I done a couple of fun flights in Microsoft Flight Simulator recently taking to the skies in Alaska checking out some new scenery and putting in some more time behind the controls of SWS’ excellent Kodiak 100. This is also yet another break from my cross country tour of the US which I hope to wrap up soon. Meanwhile… Alaska! Where there was sun, sky, clouds, and … snow? Let’s have a look!
The Kodiak 100 over Alaska
Months ago I did an airport review of PAWD Seward airport by Northern Sky Studio. I’ve been meaning to go and do some flights from this location and do a little exploration in Alaska. But I’ve been busy and hadn’t been able to do it… until now!
I also have been meaning to get in behind the controls of SWS’ Kodiak 100. I bought this aircraft months ago and have been loving every minute spent with it. But I also haven’t had an opportunity to really engage with it fully. It was long past time! Look for a review sometime soon!
I set up myself with a 55 minute flight flying VFR direct from Seward to Valdez (PAVD) – an airport that recently was added to MSFS via World Update X: USA.
Seward to Valdez
Seward is a very fun and scenic airport in my estimation. It’s surrounded by mountains on three sides and a scenic bay and port on the south side. Taking off to the south I could have opted to head out over the water and then go around the mountains. The Kodiak has power and performance and I wanted to see if climbing out would be a problem. Turns out, it was no problem at all and the Kodiak was able to comfortably climb up over the mountains. Next time I’ll take cargo!
By this point you’ll have noticed that there’s a lot of snow. No, Alaska isn’t having unseasonably cold weather (OAT was 16 degrees according to the aircraft) but for some reason, the live weather service has scattered snow in some sectors. I decided to go with it and just enjoy the scenery as is.
Climbing over the mountains and their glaciers was incredibly scenic with just a couple of closer calls where I needed to make sure I was goosing it to get over the ridges. SWS has imbued the Kodiak 100 with failure modeling so if you overdo the engine for too long it can break. Managing this carefully was key!
After that, it was a comfortable cruise over the mountains and over Prince William Sound.
Then I flew along the inlet, called Valdez Arm, and into the Port of Valdez.
ATC instructed me to fly left base for runway 24. After a slight correction to my course I was on track for one of my smoothest landings yet in the Kodiak. First flight done!
Then it was time to do it over again and return back to Seward.
This time I opted to use a weather preset which eliminated the snow and gave me some dramatic skies around my cruise altitude. What followed was a dramatic and jaw dropping flight back across the same terrain but with a whole different look to it.
A good portion of my flight saw me skimming just beneath the clouds, admiring the peaks, the shadows cast by the mountains and the glaciers with their positions revealed by the more summery weather conditions.
The port of Seward was shrouded in clouds darkening the sky and making for one impressive looking landing. What more can I say? This was an incredible flight.