My Beaver runs on Bio fuel – American and Alaska Airlines Complete World’s First Commercial Biofuel Flights

Can I hitch a ride on your Greasy beaver?

Could Beavers run on Bio-diesel, or better yet straight GREASE? No, or at least probably not yet. Given that legendary DeHavilland Beaver that we all know and love (or hate/fear) uses a gasoline powered internal combustion engine the asnwer to the headline is no, but I couldn’t resist writing it anyway. But with any luck, maybe, just maybe, in the future we could all be riding high in a greasy beaver… here’s how.

The reality is that bio-fuels can be blended with jet fuel because it so similar in properties to diesel. And yesterday the proof of concept flight took place, (info courtesy of our friends at inhabitat.com)

Yesterday, American Airlines completed the world’s first commercial biofuel flight, from Houston to Chicago, with 40% Solazyme algae biofuels and 60% traditional jet fuels. Tomorrow, Alaska Airlines will attempt a similar feat, flying 75 planes with a 20% cooking oil biofuel blend. Quite a achievement, but more surprisingly the sustainable flight attempts have become something of an industry scandal, with insiders claiming that American Airlines heard of Alaska’s plans and rushed to beat them in becoming the first airline to go green with biofuels. So what is the real impact of these flights?

Read more: American and Alaska Airlines Take World’s First Commercial Biofuel Flights This Week | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Th wikipedia jet fuel article says that perhaps biofuel combustion engines are not that far off, observe.

The air transport industry is responsible for 2 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emitted .[21]Boeing estimates that biofuels could reduce flight-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 to 80 percent. One possible solution which has received more media coverage than others would be blending synthetic fuel derived from algae with existing jet fuel:[22]

Green Flight International became the first airline to fly jet aircraft on 100% biofuel. The flight from Stead airport in Stead, Nevada was in an Aero L-29 Delfín piloted by Carol Sugars and Douglas Rodante.[23]

Oil prices increased about fivefold from 2003 to 2008, raising fears that world petroleum production is becoming unable to keep up with demand. The fact that there are few alternatives to petroleum for aviation fuel adds urgency to the search for alternatives. Twenty-five airlines were bankrupted or stopped operations in the first six months of 2008, largely due to fuel costs.

Who knows next time you lift off for that trip to the Alaskan bush, you could be riding in style courtesy of last night’s deep fried pickles. And leaving a smaller carbon footprint to boot. I love the smell of progress in the morning!

Sidearms and Fly Fishing and Catch #19

If this is you, CALL ME, I can help.

The latest issue of Catch Magazine is out. In it, there is a compelling image (shown above) presumably, of guides in Alaska carrying their trademark .44 caliber bear deterrents.

This is a perfect example of the folks who need the SmithFly Switch vest. With all the tactical type attachments and holster options available for the MOLLE system that the Switch Vest is based on, you would no longer need to jury-rig up such obviously awkward holster set-ups. Cameron from TMF and a number of other folks at IFTD mentioned that the Switch vest would be great for guides in Alaska who want to carry a 44.

Now having said that, Miles Nolte also told me that there is some debate among the guide world as to whether or not a side arm is the proper deterrent. I think I remember him saying that he preferred a shot gun with a big slug, and I buy that too. But hey to each his own right? If that’s you carrying the clumsy rig pictured above in the field, you need to go on over to SmithFly.net  and shoot (see what I did there?) me an email and I will hook you up. Now you can wear a fishing vest, waist pack or boat bag, designed specifically  for fishing, but PH balanced for a .44 caliber revolver.

Five Fish Fighting Tips

On rare occasion I actually enjoy getting emails from companies. Most corporate email newsletters are worthless pieces of marketing babble that get trashed instantly, even the companies that make some pretty cool gear that I dig. The same old pictures and quippy “call to action”messages. Yeah we know your product is revolutionary, let us figure it out for ourselves please.

THat being said, today I actually got an interesting one with some good tips for fighting big fish so I thought I would share it here. It came from the folks at Deneki outdoors, one of the email newsletters that I actually spend some time looking at. I cannot attest to their worthiness as guides, but I do like their emails and their motto of Fish Hard Rest Easy. Thats a good one.

Here are the fighting tips:

Top 5 Mistakes Made Fighting Big Fish

  1. Rod bent at the tip. The tip of your rod doesn’t have a lot of power.  If your rod angle is high (i.e. you’re acting like you’re in a bass boat), you’re bending the tip of your rod.  The power in your rod is in the butt section.  Keep your rod lower and pull back, not up, on the handle – that will bend the butt of your rod and apply much more pressure to the fish.
  2. Slow stroll downriver. Lots of times big fish get way below you on the river.  We get that.  But if you’re strolling downriver and casually reeling up slack as you go, you’re probably losing more ground than you’re gaining.  Some expert anglers like to ’stand their ground’ and literally not move, keeping maximum pressure on the fish.  Others want to pull more sideways on the fish so they move quickly downriver to get a better angle.  That’s fine, but if you’re going to make a move downriver, do it quickly and reel aggressively as you go – otherwise you’re guaranteed to lose ground.
  3. Pulling like a pansy. Big fish are strong.  If you’re not pulling hard, they’re resting, and you’re just increasing the length of the fight, allowing more time for something to go wrong.  You need to be working hard when you’re fighting a big fish – you should be breathing hard and your arms should get tired!  The gear we use for big fish is strong – you probably can’t break 15 pound Maxima with your bare hands – so pull hard and get it done.
  4. Sudden movements. Often during a fight with a big fish you need to change your rod angle to pull from the other side.  Do it smoothly!  Particularly with two-handed rods, this movement is really pulling the fly from side to side, and you don’t want slack or sudden jerks in the process.  That’s a recipe for working the fly loose.
  5. Rod tip too high. We like the ‘down and dirty’ method with big fish – in most situations right up to the end of the fight, your rod tip should be in the water.  Yes, sometimes you need to raise your rod to avoid an obstacle – that’s fine.  But otherwise, keep your rod low for maximum fish fishing mojo.

Leave a comment for them over here

They also had a cool little Angler’s Creed in there as well – words to live by!

The Dean River Angler's Creed

This stuff applies everywhere.

Here’s the Dean River Angler’s Creed, as posted at the airstrip near the mouth of the river.

This is a pretty good set of commitments to make on any river, wouldn’t you say?

Dean River Anglers’ Creed

I will:

  • respect the river, its fish and fellow anglers.
  • share the water and practice rotation angling.
  • park my vehicle out of sight and sound of other anglers.
  • keep my camp clean and bearproof.
  • leave only my footprints: my garbage goes out with me.
  • be careful with my campfire.
  • maintain a pit toilet and not foul the river.
  • give wading anglers a wide berth with my powerboat.
  • not discharge firearms unnecessarily.
  • respect and not harass wildlife.

Former Senator Dies in de Havilland DHC-3 Otter Crash

A De Havilland Otter, bigger than the more common Beaver.

Big Headline… Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, 86, has died in a plane crash in Alaska, according to his former chief of staff Mitch Rose.

Since there will be plenty of talk about the Senator and his life on other blogs and media outlets I won’t focus on that here.

I will say that I hope this won’t ignite some sort of bizarre fire storm about bush pilot safety, cause those guys are crazy. According to initial reports in this particular instance the pilot was flying under VFR (visual flight rules) and didn’t require a flight plan. I suppose, this is quite common under bush pilot standards but I still think I would prefer a pilot with instrument  experience, and certified to the IFR level.

From the BBC article…

Former Nasa chief Sean O’Keefe was also aboard the small plane but survived, according to unconfirmed media reports.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the downed plane was a DeHavilland DHC-3T and was registered to Anchorage-based General Communications Incorporated (GCI).

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said the plane had been headed to Agulowak Lodge on Lake Aleknagik from a site owned by GCI on Lake Nerka.