Back to the Lower 48: ASA 76 – JNU to SEA

After flying around in Alaska for quite some time now I thought it was time to move on and see something different now. Every journey begins with the first step (even though flying around in the FS world is one big, never-ending journey) and so we left Alaska today and made our way into Washington state. I only know the East Coast from my personal experience and never made it to the other side of the contiguous USA. I have a couple of friends from the West Coast though, and they always keep saying “West Coast, Best Coast!”. We will not get into that now, but this flight to Seattle sure was a nice one.

Regarding our ride today, we were lucky and Alaska Airlines put N569AS on our leg. This B737-800 wears the ASA retro-colors to celebrate the airlines 75 year anniversary. ETD was 1:35 pm AKST.
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The route will lead us along the Pacific coast of Alaska and Canada for the most part. Take off in Juneau will be from runway 26 and following SID CINGA3 requires us to perform a steep climb to avoid the terrain in our departure path. Also the runway is relatively short with only 8,457 feet. Cruise flight will be parallel to the coast for most of the time, for example overflying the Prince of Wales Island and later, before we start our descent, Vancouver Island. During descent we will pass the Cascade Range, get a beautiful view of the Olympia Mountains in Olympia National Park and Puget Sound. On final for runway 16C we will overfly downtown Seattle and Boeing Field. FL is 39,000 feet.
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It’s all about mountains today! Entering the flight deck of N569AS we get a stunning view of Glacier Bay in the background.
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During our walk around it’s hard to stay focused on the plane. Glacier Bay at the horizon again.
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And this is what it looks like on the opposite site. Just beautiful.
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The FMC is programmed. As you can see on the ND, we have to perform a left turn immediately after take off and reach 1,000 or above before reaching CINGA.
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At the holding point for 26. It’s hard to focus on flying in this environment.
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Lined up on 26. We better get that bird in the air before that short runway ends and climb above that hill.
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Now you know why ASA equipped their 737-800 with the highest thrust option available. The CFM56-7B27 delivers 27,300 lbf and we need that here!
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Climbing out. We are clear of the terrain now and can enjoy the view.
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I really like retro schemes on planes. It’s a reminder of the good old glory days of aviation and something different compared to all the eurowhite these days.
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Cloudy again. It seems they only have overcast skies in this part of the world.
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After an uneventful cruise we are descending into Seattle. What a view with the Olympia Mountains to our right, covered in clouds!
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We’re about to enter the clouds. Weather in Seattle will be pretty bad with rain and visibility around 6 sm.
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The outskirts of Seattle and the Puget Sound.
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And downtown Seattle just ahead, including the harbor to the right.
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There’s the Husky Stadium. Home to the University of Washington NCAA Football team, playing in the PAC-12. Horizon Air has a Dash 8-400 painted for the Huskies.
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We’re closing in on SeaTac and the Rain City is living up to its name.
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Boeing Field below us.
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Runway in sight. Crosswinds of 21 knots are making this a difficult approach.
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At least no snow anymore…
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Serious X-Winds!
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And a more diverse selection of traffic than in Alaska. This Speedbird ’47 is sitting at the gate as we’re taxiing to ours.
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I’m not gonna stay in this Holiday Inn tonight. I’d rather drive a little further and see the city. Only heard great things about Seattle!
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The “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon” is still flying in the FS world. Such a shame they repainted it back to default colors by the end of last year.
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Nasty weather!!!
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Bye bye retro-bird.
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That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Next flight will be from Rain City to Fog City. We’re going to San Francisco; maybe even with some flowers in our hair…

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