After three wonderful days, chasing northern lights in Fairbanks (result at the end of the report) it's already time to head … further north. First stop, Prudhoe Bay.
That's Fairbanks Airport, a little cute airport in fact. I really like it.
The arrival hall can be spit in twice when there are international arrivals. Mostly in summer:
Check in area and the escalator leads to the airside part of the airport:
The first surprise of the day (sorry I messed the picture a bit as I was not next to a window as it took of), this DC6 from Everts Air Cargo who still operates oldies. More information here: Fleet Everts Air
People say that the A340 has a slow climbing rate, check out the DC6 :)
All boarding gates are empty for the time being. There is a new Starbucks in FAI, which opened the week before:
General aviation and charters to the Arctic Circles are handled in front:
Another Everts Air DC6 that just landed:
Dash 8-Q400 heading to ANC:
Artic Air is leaving to Coldfoot. I took one of those flights last year, if you are interested in this old report, link is HERE
Ravn Alaska taking off to Prudhoe Bay with a Dash 8-100:
Here's the cabin: (having a light load allows lots of pictures!) Boarding is launched with absolutely no priorities as we are only 7 passengers bound to Prudhoe Bay with only one that has it as final destination, the 6 others, including me, have a connecting flight.
On time push back, here's another Curtiss I don't think this one will ever fly again:
Before takeoff, the seat pocket content with the safety card and the seat pitch:
Take off and a few FAI shoots and Fairbanks' region:
Standard AS catering:
Plenty of aerial shoots, the light was just perfect:
The sun that just rose is already setting again, wonderful scenery:
We are following the Dalton Highway, which is the only road to Prudhoe Bay:
Landing gear is down, we are about to land in SSC with a pretty heavy fog:
We landed a few minutes early, and my two hours layover in SCC starts here.
To conclude, here after the reason why I went to Fairbanks: Northern Lights. To see them it's a question of luck. To get to see them it should:
- Be night - No or little moon light - Clear sky - Solar activity (the sun activity drives the aurora activity)
That evening all bullet points but the clear sky were checked. At around 11:00PM the sky begun to clear up and at the same time there was a bit of activity. Within minutes, the clouds disappeared and the show started. It was amazing, lights lasted for 3H and we watched them for the whole 3H, even with a -30° outside temperature. It was just amazing!
Thanks for following! Stay tune for more north soon :)
Fairbanks - FAI
Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse, AK - SCC
It was a great flight, with only 7 passengers for 2 crew members it really felt private.
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