I USUALLY LOVE sketching airplanes, especially from the gate, when I’m eagerly waiting to board a flight, but I’m taking in this scene from the South Park Bridge with a heavy heart. 

The sight of such colorful aircraft emblazoned with bright logos from an array of international airlines normally means I’m on an adventure. Some of the livery visible from the bridge includes ones you might never see at Sea-Tac, like low-cost European carriers Neos and Ryanair. I also spot jets from Turkish Airlines, flydubai, Shenzhen Airlines, Icelandair, Air Canada and Ethiopian Airlines.

But the aircraft sitting idle on the former site of Boeing’s legendary Plant 2 — where WWII bombers were built — are Boeing 737 MAX planes that have been grounded since March 2019, following overseas crashes that cost the lives of 346 people.

The jets eventually will leave the large tarmac as the 737 MAX is cleared to fly again. But the reasons behind the aircraft parked here will continue to resonate on this same shoreline where the company once cemented its global reach.