This happened one February, but weather woes and delays can hinder travel at any time of year. I’m sure I’ll post other (horror) stories sometime.
Keep safe, all!
Lambert Airfield, St Louis. February 27. On our way to Tulsa.
It’s snowing heavily, big fat flakes against the plane’s small windows. The snow swirls around, obscuring vision, but at times we see another plane slowly taxi-ing, or the de-icer trucks scurrying around. Snow piles up on our wings as we wait. Will we be able to leave, to take off? Not the best weather for flying.
A de-icer truck pulls up on our side, a second on the other side. The guy in the box on the end of the mechanical arm is raised high and we hear a loud splashing sound as he first sprays a liquid on the top of the plane—it’s bright orange, and sloshes down over the windows. Then orange spray on the wings. Next, we watch him angle his hose as he methodically paints the wings from the tip inwards with a gooey green liquid (Rod thinks maybe polyethylene glycol). Now we can taxi to the runway. On the way, we see a long line of planes waiting to be sprayed before entering the runway, each with a de-icer truck next to it. Many are so covered with snow that we can’t see the windows at all.
This must be a really expensive time for airports, with all this extra care and activity needed. The snow is falling thickly, but the runway seems okay, so we’re off. We fly up into the snow and the green liquid is blown off the wings. We fly above the snow, above the clouds, and miraculously, we fly into sunshine. It does seem like a miracle, and we are grateful.