Seattle at 8000 feet

by Steve Kuo, March, 2008

It's springtime (well almost) in Seattle. On a sunny February Sunday I grabbed my club's Cessna 172 at Auburn Airport for quick spin around the Seattle. I headed northeast towards Snoqualmie Pass and then turned west towards Hood Canal, taking me just south of Seattle. What made this flight different was that I flew at over 8000 feet. Normally 3000 feet is adequate for short distances . Flying high offers a different view and added safety when over the mountains. Once over Hood Canal I did a 180 and headed back to Auburn. All in all a fun and relaxing Sunday afternoon flight.

Heading northeast with I-90 Snoqualmie Pass visible

Heading northeast with I-90 Snoqualmie Pass visible


Chester Morse Lake

Chester Morse Lake



Looking north, taken with the window open (cold and windy!)

Looking north, taken with the window open (cold and windy!)


Logging road visible zigzagging up the mountain

Logging road visible zigzagging up the mountain


Looking east at I-90 Snoqualmie Pass with Bandera State Airport (4W0) visible

Looking east at I-90 Snoqualmie Pass. You can just barely make-out the snow covered Bandera State Airport (4W0) off in the distance just to the right of the highway. Bandera served as an emergency airstrip for DC-3's making their way across the pass


Heading west at 8500 feet, visible are Renton Airport and Mercer Island

Heading west at 8500 feet, visible are Renton Airport and Mercer Island


Above Sea-Tac Airport looking south

Crossing Sea-Tac Airport, I-5 winding southbound, Kent Valley is just left of the highway


Complete view of Sea-Tac Airport from 8500 feet with new runway (16R-34L) still under construction

Complete view of Sea-Tac Airport from 8500 feet. The new runway (16R-34L) is still under construction


Looking north towards Seattle

Looking north towards Seattle. Visible is the West Seattle Bridge, downtown Seattle, Lake Union, Green Lake and Mount Baker


Cessna 172 instrument panel

Cessna 172 instrument panel. 15 miles west of Sea-Tac Airport, engine leaned and talking to Seattle Approach (ATC) for Class-B airspace transition


Hood Canal including Dabob Bay

Hood Canal including Dabob Bay


Sea-Tac Airport at 1500 feet

We crossed Sea-Tac Airport again on the way back. The 737 just above the airport aborted their landing and had to turn slightly left to avoid us (this of course is completely safe as the tower directs all airport traffic)

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