 2005
UHPP to ATU, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk, Russia to Attu, Alaska, USA
Airport: Casco Cove CGS
4.1 hours

A couple more scenes from Russia before I got too high to see anything through the murk.
 

 

Finally flew out of the big blanket of gloom. Hallelujah! I'm not sure where the Pacific Ocean turns into the Bering Sea, but I think this is the Pacific.


There's Alaska! I had originally thought I would fly a more northern route across more of Russia, and I saw a place called Home in Alaska that I wanted to be my first landing back in the USA. But it turned out that the Aleutian Islands were more practical.


This was a tricky airport to get to because there were some kind of tall hills right in the way.



 

149th leg: Saturday, September 17, 2005
ATU to AK23, Attu to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Airport: Driftwood Bay Air Force Station
5.5 hours

Leaving Casco Cove -- a nice day except for windy. It all started out normal enough.
 

There's the island I'm heading for.

 

The airport should be somewhere near that point off to the left of the compass. The elevation is supposed to be 24 feet. Well, I couldn't see it. I had to do some quick turning and climbing to get out of the area and circled around and came back for another try. I still didn't see any sign of an airport. So I gave up and pushed the "go to airport" button.


Here's where I ended up! Weird! Is the other end of this canyon open to the sea?


No! It's totally enclosed! Somehow I really doubt that the real airport is like this.


 

 
Ha, ha. Very funny, Microsoft! And this is where I was going to meet up with my old plane! I'm not sure what I will do. Maybe I can put it over on the lower ground off to the right in this picture and take off from there. Or maybe I'll try taking off from the subterranian airport and see if I can climb up out of there fast enough.
 150th leg: Sunday, September 18, 2005
Near AK23 to PAKN, Dutch Harbor to King Salmon, Alaska
Airport: King Salmon
3.8 hours

Got my plane back off the ship and had it hauled out to this relatively flat area near the useless airport.


Flaps down a notch, starting my take-off. Kicking up some dust. It was pretty bumpy.


 

But it worked! (And by the way, I tried taking off with a similar plane from the pit just to see if it was possible and I couldn't do it.) 

 


It's good to be back in my own plane.


 

 
It got really foggy as I got nearer to my destination, but I'm still above it here.
 

I think this was the worst visibility ever -- 1/4 mile.

 

I turned off the real weather just to see where I was and to make an airport postcard.