SEATTLE & Museum of Flight

A short hop to the  Boeings birthplace.

Once in a while you get the chance to do something rather out of the ordinary. A friend of mine is a senior first officer with Lufthansa and invited me to join him on one of his flights in the A330/340 family. Togehter we decided that Seattle would be a perfect destination, as it has a two days crew layover and is home to one of the best aviation museums in the states, the Boeing Museum of flight.

After a lot of paperwork with the Lufthansa flight department and especially the FAA for cockpit permits, the day of departure was finally there.
Airbus A330 D-AIKF „Witten“ was the assigned aircraft for todays 10.24 hour flight to the Seattle Tacoma International airport. One of the really nice things while riding in the cockpit is the superb surround view, especially with the weather as clear as today.
Upon arrival in Seattle we were greeted by the typical weather for which the city is rather infamous….pouring rain !

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However the next day we were greeted with unpredicted sunshine, and so me made our short trip by public transport to Seattles Boeing Field BFI, where the museum is located. This place is rather special, beeing next to the Boeing production facilities and very close to the threshold of Runway 31. It is actually the largest private air and space museum in the world and is home to more than 150 aircraft. Main part is the museums Great Gallery, where several very interesting planes are put close together, including a SR71.

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There is also an outdoor facility just across the street, where the prototype of the Boeing 747 and a BAe Concorde are located.

 

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After spending most of the time in this beautiful museum we decide to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head over to Union Lake in downtown Seattle. There are two seaplane facilities, one being used for seaplane flight training, the other one being the commercial air terminal for Kenmore Air. Apart from several daily connections to various island in northern washington State and also daily connections to Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Kenmore Air is operating sightseeing flights for tourists and enthusiasts.
Because of being a complete Lufthansa Crew (The captain and the FO also joined us for the today) the staff at Kenmore Air was more than happy to give us a special sightseeing trip at a very attractive price, overflying Seattle, its beautiful surroundings and even doing some splash and goes in the various lakes surrounding Seattle.

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I must admit that this day was a very unique experience and it ended with a fantastic Brazilian dinner with the Lufthansa captain sharing a lot of his flying memories being seaplane rated himself and working for Lufthansa for more than three decades.
The next day saw us departing back home on D-AIKN, taking off to the north on Runway 34R for a 9 hour 31 minute return flight which never saw the light fade because of a very northern routing which gave spectacular views of the Northern Territories in fascinating light conditions.

 

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