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Photos: Bon voyage to last Grumman Goose servicing Alaskans

A Grumman Goose operated by Hal's Air Service on a Kodiak Beach.
Photo courtesy Guy Denton
These Gooses were brought from Juneau to Kodiak in the spring of 1979.
Photo courtesy Guy Denton
A Grumman Goose takes off from Lilly Lake in Kodiak, dressed in the colors of the now-defunct Kodiak Western Alaska Airlines.
Photo courtesy Guy Denton
A Grumman Goose operated by PenAir.
Wikimedia Commons photo
A Penair Grumman Goose flying over water.
Courtesy Penair
A Penair Grumman Goose on a lake.
Courtesy Penair
A Penair Grumman Goose, about to land in Anchorage. Dec 21, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A Penair Grumman Goose, far right, approaching the runway in Anchorage. Dec 21, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A Penair Grumman Goose, doing a flyby at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Dec 21, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A Penair Grumman Goose on the tarmac in Anchorage. Dec 21, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A Penair Grumman Goose on the tarmac in Anchorage. Dec 21, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Penair CEO Danny Seybert tours the "Spirit of Akutan II" 1946 Grumman Goose at the Anchorage airport. The airline is retiring the last of it's Gooses, the last in regular commercial service in the country. Dec 21, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Craig Medred

When an airplane ends service it's a big deal, especially in Alaska, where planes are a vital source of transportation for so many residents and regions.

So it was on a clear, bitterly cold Anchorage day that PenAir's Grumman Goose got its send off, complete with airport fire and rescue crew sirens. Had it been warmer, the plane would have gone through the complete service, which includes being sprayed with water.

Not that the amphibious plane needed another submerging. The Goose, a World War II era relic, is famous for its buoyant hull, which allows it to land on both land and water.

Instead, it was just a gentle landing for the Goose -- nicknamed the Spirit of Akutan II -- and a gentle taxi before stopping in front on the PenAir terminal, ending the last commercial “flying boat” service in Alaska.

It was an emotional day for all involved, especially PenAir owner Danny Seybert. Now 51, Seybert took his first Goose flight with his father when he was 5 years old.

“It's the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one,” Seybert said.

More: Alaska retires its last Grumman Goose in service