November Newsletter

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On Nov 10 Brian and I flew several pastors to the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska (ECCAK) to the annual pastors retreat in Nome. Flying from Soldotna to Anchorage the ride was very rough. In fact a warning came out after we took off that, had it been put out before we take-off, would have prevented us from flying. I was strapped in tightly but Brian bounced his head off the roof because of the turbulence. Interestingly once we got within about 4 miles of the airport the ride became smooth – because of the wind patterns around Anchorage. We loaded our five passengers mentioning that the ride might be rough.

Click on picture for more photos ...................................................................ECCAK to Nome

On climb out it was smooth but then we ran into icing. We tried to climb out of it but it only got worse so we went back down and, as forecasted, we came out of the clouds on the other side of the Alaska Range. After refueling in Bethel we flew to Marshall then on to Mountain Village. The weather at the villages was fine but there were snow showers between them that we had to deal with. We arrived in Nome about 2 PM just before it started to snow. The retreat centered around a 5 day workshop to train the pastors how to deal with sexual abuse and suicides in their villages given by Claire and Clara Schnupps, from Dryden, Canada. I was only able to attend some of the sessions. The basic message was that abuse during childhood results in beliefs in lies and making vows that lead to certain types of defensive behaviors throughout the rest of their lives. Most people try to change the defensive behaviors which often fail. This course gave the pastors the tools to address the abuse, dispel the lies and vows which then removes the need for defensive behaviors. All of this in bible based and gave me several things to think about in my own life – not abuse but the ways I react to different situations. I think I will be a better person because of the little bit I heard.

The weather on the way home was not the greatest but around 1 PM we took off from Nome bound for Mountain Village that had good weather. About half an hour out our primary navigation/communication system (the one that tells us where we are and where we are going and that drives the autopilot and which also is one of our radios) display went blank. It was still operating, so the auto-pilot still worked but we could not see any changes we made. Since we knew what radio frequencies we were on when the display failed we were able to change frequencies by counting the clicks on the control knobs. When it came to flying the approach we had to fly manually off the second Nav/Com system using the back-up instruments. We picked up the airport about 10 miles so no problems. On landing the nose wheel touched down just as we hit a large dip in the runway that resulted in complete bottoming of the nose strut with a solid metal against metal THUMP. Taxiing in I noticed a bit of a stuck brake that I had noticed in Nome. After Carl disembarked we taxied out and took off for Bethel again having some minor difficulty taxiing. Approaching Bethel the weather was pretty low so we concentrated on getting the approach selected in the second Nav/Com system and flew manually on the backup navigation instrument. We also lost track of what frequency the No 1 radio was one so had to use the No 2 radio only. It was a bit tense until we saw the runway, at about 4 miles (reported visibility was ¾ mile). Halfway through the after landing roll the aircraft started to vibrate significantly. As I pulled off the runway the aircraft would pull left, then right, then left again. Initially suspecting something wrong with the main gear we now suspected the nose wheel. Inspection showed the nose wheel flat. After searching Bethel for a replacement and finding none we had another look at the tire and noticed there was no apparent damage. Apparently the tire bead had been compromised during the landing in Mountain Village giving us a low tire there and finally going flat on our landing in Bethel. Brian borrow a jack, took the wheel off and took it to the Artic Transportation Service hanger where they put it in front of a heater to warm it up and let it regain it’s shape. They put a strap around it to seat the tire bead on the wheel and inflated it. No leaks after half an hour so we re-installed it and were off for Anchorage after only a three hour delay. Thank you Goodyear for 12 play tires. The flight home from there was uneventful but we were ready for boring.

Around home our rabbit family seems to be prospering although the moose have been scarce this fall & winter. Finally on 23 Nov we got about 4” of snow so it now looks like winter. So far we have been blessed with good weather with temperatures between 0-25 deg F – not really cold but not melting either.

Some Thoughts to Share
By Cat

Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star
Tell us Cat just how you are.
I have got a nerve on fire,
From hip to toe just like a wire.
It’s difficult to understand
I should not sit or bow or stand.
Lying down I cannot read,
Do cross stitch or knit indeed.
I was feeling very sad,
But then it snowed
And I was glad.
Glad to have God’s beauty shown
Glad for friends, my Don, my phone.
Blessed in my doctor, God’s own man.
I know he’ll do what e’re he can.
On my Ipod I’ll hear The Word,
Learn some French, though memory’s blurred.
I think of you with love and prayer,
And hope you know how much I care!