Sunday, September 6, 2020

It takes a village to land a plane

 As his plane circled overhead, the pilot searched the darkness of a remote Alaskan village for a runway light. But the runway lights at the airport in Igiugig, Alaska, had failed recently, hampering efforts to airlift a local girl to the nearest hospital 280 miles away in Anchorage. That's when the villagers in the tight-knit tribal community (population 70) sprang into action.

Ida Nelson, a tribal clerk and newsletter editor, said her neighbor made 32 phone calls to mobilize the villagers. Most responded. At least 20 vehicles, including Ida's Honda 4-by-4, lit the runway with their headlights, helping the pilot of the LifeMed Alaska flight to land safely.

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