Anchorage - Nome, life of a Helicopter Ferry Flight!

in October of 2017, We changed out our Bell 212 with our Bell 412 that runs from Nome to Little Diomede Island, our flight plan is from Anchorage to Nome with stops in McGrath (MCG) and possibly stopping in Unalakleet (UNK) . MCG and UNK were fuel stops!

The day started off with us on a weather hold, weather wasn’t looking the best but not the worse so the crew along with our onboard maintenance decided hold off.
Around 11 the thumbs up was given and the 412 was pulled out of the hangar, we were all loaded besides a few things so I continued to finish packing the 412.


The crew decided the weather would work, and we’re off to McGrath, about 190 miles North of Anchorage, it’s a remote village that you can only fly to.

We departed North for McGrath, the weather was absolutely beautiful out, winds were calm you couldn’t ask for a much more better departure!

The Mountains were out, Mt McKinley or Denail what ever you like to call it, was peaking

My Captain and I were joking around the entire trip enjoying the scene. As we arrived into Nome, PenAir’s Saab 340 came in using RWY 16, since the Saab 340 is extremely faster then the 412 we did not have to worry about their wake turbulence. As we got closer to MCG the captain let me take over and land the 412!
We arrived to MCG and taxied to our parking spot and called for fuel, this was time for lunch. I will admit MCG had some pretty good hot pockets specially after flying for about an hour in a half.

We determined we would not stop in UNK and carried on, our aircraft full of fuel, I preflighted make sure nothing was dented or damaged when arriving into MCG.

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We’re off to Nome, we decided do some low level flying and spot wild life, a couple of moose and bear were out running around that was about it, we tried to spot reindeer but we weren’t north enough for it. I asked the Captain to take controls for a few as I took a few pictures of the view from the 412.

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As we got closer to UNK the clouds in the Mountains started to fall on top which was such a great site to see! the clouds would wave over the mountains.

We proceed to fly over the Bering Sea and continue onward to Nome what a magnificent site to see with the clouds dancing as the sun would shine through them! A sign that Nome was coming close

Finally Pt Safety was in site we were able to find the road to Nome! Alaska Airlines was coming in for their evening flight to Nome. Touch down and we made it to Nome! Winds picked up right as we landed! We decided the helicopter could stay out side since it wasn’t schedule to fly the next day there was no rush to put it away inside the hangar, which would require us to fold the blades. We tied the helicopter up and secured it and called it a day.
5.9 hrs logged on the hobb and it was time to go to the crew house and relax, after a long adventure it was nice to be to the house!

What an adventure! Over all we flew over 500 miles. Our 412 now services Little Diomede and keeps the connected to the main land.


(Taken 11 March 2018)

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Wow. These little snippets of your job/life keep getting better and better. What was this trip for, supply run?

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Thank you, I try make my post exciting! This is my favourite flying trip lol.
No, we replaced our Bell 212 with our 412, the B212 that was there went to another contract! We ferried the B412 up =)


(The B212 originally flying out to Little Diomede)

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Ah cool, thought you might have been lugging some supplies alongside the switch. Loving the livery of that 212.

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When we fly out to Diomede we do mail and stuff,
Yeah! 212PA is a former Japanese Coast Guard Bird, which we own two of them!

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I think its very cool that you get to fly in such a scenic area. New Jersey isn’t very fun to fly around.

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Random question (might be a bit dumb) how do you taxi a helicopter?

No that’s fine!
Air Taxi! Basically you fly at about 40ft at 40 knots to your intended place to set down and shut down

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Wow! These stories are awesome! I wish more people would do it. Hint hint:Airline pilots

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I see you share some of your stories, so let’s try make something happen!

It’s all about learning and sharing stories in aviation

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Mark this is amazing! I remeber being in contact with you during late December and just you talking to us about your trips. I always love to see these!

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I know! You just went missing on me, ugh!
Lol glad you enjoy these Connor!

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