Well, I served in the West Virginia Air National Guard in Martinsburg, WV from 1986-1993. I was a heavy equipment operator and got to play with all the big toys. Not only did we do things on base, we also did things for the local community such as build ballfields, etc.
Anyway.......I happened to be working some extra days because a major snowstorm was coming. Well, we got it alright. It was as bad as the one we had this year with over 30 inches of snow.
Now, all the snow equipment we had was parked in an empty hanger. These weren't your typical state highway snow trucks. These were big Oskosh snow trucks with power rollover blades, etc. They were BEASTS and a blast to drive.
You could really plow some snow with those babies!
We started plowing the runway around 4:30 am that morning and kept it up all day because we had some planes out. We only took short breaks to eat or use the head. Around 9 pm that night, a call came over the radio that there was a plane that needed to make an emergency landing due to icing. Our master sargeant, in the lead truck, told us to clear the runway.
Here's where it get interesting. There were several emergency pull off areas alongside the runway but they were covered in snow and it was damn near impossible to see them in the dark with all the snow. I was in about the middle of the runway when they told us to get clear and I could see the planes lights. I picked a spot which I thought was a pull off and headed for it.
Guess what? It wasn't! I didn't go more than about 15 yards and the truck IMMEDIATELY sank down to its axles and then some!! Talk about an Oh SH!T moment!
Anyway, the plane landed safely and the CO came out when he heard what happened. He was a good guy and asked me what the hell I was doing. I said, Sir, I was told to get off the runway and I did. We all had a good laugh and then brought one of the Oshkosh snowblowers out to pull me out.
From that day on, I was known as "shortcut"