At every level, and in every corner, it seems that the world is a universally unhappy place, and has been for awhile. Citing political mandates, and mindless of immediate or future consequences, oligarchs are strenuously exercising their financial hegemony to achieve a parochial utopia.
A steady and unrelenting diet of such news can make the most stalwart optimist morbidly depressed. So where is a person to escape and find relief from the world’s darkness? Is there a place where people still work together with comity to achieve a shared goal?
Revealed by the Discovery Channel, every Friday night at 8 p.m. central time I find refuge in Unalakleet, Alaska, home base for Era Alaska, whose operation is portrayed in Flying Wild Alaska. It was the flying that drew me at first, because the stick-and-rudder challenges of bush flying constitutes “real flying” in my mind.
But I stayed for the people, good people all who stand up and do whatever’s needed regardless of their position and its possible pretentions. A family-run airline, the Twetos and their pilots genuinely seem to care about each other and the communities they serve.
Perhaps that is because resourcefulness is an appreciated virtue, and because they must depend on each other for survival. The inability to easily pass the buck of responsibility to others is certainly a contributing factor. Combined, these traits are a lesson we all should all inculcate.
The antithesis of accepted corporate culture, Era grows some of its pilots from the small communities. In the last episode, one of them upgraded from the Cessna 207 to the Caravan. Watching him deal with the anxiety of flying with the check airman, the crosswinds, and the ice, my pucker factor was at least a half dozen points higher than his.
This shared anxiety recalls first-hand situations where it was just me and the airplane and the challenge at hand. Few situations in life today put the outcome solely in our hands, impervious to all outside forces except Mother Nature herself. I find this restorative. To make the feeling last, I avoid the Friday night news. – Scott Spangler