A Farewell to the Grumman Goose

Monday, June 18 2012

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Burke Meese has been one of the Grumman Goose's pilots since 1996. (Alexandra Gutierrez/KUCB)

The Akutan Airport project has been described as a “runway to nowhere” by national media. The $64 million airstrip is being built on uninhabited Akun Island, and the hope is that by the end of summer, Akutan residents will be able to catch flights out there after taking a six-mile trip by either hovercraft or helicopter.

While people outside the Aleutians might be wondering how this is all going to come together, area residents are focused on what the project means for a local icon. The Grumman Goose has served the region for the better half of a century, and it’s the last World War II-era seaplane still in scheduled commercial use in Alaska. But once the new airport is complete, water landings in the Bering Sea will be a thing of the past.

KUCB’s Alexandra Gutierrez has this goodbye to the Goose.

Doug Burrows on Wednesday, June 20 2012:

Fondly of the Goose...large enough to carry the basketball team in SE Alaska..it stitched our communities together..along with the PBY, 175's and a variety of other fine machines....the group didnt pay its pilots enough...excellent guys....highly skilled...

Dennis Lund on Wednesday, June 20 2012:

Lots of rides when I was a kid in Petersburg, then my dream became a reality and got to fly them for 9 years for Alaska Coastal/Ellis and Alaska Airlines..My all time favorite airplane.. Awesome memories.

Diane Sandvik on Tuesday, June 19 2012:

I grew up in Petersburg and flew countless times on both the Grumman Geese and the PBY's. My most vivid memory, is taking off in Ketchikan, headed home. The water was very choppy and the goose kept bouncing on the waves. It took longer than usual to get airborne that day!

ROBERT FINLAY on Monday, June 18 2012:

Having worked in the Aleutians for 12 years now, many times at Akutan, it was always the best part of the trip from home in Colorado, to ride on/in the Goose. Many fond memories. Amazing machine. I'm sure the plane will still make flights to processing ships, geological expeditions, and scenic flights. A piece of history, and I recall one trip where it was just the pilot, myself, and a ton of mail, and he showed me the place on Akutan where the famous Zero crashed. Fun time.

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