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My Spousal Flight #3
Saturday April 3rd, 2004!
THANK YOU 1st Heli Squadron!!!
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!!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!!
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. God Bless those who lost their lives for their country on September 11th, 2001.
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.
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. 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 with the blossoms in bloom
The White House ... I'm getting a lot better at spotting this important little home now!
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, green grass, blossoms and the Potomac River - we're coming up to the Tidal basin.
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.
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.
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.