We named our blog "Life in an Airport," but we haven't really told much about what life in an airport is like. For the most part it's pretty normal. We have an amazing (and large) apartment for a great price, airplanes sitting right next to cars in the parking lot, candy machines downstairs if I ever need a chocolate fix, people trying to walk into our apartment thinking it's the terminal (we always lock the door), and a flashing light on a tower to guide us home. You know... the usual. Those are the things we see on a daily basis living here, but occasionally we get an extra reminder that our apartment is in an airport terminal.
That reminder came last Thursday for us in two forms. It started out with me tending my niece and nephew Thursday afternoon to Friday. After feeding them a lunch of pb&j sandwiches, grapes, and yogurt pops we decided to venture outside to see the planes. The runway is on the opposite side of the building from where our apartment is and I've never just gone out and watched the action. I had no clue how busy this airport is! Jeffrey was loving it! It was the perfect activity for a 2 1/2 year old. There was plane after plane taking off, circling, landing and taking off again. And in-between any lulls in planes there were helicopters doing the same thing. Plus, a plane was being repaired right in front of us. It was really cool. I can't wait for Kaylee to get old enough to enjoy watching the planes. Her and Macee got restless after a bit, so we went in (I bribed Jeffrey with 2 mini marshmallows to get him to come inside).
That was the first reminder. Fun, but uneventful.
Here's the crazy reminder we got:
In case you can't tell from the picture, that plane is on it's belly. Yup, no wheels under it. The pilot had to land with the landing gear up! Scary! Seeing the plane sitting on its belly on the runway was really weird. That picture doesn't do it justice, but it's the only one I can find. Here's the part we played in this:
At about 10:30 pm, after finally getting the 2 youngest kids to sleep and while watching Monster's Inc. with Jeffrey hoping he'd get tired (no more sugar-packed mini marshmallows for that kid) we got a loud knock knock knock on our door. Joel and I were quite startled. We never get people coming to our door in the evening unannounced. Joel was practically asleep on the couch. He jumped up and opened the door. A man was standing there and said something along the lines of, "I landed the Cessna gear-up." He was speaking quite hurriedly, we were tired and thrown off-guard, and we were in protect-the-kids mode, so we weren't understanding what he was talking about. We explained that we actually don't have anything to do with the airport (besides living here) and we gave him the only number we had to anyone having anything to do with the airport (the guy we call if we have any problems with our apartment).
After the man left it hit us what had happened. Landing gear up is quite dangerous and had to have been extremely scary for that pilot! We felt so bad that we weren't more helpful, although there really wasn't anything more we could have done. He had already called 911 and we gave him the only number for airport personnel we had. We just feel bad we weren't more compassionate while he was at our door. We've learned our lesson and next time we'll do better (although, hopefully there won't be a next time).