See Alaska, Before You Fly

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When you're flying, it's always nice to see where you're going, especially if you're flying in Alaska. And now you can do it from the comfort of your computer room. The FAA has just completed the installation of 90 web cameras on key aviation routes throughout the state. When you log onto the site, you get a real-time image of the conditions and a clear weather comparison view. Joette Storm, the FAA's community relations manager in Alaska, said the first camera went active in July and now all 90 are in operation. "Pilots really like the service," she said. It was a logistical nightmare installing some of the remote location cameras. The one that surveys Lake Clarke Pass, an important route to western Alaska, has a combination of batteries, solar panels and a wind generator to power it. If you're not flying in Alaska, this service will also give you a cheap tour ... and maybe you'll find some nice wallpaper for your computer.