05 July 2013

Air Taxi Stranded at 7,000 Feet

on the Ruth Glacier, on the flanks of Denali (which y'all probably call Mt. McKinley).
Seven people remain stranded on a glacier near Talkeetna, nearly 48 hours after their flightseeing plane landed Tuesday night due to poor weather and has been grounded ever since.

According to a statement from Denali National Park and Preserve spokesperson Maureen McLaughlin, Talkeetna Air Taxi owner John Roderick alerted park officials Wednesday morning that pilot John Nealon had been forced to set down his de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver with six passengers on board. Company officials told Channel 2 Wednesday that the flight had taken off from Talkeetna at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and landed after about 15 minutes of flight.

“Into the night, snowfall and cloud cover continued to build, so the seven of them slept in the (plane), which was supplied with basic emergency gear including sleeping bags, food, a stove, and a satellite phone,” McLaughlin wrote.

Continuing poor conditions, including clouds and intermittent snowfall, prevented both a Talkeetna Air Taxi plane and a Park Service helicopter from reaching the site Wednesday, causing the plane and its occupants to spend a second night on the glacier.

Complete story here.


Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

It's nice to have a pilot who considers safety a priority along with his/her customers, lands the plane in a safe place and waits for the weather to clear.

Rev. Paul said...

That's true, Sandy. The Ruth Glacier walkabout is a very popular Denali tour, and this has probably happened more than once.