THE LAST FRONTIER

TALES FROM THE LOGBOOK LOGBOOK.

The Centre of Aviation Photography (COAP) recently organised a trip that headed to the aviation wilds of Alaska. Rich Cooper, with assistance from Dietmar Schreiber, describes an unforgettable adventure.

They call it The Last Frontier. It’s a place where the wilds come to life. Where extreme weather, hunting and living off the land is not just a pastime but a necessity, and where some communities are so isolated there are no roads to lead them home. It’s where aviation is interwoven into the fabric of life in a way that, to my mind, must be unique.

Sure, there are remote communities that rely on air-delivered lifelines the world over, but there’s the sheer scale of the place; Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas. Throw into the mix the majesty of the scenery, how aviation plays an intrinsic role in daily life, and the dynamic of ice and snow bathed in beautiful light; it all combines to capture the imagination.

Of course, you then need to add the propliner factor in the mix. Douglas, Convair and Curtiss are the manufacturers whose aircraft predominate for getting large, heavy deliveries into small, unpaved strips – often at short notice and worked around the weath…

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