The online retailers sure don’t sell it, and a smartphone could readily provide a gross approximation through a $1 flight simulator app teeming with Mongolian spyware, indicating that duplicating a harrowing reality is simply not possible through the relatively tame environments of commercial and digital channels.
Holiday travelers fleeing Beijing and hoping beat Santa in the race to the red ribbon strewn finish line under the discerning eye of the gleaming Space Needle, experienced a moonshine infused dosage of life violently intersecting with chaos, as apparent engine troubles in a Delta aircraft led to a frenzied an improbable emergency landing on a remote island bordering the southern reaches of the Bering Sea. Fortunately for Boeing, the mechanical issues are allegedly confined to the engines. Welcome to the unforgiving volatile marine environment made famous by the salty cast members of the Dangerous Catch, where harvesting pristine seafood is king, and the savage unpredictable temptress of the weather has literally hundreds of words describing “rain” in the native tongue.
The unplanned excursion to a US Air Force base on Shemya island quite possibly enhanced the lifetime bucket list of select passengers, reports the Seattle Times, while the resounding majority aboard the Boeing 767, were instantaneously transformed into temporary ideological holiday Scrooges of Pelosis and Soroses, as the travelers were forced to endure a 12-hour layover amid the lonely expanses of the Aleutian chain. The diminutive islet in the maritime wilderness can accommodate jumbo jets thanks to a nearly two mile long runway, and the presence of operational facilities that were once an official designated refueling stop for Northwest Airlines trans-Pacific flights.
“Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free.”
The underwhelming victory celebration by the travelers in arriving before the official start to Christmas, was completely overshadowed by the unforeseen circumstances of an inadvertent adventure.
It’s A Long Journey To Grandmother’s House
The Christmas Eve marathon of an experience illustrates the competency of a veteran flight crew successfully diverting the large aircraft to a challenging landing in even the most optimal conditions, the ruggedly dependable engineering of the 767 family, and the logic of plotting great circle jetliner routes marked by the wealth of contingencies in the event of a mechanical issues or worse. The incident also brings to life, an unsavory bi-product of the technological infused modern society.
Similar to the unjustified public perception surrounding first responders, where the efforts of the men and women are for the most part overlooked and recognized only in the face of danger, the ground crew and residents of Shemya, virtually unknown before the oops landing, performed admirably and will unfortunately encounter the familiar adversary of obscurity, once the 30-second news cycle trends to images of Lebron Jame’s poodle, “Bird”, donning the latest holiday canine onesie- See Operation Yellow Ribbon. In 48 hours, the incident will virtually be forgotten. This is more about the epidemic of vapid inanity afflicting society caused by the prevalence and reliance on the smartphone, rather than alert and competent rescue crews being purposefully slighted by overzealous and enabled digital jockeys in the form of social networking trolls. While the information age provides an overburdening wealth of information for the end user thanks to innovation, the act of processing and sorting through the ceaseless quantities of headlines and data by the individual becomes the challenge in achieving a reasonable and balanced perspective of the world. An earthquake here, an investigation there, a controversy hence, and a tragedy forth, the infeasible result is not fair, yet understandable. Crawling from the woodwork will be those, who try to assign the blame of the improbable Delta Flight on the current administration under the pretense of defense spending. “Well, if the base was not on the island, the plane would have not had to land.”
The most important storyline of the Christmas Eve trans-Pacific is that everyone survived (at least until the presents are opened), and the world was introduced to Shemya Island, and the frontier which played such a critical role during the World War II and the Cold War. The rare emergency landing and the specifics surrounding the incident will always be there for the generations to access and cross reference witnessing how the exploits of pre-mainstream computer mechanical engineering defeated both cutting-edge technology and Santa, in providing passengers and crew with an unforgettable prelude to Christmas- experiences that cannot be replaced within the shallow screen of a smartphone.
Read the Seattle Times story here.