Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 242,760
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,164,361






Seaplanes! Checking Out Kenmore Air’s Maintenance Operation

Forklifting this Beaver to its parking spot for the night

Forklifting this Beaver to its parking spot for the night

Kenmore Air is the world’s second largest seaplane operator, with their main base of operations located just northeast of Seattle (in Kenmore) and just a few miles away from where I live. I have had a few opportunities to fly their seaplanes, but I have always been wanting to take a closer look at their operations and learn a bit more about how they keep their 18 seaplanes going.

Multiple planes are being worked on inside Kenmore Air's new hangar

Multiple planes are being worked on inside Kenmore Air’s new hangar

When I heard that they just recently opened up a brand-new maintenance hangar, I figured that this would be a great excuse to get a behind-the-scenes tour. I went in, not fully knowing what to expect, but found out quite a bit about the planes, the facility, and the people that make it all happen.

Continue reading Seaplanes! Checking Out Kenmore Air’s Maintenance Operation

Hello Kitty! Quite the Hoedown in Texas with EVA Air

Houston sees its first Hello Kitty EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER

Houston sees its first Hello Kitty EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER (reg: B-16722)

It is hard to be a part of modern society without at least having a basic idea that Hello Kitty exists. I really had my first true run-in with the girl (she is not a cat, apparently), when covering the new international terminal opening up at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. They have a Hello Kitty store there, and while I have seen some backpacks and other knick-knacks with her image previously, I had no idea of the scale, nor the culture that surrounds this global brand. I was a bit impressed.

Dancing with Hello Kitty -- where else? Texas!

Dancing with Hello Kitty — where else? In Texas!

When I was recently invited to cover EVA Air’s inaugural flight from Taipei (TPE) to Houston (IAH), with a Hello Kitty celebration, I still was skeptical of the power of the cat-looking icon from a country that is not even the airline’s own.

However, after not only experiencing the event, but also a 15-hour-40-minute flight on the Hello Kitty-themed plane, I have to say that I am starting to respect it, but maybe not for the reasons you might imagine.

Continue reading Hello Kitty! Quite the Hoedown in Texas with EVA Air

Flying with Kids — When They Aren’t Your Kids

Our Boeing 757 from Philly to San Juan

Our Boeing 757 from Philly to San Juan

I do not have kids. I am an only child. I have a very small family where I haven’t really been around a lot of kids. By no means do I dislike strangers’ kids, but I am also not one to go out of my way to interact with them. But I do have to say that I love my friend’s kids. But how much?

I was recently invited to head down to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Seattle (with a short layover in Philly) with one of my best friends and his family: his amazing wife, three kids (ranging from 4-11), and his mother. Most of my traveling is done solo or in a small group of adults. How would flying with kids go?

I have seen others do it, I have even read a few stories on it, but I figured that the hands-on experience would be a bit different. I ended up with quite a few (good and bad) surprises.

Continue reading Flying with Kids — When They Aren’t Your Kids

Sixth-Annual Copper River Salmon Hootenanny with Alaska Airlines

Welcoming a 53lb Copper River salmon to Seattle

Welcoming a 53lb Copper River salmon to Seattle

In what town do people get up before 4:00am to greet some fish? In the land of the flying fish, of course!

This was the sixth year in a row that I woke up earlier than I probably should to greet my breakfast, which was flying in on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 Combi. Why? Well, it is a special (aka delicious) kind of breakfast; some Copper River salmon.

Also, I  enjoy the fun event that Alaska Airlines puts on each year to celebrate the official start to the salmon season.

The Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 Combi (reg N762AS) arrives to SEA

The Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 Combi (reg N762AS) arrives to SEA

Why are these salmon different? Well, they like to travel — about 300 miles from the ocean to their spawning grounds and that type of journey requires lots of energy (aka fat). That fat gives the fish its special flavor for which many people are willing to pay a premium.

Continue reading Sixth-Annual Copper River Salmon Hootenanny with Alaska Airlines

Flying High During Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2015

One of the AGF15 groups on the 747-8 factory floor - Photo: Boeing

One of the AGF15 groups on the 747-8 factory floor – Photo: Boeing

It has been a while since we celebrated Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2015 back in February, but I am still feeling the excitement. What an amazing two-day AvGeek event that was held here, in Seattle, WA on February 21 and 22.

This year, all 250 “Full” tickets sold out in less than 30 seconds. Less than 30% of the guests were from Washington state and the rest came from around the world. We had AvGeeks from Austria, Denmark, the UK, Dubai, India and, of course, our friends up north from Canada. It was a blast!

- Photo: AvGeek Joe

Paine Field is beyond beautiful – Photo: AvGeek Joe

For those of you not familiar with Aviation Geek Fest Seattle, it is a two-day event, where attendees get to have amazing aviation experiences with VIP access. This was our sixth time doing this, and I think the best one yet.

Continue reading Flying High During Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2015