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Bush Pilot

Flying high over Southeast Alaska, Taku Glacier

  • Author:
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published November 26, 2012

Dutch Photographer Jeffrey Schäfer traveled to Alaska in the summer of 2011. Schäfer, who lives in Schiedam in the Netherlands, wrote on his Facebook page that he planned to "do a big trip" starting in Calgary and moving onto "Vancouver through the Rockies" before jumping the "'Volendam' (cruise ship) from The 'Holland America line' to Alaska."

Once in Alaska, Schäfer spent time flying around Southeast and taking scenic photos. Those photos (viewable here) feature some beautiful shots of Southeast Alaska, including the state's capital city and the Taku Glacier.

Fun fact about Juneau:

In 2011, the population in Southeast grew rapidly. Juneau alone added 1,000 residents to its population in 2011, nearly doubling the amount it had grown the entire previous decade (just 564 in 10 years). Read more here.

JAWS debut in Juneau:

The Juneau Airport is currently the only one in the U.S. with federally sanctioned turbulence-detection technology, known locally as the Juneau Airport Wind System, or JAWS.

And now, aviation officials in Alaska's capital are looking into another system that will further support aircraft, making ascents and descents smoother. The new system will alert pilots to pockets of turbulence and corridors of stable air. The hope is to insure safer touchdowns on the airport's tarmac. Read more here.

Taku Glacier ice nearly a mile thick:

Over the years Taku Glacier has had three official names; Taku, which is what the local Tlingit called the tidewater glacier, Schultze Glacier and Forest Glacier.

In 1883, the glacier was called the Schultze Glacier, but changed to the Forest Glacier in 1980. It's unclear when the glacier was reassigned to its native name, but Taku is now the official title.

The Taku Glacier is recognized worldwide as the deepest and thickest glacier on the planet. It's 4,845 feet (nearly a mile) thick and around 34 miles long.

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