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Plane in holding pattern takes side trip around Mt. Rainier

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An Alaska Airlines pilot stuck in a holding pattern due to fog at Sea-Tac Airport near Seattle on Tuesday decided to take the monotony out of the delay by getting clearance to circle Mount Rainier as a treat for his passengers. Flight 401 from Las Vegas was forced to travel in a circle over Lewis County south of the airport before its pilot took the side trip around the highest mountain in the Cascade Range, as reported by KOMO and the Seattle PI. ( עוד...

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30west 12
My airline had a daily flight to Maui from one of its Mainland hubs, weather permitting, most crews would fly the unofficial company "Haleakala Visual" before proceeding to the airport for landing. There were a couple other unoffficial company visual procedures. (Over time the bean counters had the company amend the FOM to prohibit manuevering for the sole purpose of passenger sightseeing). ATC would clear us to "descend VFR maintain at or above 12,000 feet (volcano is just over 10,000' AGL), manuever at pilot's discreation, advise when ready to proceed to the airport". After the 360, it would be back to flying as usual, cleared direct to a fix for the arrival. Passengers loved it and the bonus for the flying pilot was doing a modified pylon turn in a B767 at 1,500'-2,000' above the peak.
joel wiley 13
It looks like he was on the racetrack a dozen times or so, and the extended loop was around lap 8. Even the legume enumerators can't claim he was wasting fuel which they would see as stealing from shareholder equity.
Much appreciate a company person giving us a greater perspective with an inside story.
Frederick Pack 8
When I was driving a DC10, wx and winds permitting,departing SEA I would do a half circle East of Mt St Helens after it exploded here in Washington State...then climb and head for LAX and SAN.
Love the actual details of an actual, outside-the-box DC-10 Captain.
So good to hear of such an excellent commercial airline professional taking customer satisfaction to steller levels.
Certainly many passengers told the story of their wonderful experience on your aircraft to hundreds of other persons thanks you to Frederick.
Cansojr 6
That would be a great side excursion around a dormant volcano.
Cansojr -6
Unfortunately this is an aviation tragedy. Nobody have made a trek to the that location because it is a graveyard.
Cansojr 1
My Bad! I meant that Mount Erebus in Antarctica. I am sorry for the post It was never my intent to confuse anyone. PLEASE ACCEPT THIS SINCERE APOLOGY.
siriusloon 0
who are you calling "nobodies"? The site was visited by search parties, investigators, and a cleanup/recovery operation was undertaken with as many as 60 people on-site at a time. Lots of people "made a trek to the that location".

Facts. They're easy to find, but you have to make the effort rather than spewing out nonsense off the top of your head or wherever you're pulling your claims out of.
Cansojr 0
I guess that the truth would sooner be forgotten than frivolous DC-10 flight champagne included. That wwas a senseless accident.
joel wiley 1
I'm sorry, but I don't understand your two comments. What incident are you talking about?
Edward Bardes 1
I think they're talking about Air New Zealand Flight 901.
joel wiley 1
Thanks. Took some research but now I see how it fits in with the topic. Common knowledge in one circle isn't as common in a larger one.
siriusloon 0
It was planned from the start as a flightseeing trip. They didn't just head off to the South Pole on a whim while waiting for fog to clear in Auckland. There were multiple investigations and official inquiries, not all of which agreed with each other whose fault it was, but according to my late father-in-law who was very active in NZ aviation, the nav computer was reprogrammed to put the route directly over the mountain and the pilots thought the route was still offset to one side, so when they flew lower for better visibility (which was allowed), they impacted rising ground. The aircraft "lofted" and broke apart as it fell back to the ground on the approach to the mountain.

Just because you can't afford a ticket on a long-range sightseeing flight doesn't mean they're "frivolous".
Kris Durbin 6
Chris B 4
Peter Maxwell 2
When Mt Cook Airlines operated in NZ as an private company many pilots would take a "side trip around Mt Cook" and the Tasman Glacier enroute from Christchurch to Queenstown, sometime flying at quite low levels. Not now as the company is now owned by Air New Zealand and you can't waiste the shareholders money and also one must keep to the "highways in the sky"
Jeremy Truesdell 2
Well either way, the hobbs meter was ticking, so put it to good use!
ADXbear 3
Awesome.. good P R
jbermo 1
Seems these days that somebody somewhere will find fault with this.
James Simms 1
Was stationed @ Ft. Lewis for 2-3 years back in the mid-80’s. Many a morning when it was clear, it would look as if Mt. Rainer was in in our backyards.
Babs Newton 1
Tom Wright 0
The flight would not get landing clearance 15 minutes from rapt - "approach clearance yes"
jbermo 0
No good deed goes unpunished!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Alan Macdonald 9
Absolutely nothing like the same thing, it was on departure from Haneda and not circling Mt Fuji in any way.

Using 'ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.16 - Volume II, Circular 82-AN/69 (35-55)' as a source the circunstances surrounding BOAC Flight 911 where as summarised below.

"The aircraft left the ramp at 13:50. It was instructed to make "a right turn after take off", and departed Tokyo Airport at 13:58. After takeoff the aircraft flew over Gotemba City on a heading of approximately 298 deg at an altitude of approximately 4900 m and indicated airspeed of 320 to 370 knots. The aircraft, trailing white vapor, then suddenly lost altitude over the Takigahara area, and parts of the aircraft began to break away over Tsuchiyadai and Ichirimatsu. Finally over Tarobo at an altitude of approx. 2000 m, the forward fuselage broke away. The mid-aft fuselage together with the wing, making a slow flat spin to the right, crashed into a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji. The forward fuselage crashed into the forest approx. 300 m to the west of the above site and caught fire.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The aircraft suddenly encountered abnormally severe turbulence over Gotemba City which imposed a gust load considerably in excess of the design limit."

Courtesy of Aviation Safety Network
Frederick Pack 0
Not so, see my comment below
Ahhh...typical internet-idiot. I would clap at your mastery of misery...but I saw on the news today that clapping is a mean gesture, a micro-agression and hateful to the one armed and deaf...
Grahame Budd 2
No mention of sightseeing in the wikipedia article. What is your source?
Frederick Pack 4
As a retired Northwest Airlines Captain, I can verify that the BOAC WAS sightseeing. All of us (except the BOAC Captain) who regularly flew in and out of Tokyo knew to never fly downwind of Fuji. The area is known for high velocity low level jetstreams.
Even with lighter winds, we always felt what we called the "Fuji Bump" going thru 14,000 feet, descending inbound from the Pacific.....a LOOONG way East of Fuji.
What would you know? You only lived it for real. The rest of us have the internet and even better, Wikipedia to denounce you.
Frederick Pack 4
Thank you.Good sarcasm
Absolutely the best NWA Captain sarcasm I've every heard!
Meanwhile, the first 747 I ever saw was at TPA, and I traveled over there on my own volition at < & > 12 years old circa 1970 to see it arrive and depart.
My childhood home in Clearwater, Florida, was always below the south runway, right turn, outbound departure from TPA to MSP around 2-3 pm every day, just south of SPJC at 217 Evelyn Avenue.
I was always outside nearly every day sitting in the back yard, next to the lake, waiting for the NWA 747-200 to fly over.
The sawmill sound of the four JT-9Ds was music to my ears!
Thanks for the greatest original 747 memories I have to NWA and Captain Frederick Pack, et al!
James Simms 2

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