Getting off the ice turned out to be smoother than getting on the ice. There was some concern about whether we would leave on time. Normally C-17’s (LARGE military cargo aircraft) are used at the beginning and end of season to transport large quantities of people and supplies to and from the ice. During the middle of the season, the weather is typically too warm and the skiway too soft to support them.
Unfortunately, this year the skiway was still too warm in early February to support the C-17’s, so C-130’s were doing all the transport. This means flights were backed up since the C-130’s were also being used for other transportation around the continent. They were also more weight limited, to the point where passengers would sometimes get bumped from their flights at the last minute due to the aircraft otherwise being too heavy to take off. Luckily, our scheduled flight went off without a hitch.