The holidays and start of a New Year represent a very busy time – but before too much time passes, we’d be remiss not to celebrate our incredible staff at Eareckson Air Station who created nothing short of a Christmas Eve miracle for 194 passengers and the crew of a Delta flight heading to Seattle from Beijing. Chugach Federal Services President, Doug Taylor, shares the story.
On 24 December 2018 a wide-body Delta 767-300ER carrying 194 passengers on its way from Beijing to Seattle diverted to Shemya (Eareckson Air Station), a remote island 1,455 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska Public Media reported the plane had to land in Shemya due to potential engine issues. Passengers were delayed at Shemya for approximately 12 hours while Delta arranged for another aircraft to take them the rest of the way to Seattle.
Chugach Federal Solutions, Inc. provides facility operations at Shemya as part of the Installation Support Services for Geographically Separated Locations (ISS GSL) contract. Chugach’s tower personnel, crash-fire-rescue team, marshalling crew, ground support personnel, MWR and food service teams, and the medical support folks provided by our subcontractor RMI were instrumental in providing the passengers and crew a safe and welcome temporary home.
Michael Arnold, First Officer on the diverted Delta Air Lines flight, wrote: “The good folks at Eareckson Air Station were nothing but gracious hosts and a welcome sight for our ship in need. The personnel on duty that night were so very supportive and enthusiastic, there were so many willingly helpful people and acts of kindness. As a Delta Air Lines pilot and a 28-year career military officer, my feelings of pride to be an American while witnessing these good deeds are overwhelming. The land mass at Shemya may be small, but the many thanks and appreciation on behalf of myself, my crew and every single one of our passengers is huge. “
Chugach’s extraordinary response to this aircraft emergency is just another example of the strength and character our employees demonstrate every day. Our employees, inspired by our Core Behaviors, take care of each other, our customers and our communities.