Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tacoma Narrows - Paine - Seattle / Cessna 182RG II (N7109V) / VFR

This aircraft had been sitting patiently at Tacoma-Narrows since last month. I decided to take it up today. The weather was iffy, as usual for this neck of the woods, but it looked like it would stay VFR all the way.

Initially I was going to swing directly through SeaTac, but I saw a lonely tower controller at Paine and so I decided to make a detour there. Things got a little bit worrisome north of West Point, when the weather started getting really misty, but I was still above minimums (barely). The tower directed me to a right downwind to 16R, and I finally spotted the airfield about 4 miles out. Landing was without incident. Paine Field has a nice big runway (16R), thanks to Boeing's presence there.

After sitting at Paine for a while, and without topping off the tanks this time, I decided to fly back down to Seattle, per my original plan. It couldn't be a simpler flight, as it's practically a straight line from 16R at Paine to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and it's only 29 miles, and flying there takes you right over downtown Seattle. Simple and easy. I was instructed to make straight in to 16C.

Landing was pretty good, but the wind was gusting terribly near the surface, and I was practically inverted by a few of the gusts. I kept my approach speed high and cautiously made my way down, but it was still a rather bumpy landing. I taxied over to my favorite spot north of the tower and parked. The weather was a little clearer but quite windy, with the clouds zooming to the east overhead.

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