Comin' in Hot ...
Unalakleet Travel Blog› entry 29 of 38 › view all entries
All engine instruments read normal and no red or yellow warning lights illuminated on the caution panel but Matt did notice a lower than normal power requirement to control our descent. Then the guy on the ground taking pictures of our approach, the several others pointing at us, and the shadow of trailing smoke hinted that our routine fuel stop was about to become an emergency landing.
As soon as we touched down, Matt ignored the usual two-minute cool-down, pulled the emergency fuel shut-off, and handed me the fire extinguisher. I jumped out, expecting to see flames engulfing the engine compartment. The light weight of a Hughes 500 is partially attributed to the large content of magnesium used in its construction and once ignited, burns with amazing speed.
The Allison (now Rolls Royce) 250 C20B engine comprises three modules which can be changed individually: the compressor, the gearbox, and the turbine. The culprit seal is located inside the turbine and after a call to our company in Wasilla, a replacement module was arranged to be shipped out to us. It would arrive around mid-day tomorrow.
Matt and I checked into the Sleep Inn Hotel. The place was more like a guesthouse or youth hostel than a hotel. Guests shared a common kitchen and living/dining room. Any food items marked with an 'X' were free to anyone. With a lack of restaurants in town, the kitchen offered all appliances and utensils for cooking. For dinner, we bought a package of Johnsonville Brats, a loaf of bread, and a few vegetables.