Alton bay ice runway

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Matthew Rogers, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Anyone have an interest in flying up to the Alton Bay Ice Runway (B18) later on this winter? I have a 150f locates at KMGJ and would like to get some fun new flying done this year. The 150 is a great plane for the winter as I can finally load it up to gross weight and still have performance. Not the same in summer for sure.

    So let me know if you are planning on making the trip sometime, or are looking to join.
     
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  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like a fun thing to do but probably not this year for me.
     
  3. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    So how does that work? Landing on ice?
     
  4. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Sometimes it’s a little difficult...

     
  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Kritchlow is the only one capable of answering aviation-related questions but hopefully someone else will chime in with some sub-standard, mostly incorrect reply.

    Wait, I’ll start.....from videos I’ve seen it doesn’t look a whole lot different. Don’t take that to the bank, I’m sure it’s more involved than that but I’d def give it a try.
     
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  6. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    No different than landing on a hard snowpacked or icy runway. But based on the first landing by the Yankee in the video. Keeping it on centerline helps.
     
  7. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeeeehah!
     
  8. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    This one is on my bucket list... this year is a definite maybe. Then again, last year was too but I didn't make it. Depends on a lot of things, including whether I have time to fly at all during the window when it's open.
     
  9. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I watched Matt Guthmiller's video where he landed his Bonanza on that runway. Definitely winter wonderland kind of stuff.
     
  10. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    Its pretty easy. Stay off the brakes until you're slow and you'll be fine. I haven't tried the place in a crosswind, and probably won't. With the way this winter is going, might be a while before we have enough ice on the lake. They want at least a foot to get the plows out there. If you go, give the runway guys a tip. They volunteer and foot the bill for the truck's fuel bill.
     
  11. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    If you go, remember it is a short field landing, not a soft field landing. Minimum controllable airspeed on touchdown. The thick ice is strong, and you can land firmly. Did I say firmly? I hope none of you saw my landing at Alton Bay a few years ago.... And yes, stay off the brakes, Yoke back to your gut for max aerodynamic braking.
     
  12. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    I live 40 miles from Alton Bay, and will hopefully soon have an airplane I am "allowed" to land there. If not this winter, next for sure.
     
  13. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    It's funny, I have a house on the other side of that lake, about 25 miles away from that runway as the crow flies, and I really have no desire to land there. Been there a few times on a snowmobile, more of an adventure than flying there I think. But the lake hasn't frozen well enough for that or not enough snow over the last few years. Going to be relatively warm here until next week, I hope that polar vortex kicks in soon so the whole lake freezes.
     
  14. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Have been into Alton bay on several occasions,have to be careful if there is a strong crosswind. Watch out for the snow rows.
     
  15. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    I went last year. Plenty of ice, but only for a short period of time. Its fun to fly low over the lake, waggling the wings to the people out on the ice.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. romacpher

    romacpher Filing Flight Plan

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    I did it the year before last, in a 172, on the day the town held its winter carnival. Parking was at a premium - I got the last spot. Temperatures were in the high 30s to low 40s, making for some slush that caught a Vans (if I recall correctly) and flipped it over on takeoff (no one hurt). A pickup truck also went through the ice nearby. But as for the landing - actually a bit anticlimactic. Feet off the brakes, for sure, and pull that yoke/stick back for maximum aerodynamic braking. Surprisingly easy. Taxiing is actually trickier, not least because you would have been emboldened if not giddy after a good landing. Good food in town! Don't forget to claim your certificate and Alton Bay baseball cap at the jewelry shop. And ... pro tip: bring an extra pair of socks. You'll be happy you did if your put your foot down in a puddle of slush. I know I was. Enjoy!
     
  17. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Other way around?

    Soft field not a short field (where you use brakes)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  18. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Not for me! My soft field landings are generally at a higher airspeed than MCA. Short Field at MCA and max use of aerodynamic braking. OK, so my soft field landings suck... :yikes:

    -Skip
     
  19. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Your approach speed should be the same

    Soft field little to no brakes, effort on keeping (for a trike) weight off the nose wheel

    Short field, max brakes
     
  20. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  21. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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  22. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Looks like they are getting close.
     
  23. hawk25u

    hawk25u Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just got word that the ice is thick enough at Alton Bay, NH (B18) but will not open the runway until next week after the storm coming through on Sunday. A recorded message is on 603 875 3498 for runway conditions. This year in 2019 the Ice Festival will be the 16th & 17th of Feb.

    Shibley’s at the pier restaurant:Hrs. Friday 11 am -9 pm. Saturday 11am 9 pm Sunday 11am -9 pm closed Monday-Thursday. Say Hi to Dave and Amy.
    Facet Jewelers: Hrs. Wednesday 10-4pm Thursday 10-4pm Friday 10-4pm Saturday 10-4pm. Pick up your free certificate for landing on the ice Runway and sign our guest book . Say Hi to Donna Marie Tell her Paul sent you..
    Old Bay Diner: Hrs. Friday 7-1:30 pm Saturday 7-1:30 pm. Sunday 7-1 pm Monday 7-1:30 pm and Tuesday 7-1:30 pm closed Wednesday And Thursday. Say hi to Donna and Mike.
    Alton Bay Corner Store: open Daily 6am- 9pm
    JP China Restaurant: Hrs.Monday 11:30am -9 pm Tuesday 11:30am-9pm Wednesday 11:30am- 9pm Thursday 11:30 am-10 pm Friday 11:30- 12am. Saturday 11:30 am-12am and Sunday 12 pm - 9pm Say Hi to Mary
    All in walking Distance from the ice Runway.
     
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  24. Pugs

    Pugs Filing Flight Plan

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    Going to have to wait until we retire up there and then I'll be a regular!
     
  25. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    I’ve picked summer 2020, so hopefully I can make the Feb 2021 event.
     
  26. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And the airport is open as of today
     
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  27. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anyone heading up today? Might head up for lunch.

    hmmm maybe not. Looks closed.
     
  28. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Little water on top. That will freeze and make even smoother!! Perhaps next weekend. Weather wise. Today was the day though!!!
     
  29. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, got out for some low passes over the lake. Very temping to land on the ice in the middle of the lake. Looked very smooth, but lotsa big cracks, probably some pressure ridges, and I have no idea how thick the ice is in the middle.
     
  30. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    When I see pickup trucks on the ice then I will venture onto it, that's with a snow mobile. Winnipesaukee just declared "ice in" last week, so while places like Alton bay and Center Harbor may have lots of ice, it doesn't mean the middle or other areas of the ice are safe. Every year at least one person pays the ultimate price by not understanding that fact.

    It's also interesting that many places that rent airplanes prohibit landing on the ice. Be careful up there.
     
  31. Pugs

    Pugs Filing Flight Plan

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    Retire spring of 2023 for us so that winter.
     
  32. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    May have missed the window to head up there. Warm and raining this week. Next week doesn't look much colder.
     
  33. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Pre-takeoff checklist

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  34. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Drill and a calculator.

    97DB13B9-AD67-4E0B-8FFC-108D3D425072.jpeg
     
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  35. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I do that in December if I want to walk on the ice, I let others explore for bigger stuff. Winnipesaukee is a big lake and some areas never really freeze. The airport should be fine, but be careful around the docks and avoid areas where others haven't gone, there is usually a good reason.
     
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  36. eshazen

    eshazen Pre-Flight

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    I flew in there on the 17th. What a blast! Not too many photos since I was flying solo.
    Not recommended if there are winds above about 5 kts :)

    BTW they are quite conservative. They only open when they drill through the ice several places along the runway and see 12 inches. That's required for the snowplow... less would do for planes. They also plow a parallel taxiway and a parking area which can accommodate about 30 planes. If they get more than 10 kts crosswind they close, or if there are other issues (snow on the runway, wet spots, etc). It is a bit short (2200' or so) and braking action not so good, so be sure to nail your approach speed and get 'er down near the threshold. Going around is routine there.


    [​IMG]

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  37. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've wanted to do this since March 2017. I found out about it too late in the season to make it that year. I completely forgot about it in 2018 until again it was closed for the season and this year I was busy finishing up my commercial... Hopefully 2020. Looks like a blast.
     
  38. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Pre-takeoff checklist

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  39. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    Hoping to do this next year in the F33
     
  40. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Got really nice conditions late season this year - I think that it was a record year for days open. Always fun.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 1:45 PM