by: Greta Mart, KCAW – Sitka
A 48-second YouTube video catching the swift reactions of a Sitka floatplane pilot went viral this past week. KCAW’s Greta Mart tracked down the pilot and the man who took the video to bring us the full story of how a routine flight in Southeast Alaska made waves on news programs and websites around the world.
“…And a close call for the pilot of a pontoon plane in Alaska who just narrowly missed landing right on a humpback whale near Angoon…take a look here you’ll see just before the plane hits the water, the pilot then pulls up and then lands safely a few feet later…”
“My name is Rob Murray. I’m chief pilot at Harris Air in Sitka.”
On the morning of July tenth, Murray was flying four passengers into the small Southeast community of Angoon, coming down for a landing in Mitchell Bay.
“I didn’t see the whale…I was definitely looking right at the spot where the whale turned out to be…the first thing that I saw was just before touchdown was the spray, so thank god the whale decided to exhale because that is what I saw.” (more…)