Airmail

Airmail

In Response to Kevin Ware’s “The Problem with Juneau” (August)

Your article brought back 52 years of memories of flying into Juneau. I started in a Connie in 1967, then a B-720, and finally many years in a B-727. Back then there was no DME on the LDA approach, only the crossing radials of SSR and Point Retreat NDB which isn’t depicted anymore. Alaska Airlines 727s met their end along with 117 passengers west of present day Dibol INT in 1972 because they relied on the inaccurate SSR VOR radials for a step down. PNA’s and Western’s approach plates had NDB and VOR crossing radials that had to be met before we stepped down. The DME was installed two weeks after the Alaska crash even though we all had been asking for it for years.

As we were limited to a 10-knot tailwind takeoff on Runway 26, we would take off on Runway 8 with a special after takeoff procedure to get out of the mountains. If you look at your picture in the article where you have four red terrain spots shown, we would take off on Runway 8, suck up the gear, pull the power to 50 percent, immediate left turn up Lemon Creek (which is between the two red spots on the left of your picture), fly 20 seconds at V2 +10, staying below 800 feet VFR. Then a 30-plus degree bank to the right and come out Lemon Creek, start climbing, and intercept the LDA outbound to Barlo and then SSR. Quite a departure!

A few years back, I took the 340 up to Prudhoe Bay for a sightseeing trip and stopped for an hour at Juneau. I didn’t know a soul. We then flew VFR all the way to Fairbanks and to Prudhoe Bay the next day. There isn’t much to see up there, but I had not seen it in daylight as we always flew the 727 up there during the winter when it was dark.

Great article Kevin.

Dick Welsh

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I just read your article in Twin & Turbine and found it very informative and interesting to read. We just got back from a trip to Ketchikan and we are planning another trip up there to Sitka soon. I haven’t been to Juneau yet, but I appreciate your insight on the local area and the difficulties that one might face trying to get in there. Great job!

Christopher Brewer

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In Response to David Miller’s “Saying Goodbye to My Mustang” (August)

I just read your article “Saying Goodbye to My Mustang.” As pilots, we become attached to our airplanes. We recently sold our CJ2 and even though I didn’t own it, it was mine. My boss even thought so (to some degree). I understand exactly how you feel and hope there is another trusty friend in your aviation future. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your articles. 

Andrew C. Jackson

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I was hoping to run into you at the Annual Convention to commiserate plane decisions, but had to cancel due to a family conflict. It sounds like we have the same issues – declining time, lower income, but a love for the Mustang. I think I’ve solved the solution by finding a partner in mine that has a similar situation, but every potential plane partnership has fizzled for some reason or another.

I am going to hang on as long as I can, but expect that I’ll follow your footsteps (but at least I never stepped up!), and probably buy a jet card and beg my way back into my old Bonanza! Good luck and I hope to see you and Patty soon.

Doug Hynden

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I have been reading your column in T &T for years and have always viewed it as a highlight of the magazine. Other commitments have denied me the pleasure of reading T&T recently, so it was with great surprise and sadness that I learned this morning, for the first time, of your decision to part with your Mustang.

All of us will be there someday. I think I can speak for all owner-pilots when I say that your fate is the lurking threat, the demon in the room, which we all most dread. For my own part, I have spent a fair amount of my personal and family wealth on aviation and have never regretted a penny, or a minute, of it. Nor has it ever made me a profit.

I am very sorry to hear of your decision and wish to offer you my condolences. But I also wish to proffer my immense respect for the maturity and discipline which your willingness to make that decision exhibits. The ability to make tough choices was doubtless the reason you acquired the means to have the Mustang experience in the first place. I am decidedly less certain that I will exhibit similar maturity when my time comes. Thanks for the memories.

William Blatte

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