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From: (Badwater Bill)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Flying in the Pac NW
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 14:28:56 GMT

God!  Don't get me going on this one. I went to graduate school at the
U of Washington in Seattle.  To keep from going insane in the gray
muck of the winter I got a commercial sea-plane and CFI add on.  I
worked for Lake Union Air flying 206's on floats out of Lake Union
which is the big lake in front of the Space Needle.  We flew under the
clouds in MVFR to Victoria Canada and the San Juan Islands.  It was a
blast as long as you were on floats.  I wouldn't want to fly without
floats much up there since you are always over water and there's no
place to go on land if you lose your engine due to all the trees.

This is what  it's like living there.  From the end of April until
October it's absolutely beautiful.  On Halloween night it starts
misting and raining and you only see the sun once or twice until
April.  It's not that it rains that much in Seattle either.  If you
got some good rains it wouldn't be too bad, but it doesn't.  It
"Mists" on you all winter.  Everything is wet.  Everything is cold.
I't about 35 F to 40 F each day.  You can't get warm.  You live in
darkness most of the time.  When you get up and go into the city at
7:30 it's dark because you are so far north.  You go inside and if you
come out at noon to go have lunch it's still pretty dark because what
light there is has had to travel through 30,000 feet of clouds to get
down to the ground.  There's no color in anything, just gray muck.
You go back inside, I went to school in the Hospital with 50,000
people in it each day so there were no windows in most of the
laboratories.  Then at 3:30 or so you go outside to get on the bus to
go home and it's Dark again.  So you spend the rest of your day
looking out of windows at night-time conditions.

The city itself has a lot of homeless scumbags running around begging
money.  The population density is about a million people per cubic
foot.  You can't go anywhere without having to walk or drive around
thousands of people.  If you go grocery shopping there will be an
armed guard in the parking lot to stop people from parking their cars
there who are not going to shop in the store.  There is absolutely NO
parking anywhere.  Forget using your car other than to escape the
fucking place on the weekends.  You MUST use the bus system in order
to get anywhere.  That means waiting outside in the mist for the right
bus to come along.  If you take your car you'll have to pay $2.00/hr
to park it in a garage.

It's just your typical BIG scumbag city.  I never get depressed, it's
just not my nature.  When things go wrong, I usually get mad.  Anger
and depression can't exist in my mind simultaneously.  But Seattle?  I
got depressed.  Months and months of darkness and mist and gray air.
I had to give a talk at the Medical School there about a year ago and
the palms of my hands were sweating on the airliner just knowing I had
to go to the campus through all of those people in the wet, grey
conditions to go into the University Hospital Building where I had
spent years being depressed.

I never had a depressing day before I went there and I've never had
one since I left there but EVERYDAY I was there during 1988,89 and 90
I was depressed in the winter.

If you move there, don't live in the city.  Move to Kent in the south
or Lynnwood in the north.  That way you are in more civilized
conditions and you can rapidly escape in your car to more sparsely
populated places.

When I went to Grad School there, I'd get up every morning and start
studying.  I'd go to the hospital all day long and I'd study all
evening until I fell asleep.  I did that 7 day's a week for three
years and I got a perfect 4.0 out of the program.  In fact I was the
only one to ever make a perfect 4.0 in their program over the past 30
years or so.  The reason why is because I was less depressed when I
buried myself in the books.  I could escape the place in my mind.  I
hated it so much I had to study constantly to not let it get to me.
It even pissed me off when I had to stop to eat because I could feel
the depression coming on.

I just need the sun, that'll there is to it.  I've been fine now for
almost 10 years since I left that hell-hole.  I don't even EVER want
to visit the place again EVER!  The ONLY good memories I have were of
flying floatplanes in the summers out of Lake Union. Or renting a 172
on floats at Kenmore and flying away somewhere to get out of the


>I am thinking of moving to the Seattle area and as I remember, some of the
>R.A.H. regulars are in (or have been in)  that area.  With all of the horror
>stories about rainy drizzly Seattle weather I was hoping to get some "real"
>input into the flying situation up there.  So does anyone have any input about
>flying in the Pac NW?

From: (Chris Goldfinger)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Flying in the Pac NW
Date: 1 May 1998 22:35:09 GMT


BWB is right, don't let anyone fool ya.  Been here for 10years! and
can't take anymore.  I too was a grad student for a lot of those
and had a 4.0 because the library seemed like a GOOD IDEA on
weekends!  I live in the Wilamette Valley (Corvallis) where
when it stops raining, the valley fills up with fog until it
starts raining again.  Winter goes from September to the
end of May, with a false spring (like this week) sometime
in April usually. On the plus side though, it is the IFR
capital of the universe, so if you need to work on that
this is your spot. When I told an older instructor of mine
that I was moving to Portland, he said he used to fly United
DC-8's there from somewhere.  "Never saw it though, all I saw
was the runway centerline and the men's room"
 If it gets over 60 deg or so people start saying their
air conditioning isn't working too well, if it doesn't rain
for 2-3 days, people start getting nervous and saying"...we need the rain"
So if you like cold, grey, rain, mud, green moss growing on your car, mushrooms
growing inside your house, don't like sunshine, this is your paradise!

Chris Goldfinger
Collings Foundation Web Page Mechanic
voice: (541) 737-5214  (New area code)
fax:   (541) 737-2064

Bela P. Havasreti ( wrote:
: On Fri, 01 May 1998 05:16:00 GMT, (Michele
: Boland) wrote:

: >I am thinking of moving to the Seattle area and as I remember, some of the
: >R.A.H. regulars are in (or have been in)  that area.  With all of the horror
: >stories about rainy drizzly Seattle weather I was hoping to get some "real"
: >input into the flying situation up there.  So does anyone have any input about
: >flying in the Pac NW?
: >
: >Michele
: >
: >
: > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
: >      Michele Boland - Adventuress, Aviatrix, Musician and
: >                    all around clever person!
: >         Dedicated to the domestication of the Platypus!
: >learn more about Michele at -
: >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

: Well, Badwater Bill's response had me laughing and crying
: at the same time (if that's possible...)  His response is dead-nuts.
: Don't live in/near the city....    I think for homebuilders, things
: aren't quite that bad because with the bad weather (from October to
: April), there's plenty of time to work on your project(s)!  If however
: you're an outdoors type person, enjoy sunshine, etc., chances
: are you'll be depressed half of the year.....       <8(

: As far as the flying itself, if you're IFR rated, you have to watch
: out for ice coming back over the Cascade mountain range.
: Typically, your airplane gets super-cooled from flying in clear/cold
: air over eastern Washington and as you descend into the
: gray muck on the west side of the hills, you can pick up a load
: of ice.  This has happened to more pilots than you can shake
: a stick at....   The lucky ones get to tell their stories first-hand.

: If you know the terrain / geography (stick to flying over the valleys,
: etc.) you can get around below the ever-present low stratus layer
: but plenty of pilots have gotten into MVFR trouble around here too.

: I'm IFR rated (although not IFR current) but my log book still tends
: to have rather large gaps in the entries during the winter months.
: The weather is just...   well, can be depressing even to folks that
: don't generally get depressed as BWB put it!  Who wants to fly
: around in gray muck/mist all the time?

: That being the bad side of things, the good news is that when the
: weather cooperates, the area around Seattle is some of the
: prettiest country-side you'll ever see.  The "Switzerland of America"
: is what I think I've seen on some bumper stickers.

: Oh, one last thing.  People can't drive cars around here.  If you
: have a low tolerance for brain-dead people behind the wheel
: of a car, you won't like driving here....   You can always spot a
: Seattle driver because they'll have their cell phone in one hand,
: a Latte in the other, they're steering with their knees, and they
: drive in the left lane below the speed limit with 300+ yards of open
: freeway in front of them        8^)

: Bela P. Havasreti   CP-ASEL-I
: SNJ-5 BuNo 91077 Basket case
: NATA member #1742
: EAA Warbirds of America (Cascade Warbirds Squadron #2)
: Warbirds Worldwide
: Puyallup,  Washington  USA

Chris Goldfinger
Assistant Professor
Oregon State University
Marine Geology
Active Tectonics Group
voice: (541) 737-5214  (New area code)
fax:   (541) 737-2064

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