Connections Magazine

Summer 2016

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Prented by: In 1958, Crowley was several years into sea cargo deliveries for the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, a Cold War-era alert and defense line being installed. Tom Crowley Sr. was in Barrow, overseeing cargo deliveries and later boarded an old Cessna 180 Tail-dragger for a flight to Fairbanks. It was destined for adversity. First high winds forced the plane to fly low to the ground. Then after an emergency stop in Umiat, Crowley and his pilot had to carry fuel in buckets, and used a chamois as a make-shift fuel filter to refuel the plane, because there was no fuel dispenser. Once airborne, the gyrocompass and generator failed as night fell. The plane headed toward Anaktuvuk Pass in north Alaska with no working lights or radio. Somehow, the pilot managed to land the plane at the Bettles airfield, which is located in a small town in the Yukon-Koyukuk area. "Alaska and a little adversity always bring out the best in people," Crowley said after he finally reached Fairbanks, a concept that remains true today. Fairbanks, Alka

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