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Seattle Area Simmers - Please help

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Hi All,I'm taking a pilgramage to my own personal Mecca - the Boeing Plant and the Museum of Flight in Seattle! I'm arriving early morning on Sunday the 4th of May and was wondering if anyone from the Seattle area could point me to a great hobby shop, pilot shop and some tips on where the best areas are to plane spot. The hotel is less than 1 mile from the airport and I'll have a car.Thanks for the help!!Mike

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Well........The M.O.F has a small gift shop where they sell plastic and balsa Airplane models. They have about 250-300 on hand of various eras. For any other hobby shops look in the phone book,there are several.As far as spotting at KSEA. There really at this point only one place where you wont be harrased that being at a park called Seattle Public Utilitys it is located on 146th St and Air Cargo road, I think the street is officially called 28th Ave. The Port of Seattle police may pay you a visit if you shoot any where else like on 154th or 188th or along the Air Cargo Rd but they wont ask you to leave. It would be a good Idea for you not to have a police/airband type scanner somthing like a Radio Shack airband will be fine. Also have ID and maybe a small 4x6 book of some avaition photos youve done that helps to ease their concerns, but most of all be cooperative, several of us are trying to form a spotters group.Perhaps we could get together and shoot some frames WX has kinda sucked the past few days but May 4th should be better historicly.Regards

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Hi Mike, cool that ur coming up my way. The closest pilot shop to you would be on the other side of Boeing Field. Drive south from the MOF, and turn left (east) on the first main road. Its the airport perimeter road. Left again when you reach the main light (airport way). Turn left into the main entrance of the airport..you'll see the sign "King County Airport". Immediate right on the interior perimeter road, and you should see the pilot shop on your left.Great plane watching from the lunch room at the MOF! Cheers,Bob BernsteinEdmonds, Wa.

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Great advice from Bob. The aviation shop on the opposite side of the field is one of the best I've been in. They have a great book colletion, full sets of charts for US, Canada and Alaska, headsets, models, CH Yokes and pedals, the works. Ask them if they have any expired aviation charts -they gave me a stack for free the last time I was there so now I'm planning flights with real low-level en-route charts. Too much fun.Plane spotting at Boeing Field can be a blast. It's the delivery airport for 757s and 737s, and you will often see a triple seven or two at Boeing end of the field as well. It's also a center for Boeing's military aircraft work, and there are always an interesting assortment of AWACs and research planes on the ramp. MOF is the best place to watch. They have a mock control tower with a terrific view of the field, or you can sit outside the coffee shop - though that view may be obscured right now by their new construction. If you have a rental car and the time, you might also call and see if the McCord Airforce Base Museum is open (security may have shut it down). McCord is a major logistics base, so I am guessing they have quite a collection of transports. Have fun. MOF is one of the very best museums of its type. Colin

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Also, after you do the main plant tour, stop over at Paine Field (right across the street). They have a little pub called The Jet Deck. I sat out on the outdoor deck and had lunch and a few beers. If you get a lucky time of day you see some jet's flying in and out of there as well.

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Hi Gang,Thank you all very much for the great "tourist" info so far. Looks like I'm in for a fun filled couple of days (only a brother/sister aviation enthousiast could relate to that :-) )If the weather is nice, Sunday will be the BIG plane spotting day and I'm going to be equipped with my airband scanner with all the freq's tuned in ready to go.If there's anything else you guys think may be of interest, please let me know. I've got a "to-do" list going :-)Mike

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Hi Mike,One of my favorite spots is accessed from a public golf course just past the threshold of SeaTac 34R. There is a utility shed at the bottom of the threshold (hill) on the course, and a grassy area with the runway perimeter fence about half way up the hill behing the shed. I used to regularly watch landings from this area next to the fence. Planes fly so close overhead you may need earplugs, (I am a rock musician so it does not bother me as much) and the sound will ruffle your clothing. You will also hear and feel the high-pitched eddie currents about 20 seconds after each plane crosses over. Not quite like the 'Pushing Tin' movie scene but fairly close. As I stated above, I am a rock musician, and look the part with long black hair and five o'clock shadow. Needless to say I have not been frequenting the spot as often. I was getting a few strange looks from golfers, but even after appearing like a prototypical middle eastern terrorist from a distance, no one actually questioned or bothered me when I was there last Fall. There are picnic tables to view from just below the threshold on the golf course as well, just look out for errant golf balls ! It seems like the flow is from the south only 15-25% of the time anymore, so the whole point may be moot for your visit anyway, but it is really worth it if you want to take the chance.Have a great visit,John Marino,North Seattle.

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I'll be in Seattle at the end of May. I've added the museum to my list of places to visit. Thanks!

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