AWO I go!
This morning I dropped Ronnie and Chloe off at the head of the Centennial Trail in Arlington (WA) then spent a little time at one of my favorite old hangouts nearby, the Arlington Municipal Airport, or AWO. (KAWO for you sticklers.) It was (and still is) a perfect day, hot sun, cool breeze, a true CAVU (Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited) delight.
There were several small planes in the pattern, looked like student pilots doing touch-and-gos, and the glider folks were making good use of the parallel grass runway. I saw a couple in the air and three or four lined up getting ready for their tow with wingwalkers flitting around like remoras with a manta ray. I love gliders. And, no, these are not the kind of wingwalkers who stand on the wing of a in-flight powered aircraft for your entertainment. They help keep a glider from scraping off its wingtips when it's on the ground.
I was sad to see that there was not much action over on the ultralight part of the field. I like ultralights, too. I've flown those a couple of times from this field and they're a hoot.
Parked near the operations office was a beautifully restored PBY (Catalina), an aircraft design I like very much. Seeing one up close was a delight. Big suckers.
AWO is close to my ideal for an airport. It has a nice, mile-long, well-maintained runway with negligible obstructions past the threshold. It's just outside SEA's Class B upside-down wedding cake of (very) controlled airspace, so you can just go flying if you want to. However, it's also close to all the amenities and benefits of Seattle Center when you want to use them. Every Summer there's a great fly-in. It's not as big as Oshkosh, which is too big and hectic, or Florida's Sun-n-Fun, which is nice but HOT, and I like that. It's a nice balance of lots of stuff but still not too big and crazy.
AWO is also the home of WSDOT's aviation division and the main facility of the Glasair company, producers of sleek, fast kitplanes like this one:
The AWO Flyin is where I had my first opportunity to fly a Velocity. This aircraft is the ultimate blossoming of Burt Rutan's wonderful Long E-Z design. It is my ideal personal/family aircraft and a total joy to fly.
Long E-Z (2-person plane)
The Velocity is a 4-person aircraft.
Now here I am, telling you about it and daydreaming. Hope you're having a nice day, too.