Keeping the ten thousand foot runway at the Klamath Falls Airport clear of ice and snow has kept crews busy today.
Keeping roads clear is one of Sam Pagan's duties...
"Snow removal here at the airport is quite a procedure. We've had crews here tonight for going on twelve hours."
Airport Operations Manager Bill Hancock agrees...
"It kicked in probably at about 7 o'clock last night, and we started plowing snow around 11 o'clock"
And they've been plowing ever since. Master Sergeant Dave Armstrong notes that the snow kept the F-15's grounded this morning...
"Makes it so that we can't fly, because the jets have to have a certain number before they can fly."
Bill Hancock explains that number is from a machine called a 'Bowmonk'.
"That measures the braking coefficient on the runway."
So, is it safe to land on a runway following a snow storm?
"I guess it depends on the plane, and the pilot." Notes Sam Pagan.
It also depends on how well the plows are able to keep up with the snow.
The snow did result in a cancellation of one commercial flight out of Klamath Falls, and a minor delay for another. A 9:30 United flight was cleared for takeoff at around 10.
The plows at Kingsley Field begin work any time there's a half-inch or more of snow on the ground, and Sam Pagan keeps going until the snow is gone...
"Job's not over. I'll probably be here for 10, 12 hours today, just trying to get things caught up so that when the next one hits, we're at some point where we can start fresh."