It's not too often you'll find a twinjet airliner from Northwest Airlines landing at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.
On Monday, there was not one, but two twinjet airliners at the Brainerd airport, along with 76 passengers who were on their way to Minneapolis from San Antonio.
Capt. Steve Peterka, piloting Northwest Airlines Flight 1919 on Monday, said his flight from San Antonio and another flight from Washington, D.C., were en route to Minneapolis when the flights were rerouted to Brainerd because of the fog. Peterka said 50 flights were rerouted to several airports around the Midwest, including Fargo, N.D., and Milwaukee.
Passengers Monday boarded a Northwest Airlines jet at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport after it was rerouted to Brainerd because of fog in the Twin Cities. The flight, which was originally scheduled to land at 10:02 a.m. in the Twin Cities, arrived there at 1:14 p.m. after about an hour layover in Brainerd. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"We were only about an eighth a mile away from the airport (in Minneapolis) and we could see all the houses ... We were so close," said Peterka. "But then we were grounded here because of the fog."
Peterka, who has a summer cabin in Crosslake and is from Fargo, N.D., said the jets landed in Brainerd at 9:45 a.m. and would be there for two hours. The jets were refueled and several passengers ate breakfast at the airport cafe.
"The passengers were really good about the detour," said Peterka.
One of the passengers, Carl Cheaney of San Antonio, said this was his first visit to Brainerd.
Passenger Carl Cheaney of San Antonio talked Monday at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport about his flight, which was rerouted to Brainerd because of fog in Minneapolis. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"The food was delicious and it's beautiful here," Cheaney said. "I'm from Texas so I understand the weather."
Mike Petersen of Airmotive Enterprises, based at the airport, said the two jetliners kept him busy Monday morning. Petersen said he filled each jet with 500 gallons of fuel. Petersen said the jetliner that originated in Washington, D.C., did not have any passengers on it.
"It's kind of neat to see (jetliners) here," said Petersen. "The passengers were good-natured, real friendly and one knew someone from Little Falls so they asked me how far it was from Brainerd."
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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