Beachhoppin' Bushwheel Birthday Bash | Alaska Flying

What better way to celebrate a birthday than to go flying with a friend, go beach hopping on some remote Alaska beaches, and commit some aviation together? You’re right, there isn’t a better way.

Rob and I do just that, flying in his Piper Pacer out of Homer, Alaska as we visit some beaches on the Pacific side of our nearby mountains. Rob is an aircraft mechanic that works in the arctic circle in the summer, and lives in my town in the winter.

He dubs himself “Bush Pilot in Training” which is a perfect name. Before he even got his private pilot license (PPL) he bought and 1954 Piper Pacer, which can be turned into a nice performing airplane for STOL (short takeoff landing).

At first we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to reach our destination because of some clouds that were in the way. We found a way to get down through the overcast layer.

Immediately we started to see the coastline, and even wild black bears that were everywhere. In all, we counted somewhere near a couple dozen. Flying low and weaving in and out of little canyons, we could see many of them eating coastal grass in the marshes and meadows.

We landed the airplane on a couple tidal areas. You have to be careful, because if the tide comes in then you can get stuck, and under water.

Eventually we’d end up at a beach where you can find Japanese garbage, and other treasures that have been floating in the ocean. We did find a couple of things, including the miles of driftwood on shore.

Flying with a friend in a situation like this is just so cool. To be able to share in the joy of aviation and go somewhere really unique in Alaska. There’s just nothing like it.

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