It was an awesome day of flying with Ben counting fish today.
Man do I love flying fish surveys with the State Biologists. These folks are great to work with, down to earth, and care about God's Creation. We covered over 3,100 miles in 5 days counting Chinook salmon. The Maule allows us to fly 7 hrs (with 45 min reserve)with out refueling. Because the Maule is so much faster than a Supercub or Husky we can get much more accomplished in the same amount of time. We cruise much faster but are still able to survey at the same speeds I used to in the Cubs and Huskies.
Here is a slideshow of some of our flying in Alaska. If you are interested in what it has looked like to run a family owned and operated part 135 air taxi you can get a glimpse in this slide show.
Yesterday, while counting Chinook salmon from the air in our Maule M7, we found this beautiful place to land and take a break. The flower pictured above is a Lady slipper from the Orchid family. This was the first one I had seen in this part of the country. The picture on the bottom right is of Sockeye salmon from last years survey. I didn't get any new pictures of fish yesterday.
This was an experiment for us. We have had many folks ask us if we would teach them how to fly in the off airport environment. Earlier this month we had our first three Maule pilots meet us in Willow at Isaac's parents place for a 5 day course in flying "Alaska Style". Geoff was one of the pilots to attend the clinic and has put a great video together above highlighting the trip from his perspective. There is already a list of folks wanting to attend next year. We will provide more details after Thanksgiving.
After hosting our first Off Airport Clinic, our family loaded up in our awesome M7-235 and flew over 400 miles back to Bethel. The nice thing about having a capable "bushplane" with big tires is you can stop and take breaks whenever you need them. Life in Alaska is amazing! It is even better with a Maule;)