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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Midway Atoll: Cleared to Land if you're a bird.

Anyone ever land at Midway Atoll Airport? It's been a long time since I've been there. The Island is amazing. But there is a reason the birds birds don't often get a landing clearance.

Seriously, Midway has gone to the birds. Specifically Albatross.

"We don't usually land planes during the daylight hours when we have nesting albatross on the ground because of bird strike hazards. But we didn't have a choice in this case because they needed to land because of their cracked windshield,"

(Schulmeister, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge manager. Source )

And this is why you don't want to land with Nesting Albatross...

If you get away from the airport, you'll find beautiful (unused) beaches.

Unfortunately last March the tsunami took its toll on Midway. A five foot wave came ashore and wiped out thousands of hatchlings and eggs.

These trees were green before this saltwater intrusion.

Below is a fledgling who tried his first flight too close to the water. I'm told that he's shark bait now. I hope not!

Flying is an Adventure... even for the birds!

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. What a beautiful and sad island story. I hope those albies recover, and planes can (occasionally) land again when they're not nesting on the runway

    1. Linda, this is so beautiful. Maybe a writers retreat Island?

  2. Wow, those birds are huge! when you were there, was it also for a divert?

    1. One day I'll show you the other pictures of all they did to the plane. Don't eat one in your engine.

  3. This is amazing, and a bit sad. I had no idea landing there was such a hazard, to both planes and birds! Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures Karlene. That's a place I'd love to visit someday.

    1. Yes... a hazard. And like I told Linda... writers retreat in the making.


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