Six passengers and their pilot are safely in Talkeetna today after three nights weathered in at the foot of Denali.
John Nealon was flying a DeHavilland Beaver belonging to Talkeetna Air Taxi on a flightseeing tour Tuesday afternoon, when the weather forced him to make an unscheduled landing on the Ruth Glacier.
The weather kept Nealon and his passengers there until this morning, when another pilot was able to find a brief weather window to reach Nealon’s landing site.
While on the glacier, the passengers were able to sleep inside the plane, which is equipped with sleeping bags, food, and other survival gear. Yesterday, the National Park Service sent four mountaineering rangers with additional supplies via helicopter. The rangers were dropped off further down the glacier and hiked in with the extra gear.
The passengers who were on board did not wish to be interviewed, but one stated that she is grateful for Nealon’s decision to land and for the professionalism of Talkeetna Air Taxi and the National Park Service.