Flights & Fancy: A Christmas Story
- By Christopher Hope
- Air & Space magazine, January 2009
(Page 2 of 3)
“I’ve looked everywhere.”
Landing without the paperwork could be a serious matter. We could be accused of smuggling—bringing in cargo with no proof of having passed it through Customs.
Finally, we figured that we must have left the paperwork somewhere at Elmendorf. We made a call, and sure enough, the papers were on a clipboard on a counter.
We compromised with the agencies involved. We could continue to San Bernardino, where we would be met by all concerned and allowed to leave because we had cleared Customs in Alaska. The aircraft would be impounded with cargo on board awaiting the paperwork, and Agriculture would make a new inspection. And we learned there was a flight north that would wait for us for an hour.
The mountains northeast of Los Angeles hove into view. The air was bumpy, as it often was coming across the foothills. And it was not unusual for one of the two passenger doors to get bumped out of its fully locked position. So when the “Door Open” light went on, we weren’t too surprised. “Load, Pilot. Can you check doors please?”
“I’m on it.” And after a minute: “How’s that?”
“Light’s off, thanks.”
Gear down, cleared to land, back on the ground.