Frequently Asked Questions
Drake’s guide to Flightseeing
• Why should I fly with you?
I live here, I’m in the mountains hiking and skiing year round. I have more combined experience in the field and flying than any pilot around. For you this means a well rounded knowledge and love of the land.
• How many people can go?
Cessna 206 will haul 5 passengers; every seat gets a window and a headset!
• Will it be cold?
It may be cold outside, but it is WARM in the plane.
• What should I wear?
Sunglasses, ALWAYS bring sunglasses, even if it is cloudy in town! Jacket, as it may be cold at the ariport. If you plan on doing a glacier landing, boots are a good idea.
• Can I take pictures?
You betcha, shoot away. You will be shooting through a window, but pictures usually turn out great. I will caution those of you who plan on bringing a camera that has a 3 foot long lens on it, you will be sitting right next to the window… it doesn’t work that well. Please be careful with the windows, as they scratch easily.
• I am a professional photogragher, do you have special flights for me?
Yes, and we can open up the windows for photographers who want to book a custom flight.
• Should I show up early?
The airports here are pretty relaxed in comparison with the the rest of the United States. Showing up 5 minutes early is adequate. DO NOT BE LATE!
• What’s the deal with Bear Spray?
I will always ask if passengers have bear spray, if it were to go off in the cabin during flight it would devastating. For flightseeing please leave the bear spray behind.
• Will my seat have a good view?
I constantly position the aircraft so that everyone gets good views. Also, everyone has a headset, if you want to see something let me know.
• What if I am prone to motion sickness?
TELL ME before we get in the plane, I can help.
• How do I pay?
Cash or credit card.
• When I get to town, when should I call you?
Right away. I can advise you on the best and most comfortable flying opportunity during your time here; in Haines or Skagway. DO NOT attempt to predict the weather on your own! DO NOT listen to local radio forecasts. The weather can be very different from here to Glacier Bay, CALL ME.
• For those of you who are apprehensive about flying…
Commonly, within the first 20 minutes nervous folks are made comfortable, and they are awestruck by the surroundings. I am accustomed to this phenomenon. I fly my family in these aircraft… what more can I say?
Climbers and Skiers…
• Are you a guide?
NO. I am an avid skiier, and a good source of information. In the field I AM NOT A GUIDE, I am your source for air support.
• How much can you carry?
As an example; in highly favorable conditions, I have had gross weight (>1,000lbs) flights take off from the Fairweather plateau, which is over 10,000′. Inversly, I will only take 2 people and minimum gear when the conditions are tough. All of these mountain operations are predicated by wind, snow conditions, distance, visibility, temperature, elevation, etc… this is why there is no blanket payload gaurantee. Please Call Me, I want to give you a good value without compromising safety.
• It’s beautiful in town, why aren’t we flying!?
Probably becuase it’s blowing 50 knts up in the hills. I’m not pussy-footing around here, LISTEN TO YOUR PILOT, I have your best interest at heart. Conversely there are times when town looks dismal and I’m ready to go; just because it’s nasty in town the night before our departure, don’t go drinking yourself under the table in dispair, BE READY.
• What about sat-phones?
Sat-phones will save you money, and maybe your life. You can advise me to conditions for pick-ups, and call in emergencies. This day in age, it is irresponsable to be without a sat-phone. If you’re in the market; buy ‘Iridium’, the ‘Global Star’ service in this area is dubious at best.
• Am I a good enough skiier to be out there?
How bad do you want it; there are docile runs, and there are hair-ball allies. The thing that separates this from most U.S. skiing areas is that this is glaciated terrain. I encourage all of your party to be savy in crevasse rescue techniques and have the proper equipment for self-rescue. You need to be able to take care of yourselves. I don’t want to discourage those of you who want to learn these skills, there are great local guides around. Call me for recommendations.