A Routine Day……Maybe?

A scorching grass fire threatens to overrun the lading strip.

These past few weeks, the skies have been blue, with almost unlimited visibility. The dry season has peaked, the land is brown and dusty. The wet season is still a ways off, but the signs are mounting. Soon the rains will be upon us, and green will be the color that floods our vision.

Rural poor still use wood fire to cook, and fields are being burned in preparation for planting. The smoke is a good indicator of wind direction for landing consideration. but, today……there is something else.

Its late afternoon and the winds tend to swirl off of the sun heated ground. As we began our descent from 10,500 ft., to home base in the city of Quetzaltenango, situated at an altitude of 8,000 Ft. Looks like my landing will be complicated by a combination of swirling afternoon winds, and a large plum of smoke that randomly changes direction with the wind.

Airstrip caretakers, thought it an easier thing to burn grass vice cut it. What started as a small controlled burn, quickly got out of control. The swirling afternoon winds pushing and stoking the fire in all directions. Once the fire was on the move, the caretakers decided to just hope for the best and let the fire run its course. All in a days work for a missionary pilot in Guatemala.

If you think you got the “chops”, see yourself as a missionary first, let’s talk.


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