A letter by Brian Vuletich, of Johnstown, “Thankful airline erred on side of caution,” was selected by the editorial board as the best of those that appeared during the week of Feb. 2-8.

His letter was published Feb. 3.

Vuletich’s letter was in reference to the recent helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others.

“ ... it seems certain that foggy weather conditions played a major part in the horrific crash,” he wrote. “The constant barrage of television news showing the wreckage of fire and debris scattered over the hillside has become overwhelming for those of us who enjoy flying.”

Vuletich wrote that the accident brought back ‘what if’ thoughts to his experience trying to fly out of Johnstown to Pittsburgh and on to Chicago on Christmas morning.

“When I arrived at the Johnstown airport for my 6:30 a.m. flight, I was told that all flights were canceled because of fog,” he wrote. ‘Excuse me, it’s Christmas Day. I have family and friends waiting,’ I told the woman handling my Boutique Air reservation.

“ ‘I’m sorry, sir, but all flights are canceled,’ ” she said, “ ‘You may want to drive to Pittsburgh.’ ”

He added that he thought of the stories about flying out of the Johnstown airport – with its reputation for delayed and canceled flights. But he later discovered that all flights from Pittsburgh to Chicago were also canceled due to fog, and millions of airline passengers were also stranded up and down the East Coast.

“As it happened, flying Boutique Air to Pittsburgh the day after Christmas was great,” he wrote. “It serves as a reminder that flying safely is the only statistic that counts.

“Meetings and events can be rescheduled, but lives are precious. Thank you, Boutique Air – for not flying one foggy Christmas morning.”

Note: Selection of the letter of the week is based on writing competency and the ability of the writer to get his or her point across. It is not based on whether the editorial board agrees with the writer’s stance.

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