COPA members recently received an email describing a variety of exciting events for 2005, including the second annual COPA trip to Alaska.
Go to the Calendar of Events to express your interest or to register for the Alaska trip, and visit http://www.cirruspilots.org/public/alaskahttp://www.cirruspilots.org/public/alaska for detailed information on how to get there and back, as well as a comprehensive listing of places to see and activities to do while there. There is no limit on the number of participants (although more than one would be nice), nor is there a deadline (in fact, you can do this trip on your own at any time). But it will be helpful for the planning process to see indications from anyone who thinks they might go, as well as comments on a preferred departure date and the length of time people plan to spend in Alaska (6-9 days is probably ideal).
Like other COPA journeys, volunteers will lead the flights, provide pre-flight briefing and route guidance, provide itinerary advice on activities in Alaska, and organize group events. So far, some of the group events being planed are a flightseeing trip to Mt. McKinley either before or after a group lunch in Talkeetna; a flightseeing trip around the Kenai Peninnsula and Prince William Sound followed by dinner in Seward; and a flight over the Bering Straits to Russia as part of the Alaska Airmen’s Association’s annual trip in early August.
Like other COPA journeys, each pilot pays his/her expenses, although every effort will be made to obtain group discounts for lodging, rental cars, fuel, etc. We will also try to arrange for spare parts to be stored at an FBO in Alaska, in case anyone encounters trouble during the trip. If anyone is interested in assisting in the volunteer efforts, including being a flight leader of the group which departs from a different coast than the one I’ll be at, please let me know.
Unlike other COPA journeys, this one is quite distant and so flexibility is required on the route of flight. The weather during the summer favors VFR flight, and the highest MEA is 10,000 feet, so oxygen is not required (nonetheless, IFR skills and an O2 tank are certainly good to have). Again, the Alaska Flying Guide at http://www.cirruspilots.org/public/alaskahttp://www.cirruspilots.org/public/alaska provides a wealth of information: in fact, it was written to enable Cirrus pilots to make the journey on their own (preferably with a buddy airplane) if they wished, as well as to give guidance for the group trip in 2005.
As more people register for this event and we get closer to the June and July departure dates, I will email potential participants with further details. If you prefer to receive email through your regular email address rather than as a COPA message, please let me know.