Flying in and out of Unalaska causes much angst. Mountains. Bering Sea. Birthplace of the winds. 3905 foot runway. Grown men crying. Grown men who fish out in the dangerous Bering Sea crying. You get the picture. Everyone has a story…or 20 stories to tell of incredible flights in or out of “Dutch”. The sad issue is that it is just as angst-ridden for those on the ground waiting for loved ones to depart or land. You either have to be really hard up for money (60%) or love it like you’ve never loved a place before (25%), or be totally indifferent to your environment (15%) to live here and suffer the angst.
Case in point. SP’s Mom flew out yesterday. At our little airport there were 5 Saabs on the ground, a KingAir, and 2 Dash8s. That’s a lot of propellers. Jockeying for position on icy ramps. All completely safe…except in the eyes of an 11 year old boy seeing his mother off. There was a stiff little breeze, probably 15-20 knots out of the northwest. Visibility was great when we got there. Then, the airline, for whatever reason, decided that the passenger plane, which was set to depart at 10:00 am, was not as important as all of the freighters. So we waited. And waited. By the time SP’s mom got on the plane ( which was about as far away from the terminal as was possible without being off the tarmac), this is what had happened to the weather.
As you can see, you can’t even see the end of the runway. So, even though SP and I had to get home to finish making macaroni salad for a potluck we were to attend at noon, we waited. He just didn’t want to leave his mom in the hands of the ‘idiots’, I believe was his phrase. (Angst causes you to think badly of people and to blame them for things that are not in their control, lol.)
Then when the weather started to lighten and brighten up, they decided to de-ice the plane, even though not a single one of the other 5 planes that had just taken off within the past 1/2 hour had been de-iced. And they couldn’t get the de-icing machine to start. At 11:22, having been at the airport for 2 hours, SP and I decided we could wait no longer. We had to get that salad made. We reluctantly departed the airport without having witnessed the plane taking off safely. This is just not something we EVER do. Thank goodness the crazy, hilarious, mad-cap antics of getting the salad finished took away our angst.
7 thoughts on “The angst of flying.”
Thanks for a great description of flying in bush Alaska.
Thanks for reading. And that’s not the half of it. I didn’t mention the part about every time you get on a plane to leave or come, you question your sanity, haha.
Thanks for the posts. Its nice to see you back on the Blog. The description and pictures of the recent weather reminds me not to travel up your way in Winter. How short are your daylight hours now?
The weather in Brownsville, Texas, is not at all like yours. We have had several cold fronts move down since Christmas, but our lows rarely get into the 30s. Even when the temperatures get into the 50s the locals pull their Winter coats out of the closet to be fashionable. Today, we have passing thunderstorms, but the temperatures are slowly climbing back up to our “normal.” Hopefully, we can get some 75-80 degree weather by weekend.
It is so nice to hear about the eagles, but I am sure you get tired of them. The post with the eagles perched on the school roof reminded me of the Hitchcock movie “The Birds.” Glad you didn’t get hurt. I would be paranoid to go outside with the garbage again knowing they might attack. You might need a biker’s helmet. LOL!
I know….I have been such a terrible blogger. But I have renewed my decision to keep the blog. And darn it, I am serious about it. Feel free to comment if you see me lapsing by more than a week!! We are fortunate in Unalaska regarding daylight. Because we are so far south, at the worst (December 20) it gets light at around 10:30ish and gets dark at around 7:15ish. But, hey!! We are gaining light as we speak! Yay! My melting temperature hovers around 73 degrees, lol. Nice to hear from you.
Oh, Sharon, I am already nervous about my next flight out and it’s not till late Feb. 🙂
We do have some of the most severely CLEAR days in February than any other time of the year. Mom and Dad used to spend more time out in the boat in February than you would think possible. Let’s hope the pattern holds.