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             Thursday February 18, 2010 

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San Pedro Airport, 1985

San Pedro Airport, 1985

San Pedro Airport, 1985
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Top photo San Pedro Airstrip, 1985. Second photo is from 1976. To the right of the luggage in the second photo was where the broken DC3 was parked. Third photo by Tamara Sniffin in 1983.

Top photograph by Chantal Thuysbaert, second photo courtesy Kitty Angelica        
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Airstrip-Gym, 1985

by Jayson Forman

In the early years of the airstrip’s life, it wasn’t used strictly for landing aircrafts. It had become a popular multi-use venue.

Every evening before sundown, many young & older women would gather near the runway waiting for the last flight to land before walking the length of the strip as many times as possible before sunset.

It was considered as the safest way to get some exercise because of the wide angled view. It was so quiet that you could hear part of their conversations from quite a distance.

When we were going through the roller skates era, there weren’t many places suitable for practicing other than the basketball court at Central Park, which was often occupied, or the alleys inside Caribeña Coop which was risky because if you hadn’t learned how to use your brakes, you’d end up in the lagoon strapped to heavy skates on your feet which made swimming back to safety a bit stressful.

Skating on the airstrip was not as fun as in the park due to the constant vibration of the wheels on asphalt. However, it was a great place to practice spins but if you fell, you were guaranteed to end up with some souvenir road rash on your knees.

We were so excited to race down the runway one evening that we forgot to ask the offices if the last flight had landed. Half way to the end, we figured that if there were any planes landing late, we’d see it in the horizon since we were facing the landing route.

We reached the end and upon turning around to head back we realized how wrong we were.

The winds had changed that day so the planes were landing in the opposite direction….

…. and one of them had already landed and was quickly approaching us.

We both jumped off the runway path into the grass. We couldn’t jump too far because the skates held us down.

When we looked up, we saw the plane had already turned around and was headed to the hangar. It never reached us after all because it only needed half the runway to land.

After that event we decided it would be safer if we waited until after sundown. Well that was short lived the night that a huge British Puma (helicopter) seemed to have fallen out of the sky and landed a few yards in front of us.. scaring the crap out of us.

We ended up going to our backup plan which was skating at the Coop in the evenings after closing time.

San Pedro Airport, 1985

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