Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Adios, Seattle…Hello, Home!


We very briefly stopped at Boeing Field in Seattle to clear Customs after spending the weekend in Vancouver. Once we were OKed to head home, we did just that!

From here, it was 2.5 hours until we landed at home. It’s been nine non-stop wonderful (and way too cold) days on the road.

I love this picture of the main airline airport in Seattle, SEATAC. It’s so close to the water!


With parting views of one of my favorite cities, it felt good to climb at 3,500 feet-per-minute to be on our way. In nice, cool weather like this, Gladys climbs like a champ!


In just a few weeks, I’ll be back to explore this part of the world on-foot when we again return for work. We will be in the area for three-and-a-half days instead of just long enough to make sure we’re safe to reenter our own country.

Can’t wait!


I really love this picture of a mountain peeking through the cloudy layer. I only wish that I remembered where we were so I could tell you which mountain! I’ll say Rainier, just to be cool.


We climbed the last few thousand feet at about 550 feet-per-minute. But already, our groundspeed was 417. And we had a nice little crosswind that helped to push us from behind. Can you see that at 253 degrees and 38 knots?


Being February, it wasn’t a total surprise to see so much of this white stuff from the sky. Like always, we get the best views from up here.

I love the stark contrast between the rivers and the snow in this shot.


At this point, we were still flying Direct to BERYL. As soon as we were past some military airspace near northern Nevada, they gave us Direct to home. We were later put on an arrival into Phoenix’s busy airspace when we were talking to Albuquerque Center, which controls Phoenix.

But these little shortcuts so far away cut out lots of time. I am always trying to get these folks somewhere faster, but especially after they’ve been on the road for over a week nonstop!


This is my favorite picture of the day…flying over the Grand Canyon. Isn’t that gorgeous?!


As you can see, it was a pretty hazy afternoon when we arrived into the Valley of the Sun. But these pretty mountains in the foreground caught my attention. Even this close to home, they still had a dusting of snow on them!

I’m pretty sure that this was the week that Hubby sent me pictures of ice and snow on his windshield after they got a big, cold storm! Yuck!


Ah, that’s better. Green golf courses and a serious lack of snow.

This is how I prefer things. Well, I don’t care so much about the golf courses, but the lack of snow is right up my alley!


Look at all that airplane traffic in the pattern at our home base! Can you see the little map in the bottom left-hand corner? All of those little white diamonds represent another airplane with a transponder. The number underneath says how far above or below they are from us in Gladys.

A few are 800 feet below us, one is 2,500 feet below, one is 2,700 feet below, and the last one is 1,800 feet below. If they were above us, the altitude number would be preceded by a plus sign instead of a minus.

The moral of that long explanation is that there were lots of little airplanes to avoid as we came in for a landing today!


But, when looking out the windscreen at the airport, it’s a little harder to see them in person.

Hi, Home! You look great!


After getting some passengers and a whole lotta luggage on their way, it was time to prep Gladys to spend the night in her home hangar.

I have an entire day home before being gone again.

Can we all say it together…LAUNDRY DAY!


But this little lady worked like a champ. I sure do love my job. And this piece of pretty metal.


And, if we’re focusing on good things here, we might as well include a picture of the left winglet. Isn’t this lovely?

Those little sticks sticking off the back are called static wicks. As on every airplane on every flight, static electricity builds on the airframe. These static wicks help to channel the electricity to exit the airplane.

It’s a good thing for all of us, really. If these weren’t in place and an airplane was touched just after flight, you could get the shock of your lifetime…literally!

We have sixteen static wicks on Gladys, for those numbers folks. Next time you’re flying along in an airplane, peek out the window to see if you can find any static wicks! Then tell your flight buddy all about them, and prepare to watch their opinion of you rise even more.

Everyone likes talking airplanes while sitting on an airplane. Am I right?


This pretty Challenger landed while we were buttoning things up. Can you see that the thrust reversers aren’t clam-shell buckets but are cascading? Southwest Boeing 737s are like this, too, so maybe you’ve seen it before?

This will be another good thing to mention to your flying buddy, next time you go…


A few other hangar friends were on the ramp today. It just feels great to be home for a whole night! What a wonderful nine days on the road!

I guess someone has to restock Hubby’s freezer with Digiorno Pizza before leaving again…

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