10:57 PM

Slamming the Door
on Seattle

The King of America plans to shut down the airspace above an entire large metropolitan city on Monday, August 27 so he can stump for Republican Rep. Dave Reichert who is trying to hold on to his 8th District seat in WDC. If you fly anything from a 777 to a LSA in the vicinity of SEA and BFI, plan on parking it for this:

Bush is to hold a fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, an afternon event hosted by Reichert's campaign and the state GOP Party. The event will include a $10,000-a-person reception for those cronies who want to blow ten grand for Hor'dourves, and a $1,000-a-person general reception for the unwashed, rank-and-file voters who are crazy enough to part with enough money to buy TEN $100 hamburgers.
Now having a sitting Prez fly around in Air Force One on the taxpayer's dime is nothing new...they've all done it on both side of the political spectrum. What galls me is the massive nature of the shutdown, for a race that many pundits say will be won by democrat Darcy Burner:
There will be a large 30-nautical-mile-radius temporary flight restriction (TFR) centered on the SEA VOR's 344-degree radial at 5.7 miles, extending up to Flight Level 180. It will be in effect from 3:05 p.m. local until 6:30 p.m. local on Monday. Also, there will be multiple smaller 10-nm-radius GA no-fly zones in effect within the larger TFR during that time frame.
There are many small and regional airfields and seaplane bases that will be effected:
Wiley Post Memorial SPB
Renton Municipal
Broadcast House Helistop Heliport
Komo Tv Heliport
Elliott Park Heliport
Seattle Seaplanes SPB
Kenmore Air Harbor SPB
Vashon Municipal
Quartermaster Harbor SPB
Jobe Skis Plant 1 Heliport
Auburn Municipal
Crest Airpark
Kenmore Air Harbor Inc SPB
Wilson Heliport
Port Orchard
Auburn Academy
Telephone Utilities/Tiw Heliport
Black Diamond
Evergreen Sky Ranch
Port of Poulsbo Marina Moorage SPB
Bremerton National
Tacoma Narrows
Apex Airpark
Leisureland Airpark
Bergseth Field
Snohomish County/Paine Field (PAE)
Cawleys South Prairie
Firstair Field
Harvey Field
Pierce County-Thun Field (PLU)
American Lake SPB
Spanaway Airport
Shady Acres
Gray AAF
Sky Harbor
Kimshan Ranch
Heineck Farm
Whidbey Air Park
O.K., I know what you're thinking...what's so bad about a few GA airports going silent for a few hours. Well if you own an FBO or flight school on those fields, or operate your scheduled seaplane service from one of the seaplane bases on the list, a shut-down is a big deal.

But what about these little patches which are also listed as "effected" by the TFR:
Boeing Field/King County Int'l (BFI)
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l (SEA)
Mcchord Air Force Base
If I was in charge of things, the full cost of inviting Bush – or any other president – to gladhand with the Good Old Boys network while the candidate begs for money would be paid for by his/her campaign. Why should the public have to subsidize any candidate by filling Air Force One's tanks with Jet A just so that candidate can get some sound bites and face time for the six o'clock news?

And why should they have to lock down an entire region for the high rollers to have their gladhanding orgy? Do they really think a few small GA planes dotting the radar screen is going to be some sort of danger to the Gladhander-in-Chief? What would be so wrong with shutting down a corridor so AF1 can land, and then opening up operations until the baddest 747 on the planet launches again?

Oh wait...that makes sense. Sorry, what WAS I thinking.

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