Planes
of the
Alaska CAP


Click on picture to enlarge

Unlike many of the lower 48 Civil Air Patrol Squadrons, Alaska based operations rely heavily on ski planes. The Alaska Wing has a number of different aircraft that are outfitted with skis - but by far - the work horse is the deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver.

By utilizing hydraulic skis, our aircraft can land on either wheels or skis.  Hydraulic pressure is used to raise the skis to expose the wheels through an opening in the skis (for wheel landings) or to lower them so that the wheels are above the skis (for ski landings). 

This arrangement allows us to land on the snow-covered tundra and the many frozen lakes.  Since wheel-based on-airport landings are virtually impossible in many regions of Alaska during the winter, ski based aircraft allow us to safely fulfill our search and rescue mission.

But flying an aircraft equipped with skis requires special piloting skills and training.  The skis have a large effect on the weight and balance of the aircraft by moving the center of gravity (CG) forward.  The pilot must  properly compensate for this forward CG or the aircraft is unstable. 

Another hazard of ski flying is getting an aircraft stuck in snow or worst yet - over flow.  But with proper training, these dangers can be avoided.

Beaver, DHC 2 ready to remove the skis for the summer

New Cessna 172

Cessna 206

Cessna 206 on Floats

Cessna 185 on skis, ready to remove for the summer

Maintenance facility to maintain all aircraft in the Alaska Wing fleet


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