Leg09 Ketchikan to Anchorage, Alaska (PAKT - PANC)
In arguably one of the fastest vehicles participating in this year’s MUDSPIKE, I continue to make my way - as if by tortoise back. Granted, the Lear is no SR-71. It is, however, at least 64 times quicker than CP’s sailboat. A sailboat whose tardiness could be measured by watch, and not by calendar.
It has been an entertaining, if not educational, journey to this point. Did you know that this region is replete with native Alaskan culture and that Ketchikan has the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles?
Concerned about the rate at which the GE CJ610-8A military surplus engines had been consuming kerosene, we decided to delve a bit more into Lear fuel management. Our studies revealed that if we could keep our enthusiasm curbed to around 421 KTAS at FL410, that we should be able to ring quite a few more miles out of our steed. Let’s hope so. I mean we’re launching with a bit more than 7,000 lbs of fuel!
At the line checks complete, we take our position on the launch pad.
We say goodbye to Southeast Alaska and turn north one more time.
For the first 45 minutes or so, we move in and out of cloud layers. Occasionally, the sun peaks through.
Eventually, we get on top and settle in for a lovely cruise up to Anchorage. At about the 1:40 mark, we pass over Sitka, which was the original capital of the Alaskan territories.
So, while we chased and sat on on 421 KTAS from time to time, let’s just say that at OAT of -30, you can plan for 200 KIAS, or better .7 mach. That was good for 412 kts ground speed and much better fuel range that the .82 we had been hitting previously.
The amazing vistas would continue along our route.
Eight thousand foot mountains until late in our descent out would keep us honest. Then the city of Anchorage comes into view.
I guess that I’ll be picking up the bar tab tonight for not cleaning up the aircraft.