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17 July 2009

© Franklin J. Viola and The Nature Conservancy 2009  All Rights Reserved.

Cooper Island Airstrip / Palmyra Atoll

Wednesday is flight day here on Palmyra Atoll,
but ONLY when flights are scheduled ... next is 30 July.

The Nature Conservancy charters a Gulf Stream 1 turbo-prop from Honolulu
as it is the only airplane suitable to fly and land here
due to distance, fuel and the resident bird population.

Originally constructed of crushed coral by the US Navy during WWII,
Cooper Island Airstrip is one mile long
and must be diligently maintained by TNC/Palmyra staff.

Once past the 'No Return' to Hawaii point of her flight,
N8E (call sign 'November Eight Echo')
has only one emergency landing site ...
Christmas Island 350 miles away.

The only other plane to 'successfully' land on Cooper Island is a C-130.
Just behind N8E in the encroaching jungle, you can see the
remnants of an ill-fated Lockheed Lodestar



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