Monday, December 30, 2013

Nine Lives?

     About ten of the blogs I follow include cats to some degree. Some post about half the time on their cats and some the cats are only mentioned from time to time. I must say that there are some very well looked after cats out there.

    So thinking about cats reminded me of the "cats have nine lives thing." I got thinking that people probably have a number of lives. I'm sure I've used up a number of my nine lives.

    One of the nine lives I remember using up has to do with an airplane incident. I like flying and have flown for many hours in bush planes. 

    One September afternoon a pilot stopped at Wakeham Bay and was going on to Sugluk to drop off some freight and then back to Wakeham Bay to over night. The flight was about 3 hours return. September days there have shortened. The weather has gotten pretty chilly.

    The flight up was pleasant and we only stayed a few minutes to unload freight and started back. We expected to land just after sunset before it got dark.

   About half way through the flight we noticed the wings icing up. We were flying a few miles from Hudson strait so the humidity was high. As soon as the moisture hit the wings it froze. A few minutes later we had to pull the throttle back to have enough power to remain level. A few minutes later more power. What should we do? Land and bash off the ice. If we did this it would be too dark to take off and we would have to overnight on a lake. Losing altitude was not the only danger.  If the ice formed unevenly and one wing became heavier there would be another very nasty problem to control.

    The pilot opted to continue the flight. Because of the extra weight we flew slower and arrived at home just before it got dark. The pilot pulled the throttle back for a normal approach. The airplane dropped like a rock. He pulled the throttle back for full power and we just got things under control before we hit the water. Needless to say, it was a hard landing even on water.

   So there went one of my nine lives. It was an experience I'll never forget.