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A Trip Around Seattle With Kenmore Air (pics!)

Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:47 am

Hey All,

So last Thursday, April 5th, I got the great opportunity to fly around Seattle in a Kenmore Air DHC-3 Otter from the right seat! It was a beautiful day in Seattle, reaching well over 70 degrees F. So I drove quickly down to the Lake Union Air Terminal with my David Clark H-10-20 Headset, a Nikon digital camera, and some bad ass 100% UV Ray Band Sunglasses in my dad's 1994 Mercedes Benz E320. I arrived at the air terminal, where I greeted the pilot (a friend of mine), and off we went to the dock!

April 5, 2007
Kenmore Air DHC-3 Otter (N87KA)
Depart: Lake Union to the North, at around 4:00pm
Seat: Right Seat!
Load Factor: 10/11 90.90%
Cruising Altitude: 1,500 feet (Flight Level 015)
Arrive: Lake Union to the South, at around 4:35pm
Routing: Departure to the north out of Lake Union, following the Ship Canal out to Shilshole Bay, a left turn towards downtown passing next to Qwest Field and Safeco Field, out towards Green Lake, then a 360 over North Seattle out over the University of Washington then following the canal in to Lake Union, flying over I-5 to land to the south on Lake Union.

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Photo © TZ Aviation

So we went right out to the plane, I climbed in first, and plugged in my headset and put on my seat belt. After giving a brief but thorough safety briefing, our PIC climbed into the right seat and immediately started up our Turboprop engine. I queued up the Lake Union frequency (also the multicom) 122.9, and we rocketed out of Lake Union to the North, climbing over the Aurora Bridge out towards the Puget Sound. This day was so beautiful, and we got some excellent photos of the city, Mt. Rainier, Boeing Field, the UW, and the rest of the area.

We turned towards Boeing Field, preparing to transition through Boeing's Class D airspace enroute to Lake Washington. Departures were to the north at Boeing, and it was quite busy. Planes were flying at us left and right, and after a 360 spin and about four different call ups, Boeing Tower finally cleared us to transition their airspace. I was able to help the PIC by spotting the aircraft out of Boeing.

After a transition over the Stadiums, we headed out towards Lake Washington and North Seattle. The PIC and I shared flying stories, and throttled back to cruise at around 85 knots for better views of the city and the surroundings. This Otter was close to 30 years old, restored beautifully by Kenmore Air, and upgraded to a turboprop from its original piston engine. Kenmore I have heard operates the largest fleet of float planes in the world, operating primarily the DHC-3 Turboprop Otter and the DHC-2 Beaver. Harrison Ford bought a Beaver after filming Six Days Seven Nights, and brought it to Kenmore to restore it. They did a beautiful job! I applied to be a ramper there. Great company, great planes, I highly recommend flying with them to anyone who comes to Seattle.

Anywho, we flew over Husky Stadium in Seattle, and flew right over I-5 into Lake Union. Wonderful smooth touchdown, and we taxied back to the dock. After a few more pictures, I went in and bought "Success on the Step." This is a book about the success of Kenmore Air with a forward by Harrison Ford. I once again highly recommend it! The PIC just turned around and flew back up to Victoria with a full load, and I headed back to my house with my pictures and filled with happiness.


View from our plane of the Otter in front of us, Heading up to the San Juan Islands.

Left side and right side of the cockpit. There is only one control column, but it can switch sides with the flick of a button.

Climbing out over Ballard in Seattle heading towards the Puget Sound.

Another cockpit shot in flight. These planes have the small Garmin 430 GPS system, and they are in the process of installing TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) into their cockpits.

Overview shot of Seattle, with BFI and Mt. Rainier in the background.

The Puget Sound.

Boeing Field area with Mt. Rainier.

Beautiful shots of Downtown Seattle. God I love my city.

Looking back at Lake Union, one of the homes of Kenmore Air.

The Ship Canal with Lake Washington off in the background.

Seattle looking north towards PAE and the San Juan Islands.

Qwest Field in front, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and Safeco Field in the back, home of the Seattle Mariners.

View of Seward Park to the left and Mercer Island in the center. Just south of Mercer Island in RNT.

View of Lake Union and downtown Seattle in the first picture, and I-5, the University of Washington, and Lake Washington in the second.

Another overview of the UW, with the Space Needle, Lake Union, and the rest of Downtown in the background.

Husky Stadium, home of the Washington Huskies football team.

Landing at Lake Union. Wonderful touchdown.

Overview of the Kenmore Air dock with two DHC-3 Otters. No beavers, real or DeHavilland's, in sight.

Thank you very much for reading. I loved this flight so much! Even though it was short, it was so beautiful and I loved every minute of it. I believe it really shows the beauty and love of aviation that all of us share. The camaraderie of pilots and how much we love what we do is quite apparent. Thank you very much for reading, and very happy flying to all of you!


Links to other trip reports... Trip To Norway: SEA-ORD-EWR-OSL With Tons Of Pics! (by Thepilot Sep 29 2006 in Trip Reports) Norway Pt. 2: BGO-TRD-BOO-OSL-HEL, Pictures (by Thepilot Oct 5 2006 in Trip Reports) Trip To Norway Pt. 3: HEL-OSL-EWR With Pictures! (by Thepilot Oct 11 2006 in Trip Reports) Trip To Norway Pt. 4: EWR-SEA, With A Few Pics (by Thepilot Oct 16 2006 in Trip Reports) Seattle To Ashland, Oregon Over The Summer (by Thepilot Jan 3 2007 in Trip Reports) BFI-PAE-TIW-SEA-BFI W/ Tons Of Pics! (by Thepilot Jan 28 2007 in Trip Reports) SEA-SMF-PHX-SEA On AS/HP With Tons Of Pictures! (by Thepilot Feb 21 2007 in Trip Reports) A Trip Around Seattle With Kenmore Air (pics!) (by Thepilot Apr 9 2007 in Trip Reports)

Links to other videos (not just aviation, but a Beowulf interpretation!)...

[Edited 2007-04-09 00:51:27]
From YVR
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:13 am

RE: A Trip Around Seattle With Kenmore Air (pics!)

Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:11 pm

Sounds like you had a blast!

Hope to fly with you one day!
Nikon D70s. Nikkor 18-70; Nikkor 70-300G; SB-600. KBFI, KSEA, KPAE Spotter
Posts: 3254
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:30 am

RE: A Trip Around Seattle With Kenmore Air (pics!)

Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:54 am

Great pics. I took a similar flight something like ten years ago, but mine departed from the base in Kenmore. Good times!
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
Posts: 634
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 11:01 am

RE: A Trip Around Seattle With Kenmore Air (pics!)

Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:45 am

good stuff man! Kenmore air looks pretty sweet, good area to be flying around.! -Josh
Thats not flying, thats falling with style -Woody

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