Stories by Francis Zera

EDITOR-AT-LARGE - SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aerial, aviation, and commercial photographer, a freelance photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

FOD (foreign object debris) is the scourge of airport operations. FOD includes the mundane as well as the unusual: baggage-claim tickets, random bits of plastic, airplane parts, dead animals, rocks, and clumps of loose dead vegetation. Keeping runways and taxiways clear of FOD is a seemingly never-ending battle; airports’ operations areas are festooned with signs both […]

Sea-Tac Airport cargo workers push a pallet of freight onto the loading ramp of an Air China Cargo 747-400F.

In what has become an annual early-summer ritual at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, air cargo operators serving Asian ports have increased operations in Seattle for the duration of the roughly two-month long Washington state cherry harvest. Carriers making stops in Seattle to pick up pallets of Washington cherries include EVA Air Cargo, NCA, China Airlines Cargo, and Singapore Airlines […]

“It’s all about the kids.”

Alaska Airlines pilot Allen Cassino’s succinct summation explains the singular focus displayed by the dozens of Alaska Air and aviation industry volunteers concerning showing 1,000 eager students the myriad career opportunities available in the aviation industry at Alaska Airlines’ eighth annual Aviation Day.

The May 21 event at Alaska’s Sea-Tac Airport maintenance hangar was extraordinarily well run, and everyone I met — really, I mean everyone — seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves, whether they were sharing information or soaking it up.

The event was co-sponsored by the Boeing Company, the Port of Seattle, the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of Western Washington. Roughly 400 Boy Scouts earned their aviation and engineering merit badges during the event.