February 1, 2013
By Kathy Dondzila
From the jagged, snowy peaks of the Chugach Mountains to the spectacular shoreline of Cook Inlet – from the gorgeous turquoise rivers of the Kenai Peninsula, teeming with fish, to the rugged Brooks Range Mountains in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska is breathtaking from the sky and on the ground. Flying is the perfect way to see the vast state. If you are thinking of making a summer trip north, now is a good time to start your planning.
If you take off close enough to Alaska to fly directly into the state with no landing in Canada, flight planning is very simple. You do have to file a flight plan and, if overflying Canada, write “Canada overflight” in the remarks section. If you’re crossing an ADIZ, 12-inch registration marks are required. An eAPIS manifest is not required. The Canadian government now charges U.S.-registered aircraft for ATC services based on the aircraft certified gross weight. The current fee is $17.00 CAN per quarter for aircraft under 2 metric tons (4,410 lb gross) and $56.75 for aircraft between 2 and 3 metric tons (up to 6,614 lb gross). See the NavCanada website for details for aircraft in higher weight classes.
For the rest of us in the Lower 48, who do have to stop for fuel in Canada, flight planning is a bit more involved. You will, of course, need a passport, pilot and medical certificates, and a restricted radiotelephone operators permit.
In addition, all U.S. registered aircraft must have:
Verify that you have insurance coverage for flight in Canada. Private aircraft must be covered with liability insurance. Proof of liability coverage needs to be carried onboard. Call AOPA Insurance Services, 800/622-AOPA (2672) or email email@example.com for more information.
As mentioned above, you will need to carry survival equipment as much of the land you will fly over is remote wilderness. Find out what equipment is required in Answers for Pilots: Canada! Survival in the Wilderness. For further information, visit AOPA’s web pages on flying in Alaskaâ”€it’s full of additional resources you’ll find helpful.
Although it’s not required equipment, remember to add a camera to your listâ”€one with a good zoom lens for close-up shots. If you are lucky, you might see moose drinking from a stream below, or sheep climbing the rocky mountain tops, or bear running from the sound of your approaching airplane. Have a wonderful time!
Technical Communications Manager, Kathy Dondzila, joined AOPA in 1990 and is an instrument-rated private pilot.
Safety and Education,
For decades, pilots have headed to Bay Bridge Airport in the Chesapeake Bay for scenic coastal flying and great seafood. Check it out after attending the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Daher-Socata announced that it had installed the first Garmin G600 and GTN 750 avionics in one of its 2004 TBM 700C2 airplanes.
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