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.