Midnight Sun flights in Alaska, the NWT, & the Yukon

Getting into old newspapers has once again sent me on a long wandering path. This time it was a path in the midnight sun, one of the things I love the most about the North.

This little journey began when I stumbled across an ad for Alaskan Airways’ Midnight Sun flights in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner of June 27, 1930. The more impressive ad seen below was published the following year – to read more about those flights between 1930 and 1940, click on the image below.

Midnight Sun flights in Alaska, 1931
Once I finished writing about the early midnight sun flights at Fairbanks, my thoughts turned to my own flights in the midnight sun. The first was in 1985. This isn’t quite the midnight sun, but this view from my Cessna 172 crossing the incredible Mackenzie Delta to Inuvik at 10:30 pm on June 20, 1985, gives you an idea of how high the sun stays. We landed at Inuvik about 15 minutes later.

Flying across the Mackenzie Delta to Tuktoyaktuk at 10:30 pm on June 20, 1985
The next day, June 21, 1985, I shot the flags on the terminal at the Inuvik airport lit up by the sun right at midnight, shortly after landing following a flight to Tuktoyaktuk.

The Midnight Sun lights up the flags on the terminal at the Inuvik airport on June 21
I then enjoyed the midnight sun from the ground for many years, but on June 21, 2003, Cathy and I and some friends from out of town booked a midnight sun flight with Yukon Wings. Right at 10:30, we started our takeoff run across Schwatka Lake in their gorgeous 1950 de Havilland Beaver, CF-FHZ.

Taking off from Schwatka Lake, Yukon, in a Beaver floatplane at 10:30 pm

Taking off from Schwatka Lake, Yukon, in a Beaver floatplane at 10:30 pm
We flew up the Yukon River a few miles…

Flying in a Beaver floatplane near Whitehorse in the midnight sun
…then made a wide loop into the mountains to the east…

Flying in a Beaver floatplane near Whitehorse in the midnight sun

Flying in a Beaver floatplane near Whitehorse in the midnight sun
At 10:57, we skirted around a bit of rain and were treated to a rainbow.

Flying in a Beaver floatplane near Whitehorse in the midnight sun

Flying in a Beaver floatplane near Whitehorse in the midnight sun
This is the Yukon River as it nears Lake Laberge.

Aerial view of the Yukon River as it nears Lake Laberge
Coming in over Whitehorse from the north to land.

Aerial view of Whitehorse
At 11:18 pm, we were on final to land back at Schwatka Lake.

Landing at Schwatka Lake, Yukon, at 11:18 pm
Disembarking from the Beaver 35 minutes before midnight. What a superb way to experience the Midnight Sun!

Returning from a float plane trip in the Yukon at 11:25 pm


Comments

Midnight Sun flights in Alaska, the NWT, & the Yukon — 2 Comments

  1. Thourghly enjoyed following along with you on this flight Murray. Who was the pilot? I’ve flown in FHZ, love that a/c.