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My Spousal Flight #3

Saturday April 3rd, 2004!

THANK YOU 1st Heli Squadron!!!
Once again I had an amazing day with the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Andrews AFB. We are lucky enough to have a squadron that appreciates the support and love we give to our spouses. They work VERY long hours and in recognition of that, twice a year we get to go up in the UH-1N and take a look around. We also get to see just a small part of what our spouses do each day. Now the paperwork I could do without ... but the flying ... wow ... words can't describe the sensation of taking off straight up off the ground, or the feeling you get when they start to go nose down in order to pick up speed to take off!

Thank you everyone at the 1st Helicopter Squadron for putting this together. A special thanks to Lt Paul Greaves - so helpful on the day to get me on two flights. My wonderful flight was made even more wonderful with the informative and expert 'tour guidance' given by TSgt Mike Koss! I'm sure he stayed up all night long looking up those interesting facts he kept throwing back our way throughout the flight! Thanks Mike what a fantastic FE! Always there with a smile and willing to accommodate my greediness for new facts.

Thanks 1st Heli for all of your dedication and work that goes unnoticed by so many. And to Todd (of course, you KNEW I was going to mention him!) for without him I would not have these wonderful chances of a lifetime. Each and every day with him is a dream come true.

Shutting up now so you can concentrate on the photos without being sick!!

Washington Memorial

I thought I was rather clever at getting both the Washington Monument and this American Flag in the frame together. Remember that I have only a few seconds to get each shot, and I'd line it up and the helicopter would move ... or there would be a bump ... or something! I quite like how I have the pilot's outline and the frame of the Huey front window.

Jefferson Memorial @ Blossoms

As we came up the Potomac River towards The Basin I began to see the blossoms. Last year we managed to miss them, this year we hit them at exactly the right time when they were in full bloom. As you can see they are rather lovely to look at from either the ground or the air.

Jefferson Memorial & Blossoms

Does this photo, and the previous one, give you any idea of how close we are to the traffic? I'm sure I saw people look up at the Huey from their cars! It felt like I could just get out and jump on their roof-tops! However, I'm sure the pilot and FE wouldn't have supported me in this had I attempted to do it! At and around the basin we are 120 feet above the water - from what I was told anyway!

More Blossoms & Jefferson Memorial

We're still flying around towards the Jefferson Memorial (the still flying thing is a good thing right?!). I couldn't stop clicking my camera as I felt that I may never get to see this kind of beauty again!

Jefferson Memorial, The Pentagon & Blossoms

This is one of my favourite photos of the day. Not only do you get to see the beauty of the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by the beautiful blossoms, but in the background you can see the Pentagon. I don't know about you, but everytime I see that place I start to get choked up at the thought of all of the innocent lives lost! Thank goodness I don't have to drive past there every day as I'm sure I'd cry myself into an accident one day!!

Jefferson Memorial from the Air

There was something going on that day in front of the Memorial and people were already starting to gather for whatever it was. There are a lot of activities planned around the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and this was just one of them.

The Pentagon

The Pentagon. God Bless those who lost their lives for their country on September 11th, 2001.

Washington Memorial

I can't believe that I'm so lucky to get to fly around the 'center' of DC. Not for one moment during the flight do I take it for granted. The view is spectacular - just like this one I captured on film.

Washington Memorial & Blossoms

The Washington Memorial (and Whitehouse) from the Tidal Basin. I do love this picture. They were working on the new security corden when we did this flight, hence the 'muddy look'. It's still gorgeous though!

The White House - @ Blossoms

The White House. The first time I got to fly with the 1st Heli, I didn't even see the Whitehouse it was so small. For some reason I thought it would be HUGE. But here it is, a nice little cosey home for ... a few hundred, nestled amongst the blossoms. Maybe it would be easier to see if they painted it ... fuschia pink or something?!

The White House Again

The White House with the blossoms in bloom

White House - construction & Blossoms

The White House ... I'm getting a lot better at spotting this important little home now!

Washington Memorial & House of Congress

Washington Memorial and you can see the roof of Congress Building to the right as well. That long building to the right of the picture is the Holocaust Museum. And the bit of water, well, that's the Tidal Basin

Washington Memorial

Washington Memorial, green grass, blossoms and the Potomac River - we're coming up to the Tidal basin.

Pentagon, Washington Memorial & our Pilot

The Pentagon with the Washington and Jefferson Memorials in the background. You can also see the Potomac RIver ... We flew right alongside the Pentagon and over the bridge before banking right to go along the river and back to Andrews AFB.

A plane landing a Raegen Airport

An incoming plane to the airport there. Again, I like the picture with the Pilot's shadowed outline and the plane, it also gives you an idea of how low we get to fly around this part of DC.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge

It was amazing looking down onto the traffic trying to get over the Wilson Bridge. However, know that in just a few hours or so I'd be in the thick of it, wasn't quite so amazing! For just a few short moments I felt like I was flying! Oh, that's right - I was! I will NEVER get used to the amazing spousal flights that I get to enjoy.

Next Spousal Flight ...
Thanks to Moonglade Designs for the wonderful graphics!!