In my previous post, I mentioned the "San Juan Island Run" FSX Mission, so I decided to give this mission a closer look. This mission is based on a real-world example of a typical flight for a Kenmore Air pilot.
Kenmore is not your run-of-the-mill airline.Kenmore Air is the largest seaplane-based airline in the world, offering flights from Seattle, WA, to a variety of locations in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, CA. Kenmore Air offers scheduled flights, charter service, and packaged excursions. The company’s fleet of aircraft, most of which are de Havilland Beavers and de Havilland Otters, carry more than 60,000 passengers annually. Kenmore Air also makes a substantial amount of its annual sales from repairing and restoring seaplanes. The company specializes in restoring and modifying de Havilland Beavers, stripping the aircraft down to the bare frame before restoring the seaplane and modifying it by increasing the aircraft’s carrying capacity, climb rate, and cruising speed. In the aviation industry, these modified de Havilland Beavers are known as "Kenmore Beavers." All restoration is done at their headquarters, the Lake Washington facility.
|This mission starts out engine off at Kenmore Air’s Lake Washington terminal. It’s time to start that 450 HP P & W Wasp Jr. engine, and watch the blue smoke puff, so with a quick <cntrl>-E press, the starter begins to churn, and it is idling in seconds! It’s time to go flying.|
|After idling out safely away from the docks, I set the flaps to take-off, push the throttle forward, and we’re off! I have passengers awaiting pick-up at Kenmore’s Lake Union terminal, just south of S60.|
|Enroute to Lake Union, the dispatcher alerts me to a choice of flights: either continue on to San Juan Island, or take a charter customer to Lake Cushman. I decide to continue on to San Juan Island, and begin my decent into Lake Union.|
|I slow the Beaver down to 50 knots, set full flaps, and ease down onto the water, keeping on the step until a few hundred feet from the docks. A quick taxi up to the docks to retrieve the passengers and cargo, and we’re off north to San Juan Is.|
|The flight is about 50 miles dock-to-dock, so this is a great opportunity to sit back and enjoy the scenery over Puget Sound and enjoy the rumble of that radial engine. These Beavers have an excellent observation "bubble" window on each side of the cabin, allowing customers a great view of the surroundings.|
|Once Friday Harbor is in sight, I circle NW of the docks so I can taxi right in. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Orcas swimming nearby. It is pretty easy to slow this bird down, so I set up landing configuration and ease down to the water.|
|Taxiing up to the dock, the passengers and cargo are unloaded, and the mission is a success! Another job well done by Kenmore Air, providing a unique service to the Pacific Northwest! Be sure to check out the additional images in my photo album of the flight.|