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About 80% of general aviation aircraft fly using Lycoming engines. Clearing the trees at the end of the runway. Leaving 4500ft for 6500ft. Maintaining airflow and generating lift across the wings. All are impossible without a reliable engine. Lycoming powers my training aircraft and so fuels my quest for a private pilot certificate. This blog is a record of my thoughts and experiences on life, flight, and learning.

15 March 2009

Seattle & San Francisco

It's been a very busy February, so I haven't posted much recently. I've been continuing my flying, but mostly in a Southwest 737 cattle car type of flying, instead of logging PIC time. My travels at the end of January took me to the west coast for a welcome escape from the cold and snow of Ohio. I think that it's fairly common opinion that Seattle, WA is much more cloudy and rainy than any Ohio city, and after my few trips to Seattle, I'd have to say that it's about the same as Coshocton, OH. If you look at a comparison of total average cloudy and sunny days per year, we're really not that different. I think that those giant bodies of fresh water have something to do with the constant scud blowing across Ohio....I'll let you look at the data and see if the day I was in Seattle was 1 or those 58 days - it was just absolutely beautiful!

Cloudy Days per Year
Seattle, WA - 226 average
Pittsburgh, PA - 203 average
Cleveland, OH - 202 average
Columbus, OH - 190 average
Yuma, AZ - 52 average

Sunny Days per Year
Seattle, WA - 58 average
Pittsburgh, PA - 59 average
Cleveland, OH - 66 average
Columbus, OH - 72 average
Yuma, AZ - 242 average

We had a couple of meetings in the morning, but took some time to take a ferry across the Puget Sound towards Bainbridge Island. and headed towards the Olympics. It was fairly warm (45°F or so) and just so brilliantly sunny.

Mt. Rainer was out for the sun too!

A seagull enjoying a little VFR conditions (and the free ride from the bow wave from the ferry)

Enjoying the sunshine - Ohio had about 6-10 inches of snow falling as this photo was taken. See ya, Suckers!

Here's the typical clouds, taken on Neptune's Beach overlooking the Strait of Georgia, near Bellingham, WA

After all that fun in Seattle, I headed south to San Francisco for a trade show for the rest of the week. I had the opportunity to fly on Alaska Airlines for the very first time, and I have to say that I was pleasantly impressed. Service was great, the newer 737NGs are comfortable, and they serve a real microbrew (Alaskan Amber) in a real glass bottle on board the flight. Awesome! On the ground in SF, I met up with my brother Sam, who joined us for the tradeshow appearance, and to escape the clouds of southern Michigan.

Here we are overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens in SF, just north of the Moscone Center

Sailboat on the Bay - catching the wind and the sun

SS Jeremiah O'Brien - Last time, I took the tour and had a great time

Cable Cars are Excepted down at Fisherman's Wharf

Heading down the hill to Fisherman's Wharf - the classic San Francisco Cable Car photo.

Dungeness Crab & Oysters at the Raw Bar at the Farallon. Yum!

Heading under the Golden Gate Bridge - this photo was taken from the Extra300 that I rented for the afternoon.

Look at all that beautiful cross-bracing! Again, taken from an Extra 300, cruising at about 20ft above the waves.

What a nice-looking group of people...Uhm...on...an Extra300 Ferry Boat...

8 inches of alternating snow and ice layers on the Passat when I got back - a week of what I missed in the warm California sun. It took me about 30 minutes to chisel my way into that frigid car!


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