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ALASKAN AVIATION Have you ever looked real close at the maps of Alaska The next time you see a map look for the little airplane symbol in every little town and village in Alaska That symbol indicates an airstrip That symbol also means that that is were some unfortunate bush pilot crashed and said This looks like a good place for an airstrip In the early days of Alaskan aviation it was not possible to call ahead and determine if a community had a suitable landing strip The pilot simply flew to the village and looked for a open spot to land A controlled crash into deep snow usually resulted Once aviation became routine the landing strips were refined and smoothed but those first fliers had to land by the seat of their pants The tales of Alaska are real they are bold and they are tall However none is taller and truer then the tales of the Alaskan aviator Many people have come to Alaska seeking their fortunes in gold or furs or lumber or oil Many have come to seek the adventure of the great outdoors The aviator of Alaska came for none of the above They came because that is what he or she did A breed unto themselves their actions have painted a portrait of forward thinking men and women who stepped forward in time to see Alaskas future That future being one in the air Alaskan aviation has contributed significantly to the lives of Alaskans Many communities send and receive mail receive groceries provide emergency services and maintain contact with the outside world solely through the use of aircraft and the pilots who fly them Alaskans have a unique relationship with the aircraft Airplanes have enabled Alaskans to commute through their environment and conduct business in almost normal fashion Alaska has benefited greatly through the use of aircraft and Alaskan aviators have contributed significantly to the flying
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