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Airplane Noise is Music to My Ears
By Doug Barry


August 29, 2005

I haven't lived in Ketchikan in 30 years but the loud throttling up of a Cessna 185 or DeHavilland Beaver taking off from the Narrows still rings in my ears. Back then, the growl of floatplanes was something we all took in stride as part of the bustling waterfront that makes the First City interesting, not that it wasn't annoyingly incessant at times.

Nature's only revenge that I witnessed was when a Tamgass Cessna flipped head over heels immediately upon touch down. It was one of those amphibians with the little wheels in the floats. But on that particular summer day, the pilot forgot to pull the landing gear up after leaving Annette Island. It disappeared in the blink of an eye, but fortunately he and his passenger made it out in mere seconds and were sitting on the underside of the floats of the now submerged 185 by the time I pulled out the binoculars. The Coast Guard towed it safely to dockside. And except for the drenched, chagrined owner and his salt-soaked sole source of income, no one was physically hurt.

I now live above Lake Sammamish east of Seattle, and on the weekends I often hear the unmistakable sound of a Cessna taking off. For me, it's not noise; it's more like a favorite classic rock oldie.

Doug Barry
Sammamish, WA - USA




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