Alaskan baby born on a plane receives a special name for a surprising birth

Sky was born on Aug. 5 on a plane between Glennallen and Anchorage.
Sky was born on Aug. 5 on a plane between Glennallen and Anchorage.(Chrystal Hicks)
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 8:32 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Chrystal Hicks of Glennallen was 35 weeks pregnant when she began experiencing painful contractions. This was her fourth pregnancy and she usually drove into Anchorage in advance to give birth, but this time was different.

Around 1 a.m. on Aug. 5, Hicks boarded a plane to be medevaced to a hospital in Anchorage.

“I was just having contractions and it wouldn’t stop, and it kept getting stronger and they thought we were going to make it,” Hicks said. “But we obviously didn’t make it very far.”

A few minutes into the flight, Hicks’ water broke. Only 20 minutes later and she gave birth to a baby boy.

“It was shocking, it was really weird at first, I didn’t know what to think,” Hicks said. “But everybody kept talking about the baby on the plane.”

With such a unique birth, Hicks decided to give the baby a name that reflected his first experience: Sky Airon Hicks.

Hicks said filling out the birth certificate information for Sky was difficult; what location do you put down when your baby is born in the sky? One option was the pilot of her flight had noted the longitude and latitude of where Sky was born.

“I just put Anchorage,” Hicks said. “I didn’t want to put on a plane or in the sky.”

Chrystal Hicks gave birth to Sky on a plane to Anchorage.
Chrystal Hicks gave birth to Sky on a plane to Anchorage.(Chrystal Hicks)

Sky and Hicks made it safely to the hospital but Sky was small at only 5 pounds, 10 ounces. Since he was born a month earlier than expected, he was put on a breathing machine. The family said he will hopefully be discharged from the hospital next week so they can return home.

Genevie Goodlataw, Hicks’ sister, said she got a call around 2 a.m. saying her nephew had been born on a plane. At the hospital, there was already gossip about the baby born in the sky.

“I’m just so proud to say I’ve got a nephew that’s already famous,” Goodlataw said.

As if being born 18,000 feet in the air wasn’t enough, the family said Sky was born with a surprising amount of hair, a deviation from Hicks’ first three children.

“He’s got a lot of hair and he’s just so gorgeous and precious,” Goodlataw said. “Me and his mom are just loving him up as much as we can and we can’t wait to bring him home.”

Hicks said Sky’s story is already well known outside of her family, and to some extent, she thinks he will always be known as the boy born in the sky.

“I think when he’s older, he might get embarrassed about it but I think it’s funny now,” Hicks said. “I think even when he graduates he’ll be known as baby born on a plane.”

It’s been less than a week since Sky was born and Hicks said it’s still surreal. She’s excited to introduce the baby to her 11-year-old, 9-year-old and 3-year-old back in Glennallen who have only met him through FaceTime.

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