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Alaska Airlines’ Fascinating Route To Adak Via Cold Bay

As of May 16, 2020, Alaska Airlines will be launching a 2x weekly flight from Anchorage to Adak via Cold Bay. The flight will be operated by a 737 on Wednesdays and Saturdays. What makes this route so special? Well, just look at a map and I’m sure you’ll appreciate how cool this flight is. The journey covers a distance of about ~1,250 miles one-way, and Cold Bay is right near the halfway point. This isn’t the first time that Alaska has flown to Adak (which makes up part of the Aleutian Islands),… ( さらに...

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Lived on Adak 76-78. Worked part-time (full-time Navy meteorologist) as ground crew for Reeve Aleutian Airlines. While in Adak, I also had the opportunity to visit other islands as well, Attu, Shemya, Amchitka, Sitkin, and Atka. Even though it was restricted, we still had cast of characters that flew through Adak. Jaques Cousteau's son in their seaplane, an Australian ferrying a crop duster from N. Carolina to Australia, a gentleman flying around the world in a single-engine Mooney, corporate jets, seaplanes, and some folks that just got lost and desperate, etc. Beautiful place, but nasty weather, but wouldn't trade that experience for anything, a true Alaskan adventure.
btweston -4
If we want to listen to some jerkoff say the exact same thing you just said we’ll watch that show on the Discovery Channel. “Whoa, Alaska, weather, look at me. Whoop-Di-doo!”
Jim Custis 10
I started my aviation career in Cold Bay in 1958. Bob Reeve hired me to work for Reeve Aleutian Airlines. I spent the summer working on the ground there between High School and College before returning to Portland Oregon. I went on to fly Corporate aircraft, then United Airlines for 36 years starting in the DC-6 and then all the Boeing fleet. After UA went back to Corporate flying, which I'm still doing at 80. I have several of my own aircraft that I fly and maintain. It's been a good gig all started at CDB thanks to the "Glacier Pilot".
What year did you start at United? My father was a United DC-3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 pilot who retired in 1968.
I started in1966, retired in 2001. Looks like I got there just before your father retired. He would have been on the 8 while I was on the 6. I could have gone on the 727 or 8 but wanted to experience the 6 since I knew the rest of my career would be on jets. I was on the 6 for a year in SFO & SEA before moving to the 727. We actually did all our basic first officer training on the DC-7 which had been retired from line flying by then but used for training in DEN.
My dad retired in July 1968 and was mostly flying out of HNL at the time even though we lived in Seattle. We planned to spend a month in Hawaii that July, half before he retired and half after. Through coincidence my father ended up being the pilot of our flight to Hawaii too! He did fly once more in the cockpit in 1974 or '75 where our ORD-DCA flight was one seat short so he rode in the jump seat of the 727. His name was Hal Dahl by the way.

It's interesting that you flew the DC-7. My dad was a DC-7 pilot as well as I noted but was on it for not all that long, early 1954 until mid 1959 where he was pulled off to start DC-8 training.

Have you been through the United 727 at the Museum of Flight? It's like a time machine with its 1970s interior.
Outstanding. Before it’s too late, you must write a book abt your life experiences. May not be a best seller, but it would generate enough interest by a lot of people.

Alan Dahl 1
Agreed, it appears he has lead a pretty interesting life!
Visited Adak back in July 1959 when sailing on the troopship S.S. Fred C. Ainsworth (single screw, 14 knots) from Seattle to Yokohama; Adak was about half-way. We had military cargo to unload there. That poor island looks God-forsaken. No trees, the island looked like it had just emerged from the sea, and there was a low-lying fog showing only the bottom of the land parts, hovering about 20 feet above the water. I didn't see any dinosaurs that day. It was a Navy air station with necessary personnel. I went ashore for services at the Bering Chapel just to claim I had landed there. I still have the church calendar.
Had the opportunity to fly once on Reeve Aleutian in the early 1980's, on a YS-11 ANC to DUT. Multi-stops en-route. I was the only passenger as far as Cold Bay, and there was a new FA being trained - by Bob Reeve's daughter! Every FA announcement was personal - no "Ladies and ..."! When an engine failed en-route to Cold Bay the captain announced "We're going to have our mechanic check this engine at Cold Bay" - and Reeve's daughter leaned over and said "We don't have a mechanic at Cold Bay". 6-hour wait for a replacement YS - time to enjoy all the "excitement" of Cold Bay!
Flew Adak for Alaska when we had C-13o or l-382. Picked up Sea Otter's & transferred them to Sitka. This was in the early 70s. This was done to protect them from the Atom Bomb Blast.
I was stationed at Adak from ‘91-94, first flight to the island was on Reeves Aleutian Lockheed Electra. We took off from Anchorage and were in the clouds for entire flight until about two mins before landing at Adak. Every time the flight attendant made an announcement I had no idea if she said wa are ditching or a beverage service was starting, it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. In ‘93 Reeves started flying a 727 combo, which was sooo much more enjoyable.
airuphere 2
The Canadian flight mentioned is cool, it’s on a 737-200Adv with vert and lat only automation and gear and engine shields for gravel strip operations. Also is combi cargo up front, passengers in the back.. has a huge iron weight when flying passengers only. This route is heavily paid for by the gold mine up there.
WhiteKnight77 2
I bet that will get some awesome shots for the shutterbugs out there.
Attu & Kiska had to be miserable battles to fight during WW2 & the Aleutian chain had to be miserable duty for the duration, but I suppose it was better than Banzai charges & Kamikazes in the South & Central Pacific. Cold would kill you just as much as contact w/the enemy. Planes would take off for a mission only to disappear into the fog & snow squalls never to be heard from again. Then, cold weather survival gear & training was nothing compared to today.
Alaska Airlines used to fly to Russia back in the early '90s, to Magadan, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok and others but the collapsing Russian economy in the late '90s and likely political concerns, resulted in the flights being cancelled. Too bad as I would love to have a chance to travel there with my wife who was born in Russia but has never seen the east coast.


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