Sheep and goats graze on the grounds of Chicago O’Hare to trim the grass. Two years ago an Alaska Airlines flight landed on a deer on the runway in Santa Rosa, California.
But yesterday’s story out of Barrow, Alaska was a new one on me: an Alaska Airlines flight delay due to a seal on the runway.
Here’s video of the seal, the zoom in on its face 9 seconds in is priceless.
According to an air traffic controller, “I gave Alaska their clearance and barrow radio said “Uhh I think they might need a hold for release, there is a seal on the runway” made my day.”
Here’s the first-person account of how the seal was cleared off the runway:
It didn’t wanna leave. Kept biting at the running board on the truck I was in. Trying to get it off runway so [Alaska Airlines] could leave.
I poked it a few times with a big wrench and it loved that.
Got it into the safety area and the local Polar Bear control guys came over with a snowmachine and sled and rodeo’d it away.
Problem solved. Back to blowing snow.
Though the flight isn’t identified, based on the timestamp of the Facebook post it would either have been Alaska Airlines 55 from Barrow to Fairbanks or Alaska 9621 from Barrow to Deadhorse.