On May 12th, an accident involving a roped team of 4 climbers occurred near the summit on Denali. The rescue and retrieval of the climbers became a somewhat complicated mix of Park Service, military as well as volunteer assistance and may go down in the mountaineering history books. Sue Deyoe spoke with the helicopter pilot and one of the rangers in charge of the operation…[audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/20110519HeliRescue.mp3|titles=20110519HeliRescue]
Aviation, whether people love it or not, has a large presence in the Upper Valley and Talkeetna in particular. Climbers swarm the village at this time of year. Soon tourists will wander the streets, and on the sunny days, they clamor for a chance to see Denali up close. Last year, an event started to honor resident Cliff Hudson. Sue Deyoe spoke with one of the organizers of the event that honors the famous bush pilot:[audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/20110509FlyInPreview.mp3|titles=20110509FlyInPreview]
About a month ago, Talkeetna residents received a Talkeetna Airport Improvement project flyer in their mail box. It outlines the entire improvement project in stages. It answers general questions and gives a hazy timeline. But the controversial project continues to have lack of funding.[audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/20110504AirportImpNOT.mp3|titles=20110504AirportImpNOT]
correction: Christine Nelson’s title is Director of Planning and Land Use
The Build a Plane project has grown wings since last summer when it was introduced as an idea for students to learn more about the aviation industry in Talkeetna. The project may be the biggest volunteer effort Talkeetna has seen in years. Sue Deyoe was at their recent project evening and has more on the project.[audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/20110428BAPTrailer.mp3|titles=20110428BAPTrailer]
Kahiltna Basecamp Put In – B company’s 52nd Aviation Regiment’s “Sugar Bears” assist with Denali’s operations each spring.
The sights and sounds of spring in Talkeetna not only include birds returning to their summer home, dripping water and children playing, but Army Chinooks and Blackhawks. The military aircraft from Fairbanks, along with 15 or more troops, show up in Talkeetna each spring for training. The annual event is one of the most unusual peace-time missions in Army helicopter airlift operations history. However, this year is different.[audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/20110420ChinooksGone.mp3|titles=20110420ChinooksGone]
The FAA and the National Safety Transportation Board are investigating an aviation accident that occurred on the Talkeetna Village airstrip last Saturday afternoon. FAA officials say a wheeled piper PA-22 flipped over when trying to land on the snow-covered airstrip. There were 2 people on board, but no one was injured.
NSTB investigators say the plane sustained some structural damage.
The FAA is looking into the regulatory issues involved in the crash – if the pilot had all the current licensing and medical requirements and if the aircraft was current. The NSTB is investigating the cause of the accident.
The Talkeetna Community Council is busy writing letters this week. The Council board of directors, after hearing from meeting attendees Monday evening, voted to send a letter to legislators and the governor concerning the Susitna Dam and the bills currently under consideration in Juneau. (more…)
The Alaska DOT is working in conjunction with the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson to recover the F-22 military jet that crashed near the Denali Highway earlier this winter. (more…)
I CAN SEE FOR MILES – The FAA has installed its 150th webcam in Alaska at the Talkeetna state airport.
On Friday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration unveiled their 150th webcam installed in Alaska which just happens to be at the Talkeetna Airport. Pilots around Alaska are cheering the technology which is helping reduce accidents across the state.