Flying in Bush Alaska
One can access a little bit of Alaska by car, some by water, a lot on foot, and a whole lot by air. When it comes time to getting around in Alaska’s arctic–which has across its lateral spine the monstrous Brooks range–it is time for wings. Much of my remote photographic ventures in the arctic have began and ended with air transport, and the in-between travel has been by hiking and on the river system.
For the safe coming and going, I have pilot Dirk Nickisch to thank, with Coyote Air. Besides being a skilled pilot, Dirk is also an airplane mechanic and understands what kind of machinery it takes to run the complex business of air taxi in the Brooks Range. These images show the modified wheel system on Dirk’s beaver, which are formidable tires that enable landing in some pretty crazy locations.
If you have ever been dropped off in the remote wilderness of Alaska’s arctic, miles and miles away from human civilization, then you will certainly appreciate the buzzing sound of that little airplane when it returns to pick you up a week or two later. And, when you watch Dirk land the plane, you are also thankful for these beefy tires!