That’s the take-home message for travelers as we make our way through Alaska this summer. So much of the state is best accessed by air. Never mind the g-r-e-a-t flightseeing opportunities. Oh–that’s me (above) on the Taku Glacier with my Era Flightseeing helicopter pilot. I took the photo last summer. We both have our vests on. And we got the FULL safety briefing before taking off. CLICK THROUGH for the VIDEO I took of that trip.
Whether you’re taking a flightseeing trip of Misty Fjords National Monument in Ketchikan (my video here) or traveling to a remote village in Western Alaska, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Medallion Foundation want YOU to be part of the “Circle of Safety”.
What can you do? Plenty. For starters:
1. Ask for the Safety Briefing before your flight. And here’s the kicker: PAY ATTENTION while the pilot reviews the safety features of the aircraft and the emergency procedures.
2. Accept cancellations or delays. C’mon folks: nobody likes bad weather or last-minute fix jobs on the airplane. But yield to the pilot. Just like you, the pilot wants to make it back safe and sound.
3. Wear appropriate clothing. This is huge. Baggy shorts, tank top and sandals is NOT the perfect ensemble for remote flying, fashion notwithstanding. Think “layers” and sturdy, comfy shoes.
4. Don’t ask the pilot to fly lower. I know this seems like “common sense”. But even if you see wildlife or an interesting landmark, let the pilot determine the best, safest altitude.
5. Don’t ask the pilot to exceed weight limits. I know–you packed for TWO WEEKS, with a pair of shoes for each day. FORGET IT! Small aircraft are not designed for big loads. There’s no overhead bin–and every pound matters. Your air carrier will offer guidance on how much you can bring along. Don’t push it.
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