Thursday, October 27, 2011


The safety briefing on a Piper PA 31-350 is not the same as that on a Boeing 737-800.

My ride to Tanana.
Instead of hearing, "use your seat cushion as a flotation device"  it's "If we have an emergency landing make sure the emergency beacon locator light above my left knee is flashing."

Translation: If the plane crashes, don't count on the pilot surviving.

And instead of "lights will illuminate the aisle" it's "there's a fire extinguisher under my seat."

Sometimes being able to see everything your pilot does isn't comforting. Like when he drinks his coffee and rifles through paperwork (and no one is manning the plane!) Or when a red light flashes on the dash (with accompanying alarm) and he casually flips a switch before resuming his comfort position of arm draped over the back of the seat beside him.

I played it cool and went to sleep. I refused to think about the fact that I was the sole passenger on the plane. Had the plane gone down, and the pilot not survived, it would have been all up to me. (Notice my optimism though in assuming that I would survive.)

PIlot doing who knows what on the flight back to Fairbanks.

Yes, these small flights are fun (I love take-offs) but there is something to be said for blissful ignorance in coach with your mini-vodka and sprite zero.